(2018-2019 Archive)


outline | videos | readings | brave world now | contact


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

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Relevant dates coming up:
April 2nd: Group project due (rubric for this as seen here). You can update your shared google document, but also send along a pdf of the assignment to the asic200 gmail account (asic200 at gmail dot com) or Dave (db at mail dot ubc dot ca) – by midnight please.

April 4th: (last class!) GAME NIGHT! Basically, the designated GMs will stay with their game, but the others in your group will rotate and be the players for another game (i.e. GMs will “play” by being the show runner for your designed game, and the rest of you will be “playing” someone else’s project. There will be a break in the middle as usual, so you can all hear about things are going, and there will be food and drink (think snacks, cheese, crackers, chips, cookies, etc and juice boxes). Also, we’ll reserve the first 10 minutes of class for an opportunity for you to fill out a peer review evaluation of your other group members – this will allow us to note those who did not contribute as much as they should have.

April 7th: We’ve been asked to remind you all to do the course evaluation for ASIC200 (we might actually even give you a bit of time during the last class to do this). Note that this the last day when you can do this (go to Canvas)

April 11th: 7pm at BUCH A103. Note that we’ll also hand back your grade for your group assignment here.

EXAM PREP INFO! (i.e. examinable content)

Sample Questions: Climate Change | Genomics

– Basically the written notes for the science videos hold the core content that is examinable (climate change | genomics).
– 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). Note that you don’t need to worry about the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C (a lot of the figures are actually less science and more about social science outcomes, so to keep it simple, we won’t have figures from this in the exam).
– Replication in particular (see video 3), but also these replication notes*, if you prefer reading.
– Note that the technical content for the in-class science lecture for genomics (as well as the PCR lab) 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.

* Don’t forget that replication and CRISPR will definitely make an appearance in the exam.

– 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. Readings can be found by scrolling down this page OR go here (Allen’s readings are listed under Jan 17, Jan 24, Mar 7).
– You must be familiar with the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and the current Trumpian/Poland situation (notes | slides).
– You must be familiar with the challenges genomic science represents for individuals and groups (notes | slides).

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1. The 2nd solo assignment is due by next class on March 14th (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 11th at 7pm in the evening (room TBA). We’ll be sure to highlight past exam questions in an upcoming class.

March 7th (9th class) Genomics Social Science and Humanities

  • Personal Genomics and the Social Sciences and Humanities. Allen’s notes and slides.
  • 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 7th (the pdf says March 8th, but the due date is March 7th). Note that the data is shown in last week’s announcements section.
2. Keep in mind that the next solo assignment will be due on March 14th. 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.
3. We still have 4 sets of dice to give out. Be sure to use the twitter hashtag #asic200

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Mar 7th:

Feb 28th (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 will likely 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 7th.
3. Heads up! We have your PCR data. Sypnosis above and picture of the gel below. Note, you can click on the picture to see an enlarged version.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Feb 28th:

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Feb 28:

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February 7th and 14th (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 7th. 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, have an extra copy (digital or print) 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 you played with the following characters – Ezmererelda, Magic Mike, Kim K – then you’ll be doing this on Feb 7th (next week). The only pre-work you need to do is read this replication piece.

(b) If you’re not doing the lab (for next week, it’s folks who played the following characters – Doc Danger, Kim Possible, Lara Croft, and Burb), you will instead 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. We took attendance last night (to make groups), so 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. The ASIC200 “Germanium” spotify mix is looking pretty quiet. Will leave up one more week to see if there are any musicophiles in the class we can entice to add their songs to the mix (otherwise, will retire mix if there isn’t a sort of quorum of participation). Click here to take a peek.

January 31st (5th class) In Search of Tiger Joe.
1. Allen and Dave started with a quick debrief of what the final exam will look like (see sample questions here).
2. Then, we spent some open Q&A time on various climate change topics.
3. 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:

Because there was some confusion over last night’s results (and whether it adheres to treaty language), Allen sent out a clarifying email, which we’ve reprinted below just in case you missed it:

“I hope you enjoyed the simulation, and got a sense of the challenges facing international negotiations.

I wanted to clarify the result. In past years, we have insisted that the GHG emission reduction commitments of all actors in the simulation be exactly the same. So, in our simulation, that would have meant everyone had to commit to the 50% / 75% formula. However, this year we wanted to see what would happen if we allowed differentiated commitments as long as a clear “floor” or baseline was achieved. In our case on Thursday night, 50/75 was the agreed baseline, with a couple of differences (AOSIS at 75/100 and the US at 50/100). Under our new system this year, this is considered a successful outcome because all actors met the common floor or baseline negotiated by the clear majority of actors. Two actors exceeded this commitment floor, but in doing so met the baseline. This differentiated commitments idea also allows the AOSIS group a fighting chance of getting some points.

However, we realized afterward that this created a lack of clarity about was required to secure an agreement. So while we are confident in the integrity of the outcome of the simulation, we will probably go back to a strict “everyone must agree on the same numbers” formula. That also means AOSIS loses…but that is actually quite realistic.

It is worth noting that in the real world of UNFCCC climate change negotiations, some actors did in fact pledge to make deeper targets than others (Kyoto) and some actors subsequently pledged to make deeper cuts than their formal negotiation positions indicated (Copenhagen). So it is not like the differentiated commitments has no real-world analog,

I hope this clarifies things. When doing your reflective assignments, do not worry too much about the agreement formula. We are always more interested in your bigger picture takeaways about what you learned.”

