(2017-2018 Archive)

Check out the #asic200 twitter feed! Lots of good stuff will be featured here as the semester progresses.


1. Your game assignment is due on Tuesday, April 3rd (by midnight). Please share this document as a Google Doc to asic200@gmail.com This document and your characters will be printed out for you (with maps) for your play session on Thursday, April 5th (but you can also print stuff out yourself if you like – i.e. you really want your maps to be big, etc). We’ll also supply snacks and will have lots of extra dice handy for you to use. Next thursday, you’ll also have a chance to fill out an anonymous peer review evaluation so that we can get a better sense of folks who weren’t very involved in this group process.

2. The final Exam is at 7pm, Monday, April 16th, 2018 and held in WOOD 4. The exam will be 2 hours long, about 1 hour of which will cover science material, and the other hour covering social science.

Examinable content:
Science! – (sample science exam questions)
– Basically the written notes for the science videos hold the core content that is examinable (links to these notes are below).
– ASIC 200 Climate Change Science content (written notes).
– Ability to comprehend text from the IPCC policy summary (physical basis), but no need to memorize any of this (link to this AR5 summary pdf)
– ASIC 200 Genomic Science content (written notes).
– Replication in particular (see video 3), but also these notes, if you prefer reading.
– Note that the technical content for the in-class science lecture for genomics is generally not required except where noted – i.e. some key terms and the CRISPR stuff (see this pdf+slides), but a general appreciation for the general trends in genetic technology development may be useful, esp for social science related questioning. Same holds for the PCR lab stuff.

Arts! – (last year’s exam questions)
– All of the arts Climate Change and Genomics videos (see here – note that there are no written notes available).
– Readings are important for these sections! Make sure you’re familiar with them. The other types of media (podcasts, videos, etc) tend to be really useful for context (often presented in a way that is much more engaging), but Allen’s exam questions will occasionally require some highlighting of key ideas in written references.
– You must be familiar with the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement (notes | slides).
– You must be familiar with the challenges genomic science represents for individuals and groups (notes | slides).

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1. Next class, you’ll begin working on the game component of the assignment. It’s probably a good idea to take a peek at the instructions that outlines this part of the game project (link). It might also be a good idea to take a peek at game (The Search for Tiger Joe) we played a few weeks back so that you can sort of see what we’re aiming for here.

2. Next two weeks will be designated class time that you can use to design the game part of the assignment. We strongly recommend you use this time, and will also provide a check list of timeline goals in class. Note that on March 29th, we’ll also spend the first 30 minutes of class or so, talking a bit about the final exam as well as showing off some of the past year’s exam questions.

March 15th (10th class) Class time to work on game’s solo 2 parameters

  • This was designated time to work as a group on the solo 2 future projection parameters. You should have these done by next class latest.

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1. The 2nd solo assignment is due by next class on March 15th (hardcopy to be handed in at the start of class). This is where you will work on the societal, political, and cultural elements of your future projection (this also includes thinking a bit about possible changes in genetic outcomes). Remember that this is an individual assignment, but you will be basing your projections on the physical features of the locale that your group agreed to. Please see this link for specifics as well as a detailed marking rubric about this assignment.

2. As a heads up, this second assignment is a little trickier than the first one, mainly because the first one was primarily dependent on finding only a modestly small number of good references/citations for your information. This second assignment, however, is covering themes around humanities (as well as small section on genetics) and as such, will involve a more diverse range of literature research. Do check out the above assignment page that lists examples of the types of resources that may be useful and credible. Do also look closely at the marking rubric – we found that students that pretty much followed this in the last assignment did really well.

3. Do remember to have a second copy (electronic or hardcopy) of this assignment available for your group discussion in class.

4. In case, you didn’t know yet: the final exam for ASIC200 is scheduled for April 16th at 7pm in the evening. We’ll be sure to highlight past exam questions in an upcoming class.

March 8th (9th class) Genomics Social Science and Humanities

  • Personal Genomics and the Social Sciences and Humanities. Allen’s notes and slidesAllen_ASIC200_Genomics.
  • Q+A about this section – (Lots of interesting discussion. Note that Dave and Allen will be around next class, and will be happy to answer any more questions you might have).

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1. The PCR reflection (details found here and a synopsis on the PCR experiment found here) is due before class on March 8th. Note that the data is shown below.

2. Keep in mind that the next solo assignment will be due on March 15th. This is where you will work on the societal, political, and cultural elements of your future projection (this also includes thinking a bit about possible changes in genetic outcomes). Remember that this is an individual assignment, but you will be basing your projections on the physical features of the locale that your group agreed to. Please see this link for more info about this assignment.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Mar 8th:

March 1st (8th class) Genomics Science
Note that most of this material requires familiarity but not memorization. i.e. whilst terms like CRISPR and Human Genome Project may come up in the exam, your memorization of some of the technical details of the material presented will not be required. All of the details, however, may be inherently useful for your future projection game design purposes. Note to know which parts are required for the exam and which are not, please look at the pdf below (basically, text highlighted in red is testable).

