James J. Truncer
1. Oceans are absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and are becoming more acidic. How will this affect marine ecosystems and thus human society? What policies might be implemented to make the public more aware of this looming environmental crisis and what incentives would encourage governments to take action?
2. The recent tremendous growth of urban areas has created a multitude of environmental problems and challenges. Choose one area of urban design that can improve the urban environment – what costs and benefits are involved?
3. How can cities and their infrastructure be designed for the predicted changes in climate? Provide specific examples in your response.
4. Are the economic benefits of dam building worth the environmental costs?
5. What are the latest advances in hydroponic and vertical farming? Are these the food production methods of the future? What are the costs?
6. What advantages does organic farming have over conventional farming? Can organic farms compete with conventional farms in feeding the world?
7. Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) significantly different from the variation produced through more traditional methods of cross-breeding and the creation of hybrids?
8. Sea level rise is expected to impact many coastal cities and islands (e.g. Adaman Islands) in the coming years. What are the advantages or disadvantages of relocating an island settlement or city versus building dikes and protective barriers such as in the case of the Netherlands?
9. Soil erosion is severe in many areas of the world. What farming methods and other activities are creating this erosion? What farming methods can not only reduce soil erosion but build nutrient-rich soil that enhances crop yields and lowers carbon emissions substantially? What policies might encourage soil conservation on farmland?
10. Money and research is now being poured into the technology of self-driving cars. Is maintaining the concept of “car” an efficient means of transportation, or are there better, more sustainable systems for the movement of people?
11. Renewable energy sources are gaining more and more attention, and represent an increasingly larger percentage of energy production. What is the most promising type of renewable energy and why? Can modern society completely convert to renewable energy sources from a largely carbon-based system? What further advances or changes in lifestyle might be required?
12. Most large farms rely on mechanization and need to add massive amounts of artificial fertilizer to produce high crop yields. How did this situation come about, and is this a sustainable practice? What are the carbon costs of such agriculture and are there feasible alternatives?
13. Some architects are now designing “walkable” cities. What does this mean and what are the advantages and disadvantages of such and urban design? Illustrate your response with Examples.
14. Are United Nations treaties and resolutions an effect means to pass worldwide sustainability measures or is a different system necessary?
15. Aquaculture, or fish farming, is increasingly providing a major source of food for a growing world population. What forms of aquaculture are most sustainable, and which forms are the least sustainable? Why? Provide specific examples of aquaculture in your analysis.
16. Can sustainable practices be successfully incorporated into current business models? If not, what might need to change in order to create a better fit?
1. What behavioral principles should be used to design a pension scheme?
2. What type of policies mitigate the bad consequences of unemployment?
3. Design an insurance policy that is going to attract consumers by exploiting psychological biases.
4. Humans are prone to errors when making decisions under uncertainty. How can modern technology reduce these errors?
5. Pollution is a problem affecting most large metropolitan areas. How may insights from psychology inform urban policy to decrease pollution?
6. Top students from disadvantaged backgrounds often do not apply to the best universities. What are the potential reasons and what kind of actions can be taken to change this?
7. Doctors routinely make recommendations that may have life/death implications for their patients. How can biases in decision-making affect their advice?
8. How can we increase the rate at which individuals recycle?
9. Describe how psychological biases may affect judicial decisions and propose policy changes to minimize their negative impact.
10. Delays in paying income tax lead to significant financial losses from governments. What design changes could be made to tax collection policy to minimize these delays?
11. Buying a house is an infrequent transaction with large financial consequences. In what ways can a prospective house buyer or seller avoid mistakes due to psychological biases?
12. A new type of fertilizer has been invented that increases crop yields by 300%. Nevertheless, farmers are not adopting it. What could be the reasons and what policies can be implemented to increase takeup?
13. A major supermarket chain has hired you as a consultant to apply behavioral principles to improve their sales. Write a report with your recommendations.
14. You are a financial advisor for a wealthy individual. Come up with an investment strategy that avoids pitfalls from biases in decision making.
15. Develop an idea for a phone app that uses insights from behavioral economics to improve an individual's health.
1. What is the greatest challenge to China's "One Belt, One Road" project and how can it be overcome?
2. Should other countries be happy or worried about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?
3. Unlike the countries of Europe, why is there no East Asian Union?
4. What were the most effective governmental responses to the East Asian financial crisis?
5. What is the best type of free trade agreement for Asia?
6. Should Catalonia become independent from Spain?
7. In light of the US financial crisis in Puerto Rico, what is the best status option for the territory?
8. Is it good or bad for countries (like the United Kingdom) to be a part of the European Union?
9. What political outcome has the best chance at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
10. In light of the massive flow of refugees from places like the Middle East to Europe, is international migration bad for host countries?
11. Should the international community prohibit Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?
12. Is global poverty better reduced through free trade or international aid?
13. Does humanitarian disaster justify military intervention?
14. Is the balance of power still relevant in modern international politics?
15. What should countries do to reduce problems from weak and failed states?
16. Was it a right choice for America and its allies to have invaded Libya?
17. What role should countries play in their policy toward Syria？
18. What policy should America adopt toward ISIS?
19. What strategy should the US adopt for managing its relations with Russia?
1. Applications of predictive machine learning models to learn more about the human genome and understand mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, autism, heart disease, allergies or autoimmune disease.
