Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2020

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the courses listed below will be recognized as "GESS Science in Perspective" courses.

Further below you will find courses under the category "Type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

During the Bachelor’s degree Students should acquire at least 6 ECTS and during the Master’s degree 2 ECTS.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type A: Enhancement of Reflection Competence
Suitable for all students.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
851-0252-06LIntroduction to Social Networks: Theory, Methods and Applications
This course is intended for students interested in data analysis and with basic knowledge of inferential statistics.
W3 credits2GC. Stadtfeld, T. Elmer
AbstractHumans are connected by various social relations. When aggregated, we speak of social networks. This course discusses how social networks are structured, how they change over time and how they affect the individuals that they connect. It integrates social theory with practical knowledge of cutting-edge statistical methods and applications from a number of scientific disciplines.
ObjectiveThe aim is to enable students to contribute to social networks research and to be discriminating consumers of modern literature on social networks. Students will acquire a thorough understanding of social networks theory (1), practical skills in cutting-edge statistical methods (2) and their applications in a number of scientific fields (3).
In particular, at the end of the course students will
- Know the fundamental theories in social networks research (1)
- Understand core concepts of social networks and their relevance in different contexts (1, 3)
- Be able to describe and visualize networks data in the R environment (2)
- Understand differences regarding analysis and collection of network data and other type of survey data (2)
- Know state-of-the-art inferential statistical methods and how they are used in R (2)
- Be familiar with the core empirical studies in social networks research (2, 3)
- Know how network methods can be employed in a variety of scientific disciplines (3)
851-0252-10LProject in Behavioural Finance Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 40

Particularly suitable for students of D-MTEC
W3 credits2SS. Andraszewicz, C. Hölscher, D. Kaszás
AbstractThis interactive practical course provides and overview of the key topics in behavioral finance. Along studying information about investor's behavior, decision-making, cognitive, biological and personality markers of risk taking and measuring risk appetite, students train critical thinking, argumentation and presentation. The learning process is based on interactive discussions and presentations.
ObjectiveThis course provides an overview of the key topics in behavioural finance and gives the opportunity for a first hands-on experience in designing, analysing and presenting a behavioural study. In the first half of the semester, students present papers from different topics within behavioural finance, including Judgment and Decision Making, psychometrics and individual differences, and risk perception and eliciting people’s propensity to take risk, biological markers of risk taking and investment behavior and trading games. The paper presentations are informal, require no power-point presentations and are followed by a discussion with the rest of the students in the class. The goal of these presentations is three-fold: in an interactive and engaging way, to provide an overview of the topics contained in the area of behavioural finance, to teach students to extract the most relevant information from scientific papers and be able to communicate them to their peers and to enhance critical thinking during the discussion.
In the middle of the semester, the students pick a topic in which they want to conduct a small study. Some topics will be offered by the lecturers, but students are free to choose a topic of their own.
This is followed by fine-tuning their research questions given found literature, data collection and analysis. At the end of the semester students receive feedback and advice on the data analysis and present the results in a formal presentation with slides. The final assignment is a written report from their study. Active participation in the meetings is mandatory to pass the course. This course does not involve learning by heart.

Key skills after the course completion:
- Overview of topics in behavioural finance
- Communication of research output in an a formal and informal way, in an oral and written form
- Critical thinking
- Argumentation and study design
Content- Giving presentations
- How to quickly "read" a paper
- Judgment and Decision Making, Heuristics and Biases
- Biology on the trading floor
- Psychometrics and individual differences
- Eliciting people's propensity to take risks
- Experimental design in behavioural studies
- Experimental Asset Markets
Lecture notesAll learning materials will be available to students over eDoz platform.
LiteratureTversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1992). Advance in prospect theory: Cumulative representation of uncertainty. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5(4), 297-323

Rieskamp, J. (2008). The probabilistic nature of preferential choice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, memory and Cognition, 34(6), 1446-1465

Hertwig, R., & Herzog, S. (2009). Fast and frugal heuristics: Tools of social rationality. Social Cognition, 27(5), 661-698

Coates, J.M., Gurnell, M., & Sarnyai, Z. (2010). From molecule to market: steroid hormones and financial risk taking. Philosophical Transacations of the Royal Society B, 365, 331-343

Cueva, C., Roberts, R.E., Spencer, T., Rani, N., Tempest, M., Tobler, P.N., Herbert, J., & Rustichini (2015). Cortisol and testosterone increase financial risk taking and may destabilize markets. Nature, 5(11206), 1-16