  • Genomics, Gene Editing, and the Physical and Life Sciences (a narrative of recent developments in genetics) – Dave’s notes and slides.

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1. Please note below the readings and videos to be completed before class on March 1st (after midterm break).
2. The PCR reflection (details found here and a synopsis on the PCR experiment found here) is due before class on March 8th.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Mar 1st:

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February 8th and 15th (6th and 7th classes) PCR Lab or Group Discussion
1. PCR Lab. Again – the “replication” reading (or video homework) beforehand was listed below. Details on the experiment can be found at this link (you can look at this after the lab).

Note that a lab commentary (worth 10%) is associated with this lab, although this is not due until March 8th. Full details for this lab commentary/reflection assignment can be found in this ASIC200 – PCR pdf.

2. Group discussion of solo #1 parameters for the game assignment. With your group, you will use the class session to basically author a solo #1 type assignment, but for the group. This will eventually be handed in with your final game project. Note that we still expect citations and the like for this group report as well. Please compose using a google doc and share with asic200@gmail.com, preferably by the next day.

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1. Solo assignment #1 is due before the start of next class (this is worth 15% of your final grade!) Please see this link for full details on the assignment (which includes information on the marking rubric as well as acceptable citation sources and formats). Note: please print out this assignment for handing in before the start of next class. Also, print an extra copy for use in class.

2. The next two classes will split into two options: you’ll participate in both over the next two weeks.

(a) One option is that you will do a DNA experiment (in Dave’s lab space – room 105). For now, if your group had the yellow name-tag sheet then you’ll be doing this on Feb 8th (next week). The only pre-work you need to do is read the replication piece as outlined last week.

(b) If you’re not doing the lab (for next week, it’s folks with the orange name-tag sheet), the other option is that you will gather with your group and work on a “group” version of the solo #1 assignment (World Building: Earth Physical Features). In other words, you will come to class and attempt to produce a single set of solo #1 details for your group’s game project. This means that this class will basically be a discussion where you will work your way through the solo #1 headings and talk to each other about why you should go with this option or that option. In this respect, this means that there may be elements of your independent work (the one you handed in) that won’t be incorporated into the group version of the future Earth. Note that we’re giving you the whole 3 hour block to do this – which should be more than enough time. Indeed, before you leave, we want you to create and share a google doc of your agreed/group World Building: Earth Physical Features. In case you’re wondering, the work you do here will become a small part of the final group project handed in early April.

3. If you were away last night, please contact Dave (db at mail dot ubc dot ca) as soon as possible. As well, if you were a student that talked to Dave or Allen about being away during one of the next two weeks, or having conflicts with the lab, etc, please also email Dave so that he can sort out student lab numbers for each of the two weeks.

4. Dice were won yesterday because there was only one (strategic?) tweet (at least from someone who hadn’t won yet). If you do the statistical analysis on the overall trend, this would be mean that there is almost always good odds of winning some free dice if you participate.

February 1st (5th class) In Search of Tiger Joe.
1. Allen started with a quick debrief of the Vancouver COP process.
2. Then we got into our prospective game assignment groups.
3. Then we played a “character by committee” version of the In Search for Tiger Joe game. Hopefully, (and despite the mayhem) this process was both fun and also gave you a general sense of how these table top role playing games work.

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1. Social Science Simulation Reflection Part 2 is due before next class: Details found on page 5 of this pdf. Final COP agreement can be found in the photo below:

2. Next week, we’ll be figuring out our game design groups (so attendance will be taken). For this, it would help if you’ve taken a peek at the details for Solo assignment 1 and have an idea of the place (city) you’d might like to work on, as well as the sort of narrative (Emissions Scenario and RCP) – i.e. kind of like more utopian versus more dystopian in nature.
3. Next week, we’ll also be playing a sample game, so that should be fun.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Feb 1:

January 25th (4th class) Climate Change Negotiation Simulation.
1. The Vancouver COP climate change negotiation simulation (yay, we reached an agreement!). Details on the agreement are shown in the image above.

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1. The VancouverCOP simulation is happening next week – here is a pdf of how that is generally going to go (Note that this is one of the handouts given out last night). If you were away last class and didn’t receive your (country or region specific) briefing, please email Allen (asens at mail dot ubc dot ca).
2. The first HP D&D session went great! We have one or two spots available for some of the remaining Harry Potter D&D times (Jan 22nd, Jan 24th and 29th). Please email Dave (db at mail dot ubc dot ca) ASAP if interested.