2. Unsupervised machine learning to study the genetics of the blood system.
3. A review of supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning models.
1. Predicting epigenetic modifications with deep learning to help understand biology of disease.
2. Using deep learning to predict alternative splicing - a mechanism for RNA expression.
3. Is the drug industry going bust? A review of the scientific literature and economic data.
4. A review into the role of data analysis in drug discovery.
Erika Alden DeBenedictis
1. CRISPR, especially the molecular details of how it works, CRISPR-based gene drives, and ethics.
2. Synthetic biology, especially genetic code expansion and biological-logic gates.
3. DNA nanotechnology, such a DNA strand displacement systems Protein engineering through directed evolution.
César Cabezas Gamarra
1. What justifies the authority of the state? What are the problems associated with social life in the absence of government (i.e. a state of nature)? How does the "social contract" proposed by the likes of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau work as a solution to these problems?
是什么让一个国家的权威受到认可？在无政府的状态下（自然状态下）哪些问题与社会生活有关联？Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau 等人所提出的社会契约论是如何解决这些问题的？
2. What are the supreme principles (if any) that should guide our moral conduct? Do they admit of exceptions?
3. What is implicit bias? Should we blame agents for having implicit biases even if they are outside their control?
4. Can we explain the various aspects of social reality purely in terms of individual beliefs, actions and intentions? Or does an adequate explanation of social reality require reference to social phenomena such as organizations, social structures and social laws?
5. Is morality merely a matter of personal (or group) opinion? Or are there objective moral facts that transcend cultures and historical eras?
6. What are the basic liberties that a just society should secure? Is being free not having others interfere with one's personal affairs? Or is it to have the capacity to make one's own laws by participating in the collective process of government? Or is freedom a matter of not being subject to the arbitrary power of the state and/or other subjects?
7. What is the role of privileges or unearned advantages in sustaining systems of oppression?
8. What are our moral duties regarding injustices in which we participate indirectly (e.g. buying clothes produced in sweatshops)?
9. Are we morally responsible for the moral failures of our ancestors (e.g. colonization, slavery, the Holocaust)? What about the present-day consequences of their moral failures?
10. What are some convincing argument for the right to reparations for African-Americans?
11. Why are epistemic virtues such as humility, open-mindedness, and curiosity important for our life in community?
12. What is the importance of public deliberation and disagreement for a democratic society?
13. Can people be willfully ignorant? If so, how does willful ignorance contribute to the maintenance of social injustice?
14. Given that science has ruled out the existence of biological races, should we give up the concept of race? Or is there a plausible non-biological concept of race that can contribute to a better understanding of racial relations?
15. What is the difference between race, ethnicity and nationality?
16. Is racism a matter of individual beliefs, intentions and actions, or can racism also take place at the level of institutions and social structures?
17. What is intersectionality? How does it contribute to a better understanding of gender, race and class?
1. Perceptual Experience 1: What do perceptual illusions and hallucinations reveal about the nature of perceptual experience? In particular, do these phenomena show that we never ‘directly’ see the world as it is?
2. Perceptual Experience 2: Can a person’s perceptual experiences be influenced by that person’s prior beliefs, expectations and desires? What is the best interpretation of experiments that purport to show that the answer to this question is ‘yes’?
3. Explanation in Cognitive Science: What should cognitive scientists look for in a satisfying explanation of human behaviour?
4. The Nature of Mind: Is the mind a purely physical or material thing? Are mental states physical states?
5. The ‘Language of Thought’ Hypothesis: What is the language of thought hypothesis, and is it possible to understand mental processes as computational processes without a language of thought?
6. The Nature of Consciousness: Describe Ned Block’s distinction between ‘phenomenal consciousness’ and ‘access consciousness’. Does scientific work show that phenomenal consciousness can exist in the absence of access consciousness?
7. Delusions: To understand what is going on when people suffer from delusions, must we postulate abnormalities in how beliefs are formed and maintained, or does it suffice to appeal to abnormalities in perception or experience?
8. Modularity: What is the modularity thesis? Assess the scientific case for the thesis that the mind is modular.
Esme | 2017秋季
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), You are Welcomed
"There are three main reasons why regional members should actively support the creation and operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Firstly, infrastructure construction is crucial to economic growth in most developing countries; secondly, alleviating Asia’s huge infrastructure gap requires mobilizing a variety of public and private sources of financing, as well as engaging with new sources of long-term development which supranational projects like the AIIB can provide; and thirdly, in the AIIB, developing member countries wield more power than they do in other international organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank."
Cindy | 2017年夏季
Economic Growth and Democratization: The Case of South Korea
This paper will test the relationship, if any, between economic development and democratization through the case of South Korea’s transition from authoritarian rule to democracy. South Korea is a recent example of a country that experienced miraculous economic development followed by a period of democratization. There are many intriguing questions that need to be looked at within this case. For instance, what kind of relationship exists between economic development and democratization in South Korea? Which major theories in political economy come closest to the case of South Korea? Is economic development the only factor in the process of democratization, or do other factors matter as well?