Programm Frühling 2015

Im Frühjahrssemester 2015 finden die Veranstaltungen von «frei denken uni basel» beinahe alle 2 Wochen statt.

Der Wochentag und die Uhrzeit bleiben gleich: Mittwochs um 19:15. Veranstaltungsort wird der Hörsaal 117 im Kollegienhaus sein.

The Case for Open Borders – Why Migration Should Have No Restrictions

Speaker: Jonas Vollmer
March 4, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 117
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Die Vollgeld-Reform: Perspektiven einer monetären Modernisierung

Speaker: Philipp Ryf
March 18, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, HS 117
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Machine Learning: Software is eating the world. But who’s digesting it (and how)?

An Introduction to Machine Learning ranging from Optimal Intelligence over Dimensionality Reduction to Neural Networks.

Speaker: Kaspar Etter
April 15, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, HS 117
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Can Games Save the World?

With your limited budget, you need to do this as efficiently and effectively as possible. So what are your options?

An interesting new possibility that has gained in popularity in recent years is the concept of games for change – online games developed to persuade its players to support social change. But how well do these games really work? Is it worth all the time and money to create a game or would an article do the job just as well?

In this presentation I will talk about the research I conducted for my masters thesis on the topic of the effectiveness of games for change, the media aspects and the player experiences that underly their impact, and the recommendations following from these findings for how best to create an impactful game for change.

Speaker: Sharon Steinemann
April 22, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, HS 117
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How unlikely is a doomsday catastrophe? – Calculating and interpreting probabilities for cataclysmic events

Life requires us to estimate risks everyday. For some common decisions a rough approximation seems legit, but when it comes to certain scientific experiments, a more accurate computation has to be performed. Such calculations are generally based on certain assumptions and may suffer from biases. When the claimed hazard has the potential to destroy Earth or even the Universe, it is of highest importance to have a correct estimate of the risk. Since scientists model nature, a finite and absolutely certain answer can never be obtained. Nevertheless science is exclusively the best method to distinguish between realistic threats and doomsday catastrophes with negligible probability.

Speaker: Constantin Sluka
April 29, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, HS 117
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Intergalactic SETI: Why colonizing the observable universe is surprisingly easy, and how to find out if someone is already doing it

Since humanity has started to develop space travel, many people have thought about the possibility of interstellar civilizations. In popular culture, our galaxy is often depicted as crawling with technologically advanced lifeforms similar to ourselves, with space travel as the future equivalent of today’s airplane flights. But how plausible are such ideas, given our current understanding of fundamental physics?
In the first part of this talk, I explain how space travel can be realized within the currently known laws of physics. While this rules out popular ideas like faster-than-light travel, it turns out that it is still surprisingly easy to colonize the galaxy – and, with very little extra effort, most of the observable universe.
In the second part, I show that it is very plausible that other technologically advanced civilizations exist, and, given how easy it is to colonize the universe, that some of them might already be doing so. I discuss the strategies used to look for such intergalactic civilizations, and how we might be unable to see them before they have colonized most of the Milky Way.

Speaker: David Nolde
May 6, 2015, Doors: 19:00, Talk: 19:15
Location: Kollegienhaus, HS 117
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