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 25:

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January 18th: (Third class) Climate Change Humanities
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Allen’s lecture on climate change. In particular, a quick white board run through of the events leading up to Copenhagen, and then the bulk of his lecture about the Paris Agreement to present (Trumpian) day. Notes | Slides.
2. This class also provided some time (~20 to 30 min) to get together with your country group for next week’s VancouverCOP simulation. Note that your briefing is to remain top secret. Details on the process can be found here. Specific delegate briefings were handed out in class – if you were away, please contact Allen to obtain your notes (asens at mail dot ubc dot ca).

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1. Don’t forget that there is an assignment related to the upcoming Vancouver COP activity that is due before next week’s class (to be submitted via email to Allen – asens@mail dot ubc dot ca, subject heading: VANCOP). Details on which group you are part of found here. Details on assignment and marking rubric found here.
2. The Harry Potter D&D doodle page is still open to try and schedule those who are interested in playing an example of a table top role playing game.
3. Just an early heads up that the solo assignment #1 is due February 8th. This is your future projection of your chosen locale based on physical (re: climate, etc) features.
4. There was lots of interesting stuff was linked to the #asic200 hashtag this past week. Worth checking out if you’re procrastinating.

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 18:

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January 11th: (Second class) Climate Change Science
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Some housekeeping.
2. Allen introduced the Vancouver COP simulation activity. There’s an assignment related to this that is due before next week’s class (to be handed in via email to Allen – asens@mail dot ubc dot ca, subject heading: VANCOP). Details on which group you are part of found here. Details on assignment and marking rubric found here.
3. Dave’s lecture on climate change (an informal overview of IPCC report AR5, 2013 – as well as more recent data). pdf of Dave’s slides.
Again, as stressed in class, the objective is not to memorize the info in this document (or presentation – hence no written notes provided), but to be comfortable with your knowledge base so that you can understand it when reading it. Doing this will also help tremendously when you’re looking up evidence based future conditions for your game related solo assignment #1.
4. Introduction to the Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project: Detailed description and sypnosis of this game-base learning assignment (also at this link). (note first solo assignment due on Feb 8 before class).

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1. Don’t forget about the twitter and #ASIC200 opportunity (win dice)!
2. Dave has set up a doodle for folks interested in trying out an intro D&D session (a la Harry Potter). Total game time is about 2.5 hours, and he will need about 4 to 6 players for quorum. (link – please leave your full name on the doodle, so Dave can confirm via email)

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 11:

January 4th (First class):
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Introductions. See contact and outline pages for full details.
2. Global as a scientific, social science, and humanities concept. (Dave/Allen) – Allen’s slides/notes| Dave’s slides*
3. Zombie related meet and greet activity (yes, making zombies turn into vegans/vegetarians came up twice in class, also “…then we science…”)

*Note that Dave’s lecture is not something that will come up in the exam. However, if you’re interested in following up on the tenets of my discussion of three facets of Public Understanding of Science academics, for the 1st bit (the method), check out this piece, and for the 3rd (that science is a form of culture). Dan Kahan’s cultural cognition paper (the graph) can be found at this link.. Finally, some humour about the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.

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December 2017 (a.k.a before class – if you’re keen or procrastinating hard):
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-34-55-pm1. If you don’t already have one, you can open a twitter account (this is optional but we – and the class – will be posting interesting links throughout the term using the hashtag #ASIC200 – we hope you will do the same).

Note that there is some weak evidence that twitter use for students can lead to higher course engagement as well as slightly higher GPAs (see Junco et al, 2013. The effect of twitter on college student engagement and grades. J comput assist learn 27:119-132. link). Also note that using the #ASIC200 hashtag can win you some dice during class.

2. Speaking of which, you can even just buy some Dungeons and Dragon die (also optional). Local shops: i, ii, iii.

Note that this course has a fairly unconventional game design assignment. We’ll guide you through it step by step, but if you want to check it out beforehand, this is the place to start. If you’ve never played this type of game before (and just want to get a sense of what all this nonsense is about), then there are some videos you can check out at the lower half of this link. We actually have one class where we’ll be trying to play a session together, but Dave will also be hosting some evening sessions (Harry Potter themed), so there’s plenty of chances to get familiar with the concept.

3. Look over the course outline. Everything is pretty much here for you to take a sneak peek at. Note that because many of the lectures have been flipped as videos (we did this so that you have lots of in-class time to work on the game assignment), the first few weeks are a bit top heavy in terms of readings and videos to watch.

4. In fact, if you really want to get a jump on things, you can start watching our flipped video lectures. You can get to them by visiting our videos link. As well, you can even dig into some of the readings if you’re so inclined.

5. Familiarize yourself with your instructors. Allen and Dave.