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. In other words, part of the class will be you milling around seeing if you can find yourself a group of 6 to 8 folks who have similar locales, and similar ideas of the future being good or not so good.

3. Next week, we’ll also be playing a sample game, so that should be fun. This will also take up the bulk of next week’s class.

4. Oh, and we’ll also have a quick open climate change Q&A, and showcase some sample final exam questions for the climate change sections.

5. Throwing this out there again: Dave mentioned making an ASIC200 collaborative spotify playlist. This one will fall under the element Germanium (see wiki) given its close association with solar panels and LED manufacturing (so it sort of fits with ASIC200 stuff) It would be great to get as many students to add their songs to the mix. We’re aiming for a “we got this” vibe for the mix (imagine something you want to listen to before going into an international climate change meeting). Here’s the link to the mix – link. Note that I think you have to “follow” the playlist to add to it (we could be wrong about this because we haven’t made a collaborative mix before). You can also send on song suggestions via twitter using the #asic200 hashtag.

Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 31st:

January 24th (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 Allen went over this 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). Note, we noticed that quite a few people were away yesterday. Please remember that attendance is expected – next week, we may take attendance.

2. The first HP D&D session is happening tonight! We have one or two spots available for some of the remaining Harry Potter D&D times (Jan 21st, Jan 23rd and Dave has time to do a 4th if there is quorum on a time). Please use the doodle page ASAP if interested.

3. Dave mentioned making an ASIC200 collaborative spotify playlist. This one will fall under the element Germanium (see wiki) given its close association with solar panels and LED manufacturing (so it sort of fits!) It would be great to get as many students to add their songs to the mix. A couple notes: (1) aiming for a “we got this” vibe for the mix (imagine something you want to listen to before going into an international climate change meeting); (2) limit your additions to a max of 4 songs; and (3) please don’t add songs that are generally disrespectful in narrative/tone (although this doesn’t mean it can’t have the “explicit” label). Here’s the link to the mix – link. Note that you have to “follow” the playlist to add to it (although you still remain anonymous when you do this). You can also send on song suggestions via email or twitter.

4. The #asic200 hashtag was pretty active with lots of great stuff – articles, memes, even poetry. Get involved to try and win some dice!

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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 24:

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January 17th: (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/Poland) 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. Heads up, 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. Best to do this before the weekend if possible.
3. Just an early heads up that the solo assignment #1 is due February 7th. This is your future projection of your chosen locale based on physical (re: climate, etc) features.
4. There was lots of interesting stuff linked to the #asic200 hashtag this past week. Worth checking out if you’re procrastinating.
5. Details on Lauryn’s announcement about student work balance research can be found here.

125742-200Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 17:

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January 10th: (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. See above “announcements” for full details and docs.
3. Dave briefly described elements ofthe 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 7 before class).
4. Dave’s lecture on climate change (an informal overview of IPCC report AR5, 2013 and the SR15 global warming of 1.5C report, 2018). pdf of Dave’s slides.
Again, as stressed in class, the objective is not to memorize the info in this document (or the 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 and also your solo assignment #2. Again, the videos are key, and to clarify what you need to know in the videos, here is the pdf of notes that accompany the video.

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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)

cloudReading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 10:

  • ASIC 200 Climate Change Science Videos parts 1 to 4. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/
  • Skim through the “IPCC special report:Global Warming of 1.5 °C: Summary for Policy Makers” (2018) located at https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2018/07/SR15_SPM_High_Res.pdf This report was just released and covered extensively in the media. Here is an example of such coverage from the New York Times (link).
  • Also skim through the AR5 “Summary for Policymakers” (2013) located at: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf
  • Dave will actually be summarizing elements of both of these reports in his climate change lecture (most of the meaty content is in the 2013 report). Note that you’re not required to memorize this stuff, and any mention in the final exam will provide the proper the context and details for you to answer questions, but you do need to have sufficient grasp of the concepts to understand these important documents. Pro-tip: these documents will also be very handy for your Solo assignment #1
  • Wilder, R. and Kammen, D.M. (2016, Oct.19). Exposed: The Climate Fallacy of 2100. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/exposed-the-climate-fallacy-of-2100/
    This blog post summarizes Clark, P.U., Shakun, J.D., Marcott, S.A., Mix, A.C., Eby, M., … Plattner, G-K. (2016). Consequences of Twenty-First-Century Policy for Multi-Millennial Climate and Sea-Level Change. Nature Climate Change 6: 360-369. Public policy and discourse. You can try taking a look at this paper, but note that this will be a lot more technical than the level covered in this course.
  • Optional but definitely worth browsing through. The New York Times has a nice “year in Climate Change” section with many interesting pieces that cover both scientific and social science angles. Go to https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/12/climate/year-in-climate-change.html

January 3rd (First class):
screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-17-33-pm1. Introductions. See contact and outline pages for full details. Meet the team (hello slides)!
2. Global as a scientific, social science, and humanities concept. (Dave/Allen) – Dave’s slides* | Allen’s slides/notes
3. Zombie related meet and greet activity (yes, we had super teams that would deal with zombies by annoying them and epic levels of complaining; working out whether they had brains and just generally being “incredibly athletic”; and by international political discourse to lure them to Australia)

*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 2018 (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.

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Course Archive | 2016-17 | 2017-18