Week 1 Summary

I forgot to set the reading for 4th Feb today. I would like you to read pages 25-38 of Limits to Growth’. The entire book is available to download as a pdf file here: http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf

For those that missed it, Tuesday’s lecture is online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDsmzSnfRvw (also listed on the Course Notes section of gc.soton.ac.uk).

Some have asked me about when you can swap modules. I think you can change modules up to the first two weeks of the semester. If in any doubt, then contact the leader of the module you think you may transfer to, and ask them when you would be able to swap. I’m pretty relaxed about such things subject to having a conversation with the student concerned, but there may be rules that limit your options. If in doubt, discuss with your personal tutor.

Thank you for your feedback today, both during and at the end of class. Feedback during the course is very important as you are a diverse group and have diverse interests and motivations. It’s very challenging to teach you all while ensuring that one half of the room is not bored or the other half of the room not completely lost.

Fortunately we have the guest lecture videos. I strongly recommend that you watch the videos as the course progresses (I will set the first video lecture towards the end of next week). These go into depth about the individual challenges. This along with the Resources section of the module website means that you will be able to explore a specific challenge in real depth. However, there will be nothing in video lectures that a general audience cannot understand.

Mathematics is something that some of you seem to have strong opinions about. Please don’t panic! I will not subject you to maths that you cannot understand. There will be no maths homework. Most of our discussions will be verbal or figurative – using pictures and arrows to represent ideas.

But… contrary to what you may believe it is possible for you to think about the global challenges and other subjects ‘mathematically’. Maths and science have a place in the global challenges. But so do many other subjects and disciplines. We all have our comfort zones. It’s in no ones interest to drive you far beyond that. But the odd nudge, the little shove can produce remarkable results. Trust me!

See you next week.


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