Conlin, A., Kyröläinen, P., Kaakinen, M., Järvelin, M-R., Perttunen, J., & Svento, R. (2015). Personality traits and stock market participation. Journal of Empirical Finance, 33, 34-50

Kosinski, M., Stillwell, D., & Graepel, T. (2013). Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior. Proceedings in National Academy of Sciences, 110, 5802-5805

Oehler, A., Wedlich, F., Wendt, S., & Horn, M. (July 9, 2016). Available at SSRN:

Fenton-O'Creevy, M., Nicholson, N., Soane, E., & Willman, P. (2003). Trading on illusions: Unrealistic perceptions of control and trading performance. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76, 53-68

Frey, R., Pedroni, A., Mata, R., Rieskamp, J., & Hertwig, R. (2017). Risk preference shares the psychometric structure of major psychological traits. Science Advances, 3, 1-13

Schürmann, O., Andraszewicz, S., & Rieskamp, J. (2017). The importance of losses when eliciting risk preferences. Under review

Andraszewicz, S., Kaszas, D., Zeisberger, S., Murphy, R.O., & Hölscher, C. (2017). Simulating historical market crashes in the laboratory. Manuscript in preparation.

Allenbach, M., Kaszas, D., Andraszewicz, S., & Hölscher, C. (2017). Skin conductance response as marker or risk undertaken by investors. Manuscript in preparation.

Simic, M., Kaszas, D., Andraszewicz, S., & Hölscher, C. (2017). Incentive structure compatibility in a principal agent problem. Manuscript in preparation.

Sornette, D., Andraszewicz, S., Wu, K., Murphy, R.O., Rindlerm P., & Sanadgol, D. (2017). Overpricing persistance in experimental asset markets with intrinsic uncertainty. Under review.

Andraszewicz, S., Wu, K., & Sornette, D. (2017). Behavioural effects and market dynamics in field and laboratory experimental asset markets. Under review.
Prerequisites / NoticeGrading is based the active participation in the class and the final project. There is no exam.
851-0586-03LApplied Network Science: Sports Networks Restricted registration - show details
Number of participant limited to 20
W3 credits2SU. Brandes
AbstractWe study applications of network science methods, this time in the domain of sports.
Topics are selected for diversity in research questions and techniques
with applications such as passing networks, team rankings, and career trajectories.
Student teams present results from the recent literature, possibly with replication, in a mini-conference shortly before the start of EURO 2020.
ObjectiveNetwork science as a paradigm is entering domains from engineering to the humantities but application is tricky.
By examples from recent research on sports, sports administration, and the sociology of sports, students learn to appreciate that, and how, context matters.
They will be able to assess the appropriateness of approaches
for substantive research problems, and especially when and why quantitative approaches are or are not suitable.
LiteratureOriginal research articles will be introduced in the first session. General introduction:

Wäsche, Dickson, Woll & Brandes (2017). Social Network Analysis in Sport Research: An Emerging Paradigm. European Journal for Sport and Society 14(2):138-165. DOI: 10.1080/16138171.2017.1318198
851-0588-00LIntroduction to Game Theory Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 480.

Particularly suitable for students of D-INFK, D-MATH
W3 credits1VH. Nax, B. Pradelski
AbstractThis course introduces the foundations of game theory with a focus on its basic mathematical principles. It treats models of social interaction, conflict and cooperation, the origin of cooperation, and concepts of strategic decision making behavior. Examples, applications, theory, and the contrast between theory and empirical results are particularly emphasized.
ObjectiveLearn the fundamentals, models, and logic of thinking about game theory. Learn basic mathematical principles. Apply formal game theory models to strategic interaction situations and critically assess game theory's capabilities through a wide array of applications and experimental results.
ContentGame theory provides a unified mathematical language to study interactions amongst different types of individuals (e.g. humans, firms, nations, animals, etc.). It is often used to analyze situations involving conflict and/or cooperation. The course introduces the basic concepts of both non-cooperative and cooperative game theory (players, strategies, coalitions, rules of games, utilities, etc.) and explains the most prominent game-theoretic solution concepts (Nash equilibrium, sub-game perfection, Core, Shapley Value, etc.). We will also discuss standard extensions (repeated games, incomplete information, evolutionary game theory, signal games, etc.).

In each part of the course, we focus on examples and on selected applications of the theory in different areas. These include analyses of cooperation, social interaction, of institutions and norms, social dilemmas and reciprocity as well as applications on strategic behavior in politics and between countries and companies, the impact of reciprocity, in the labor market, and some applications from biology. Game theory is also applied to control-theoretic problems of transport planning and computer science.

As we present theory and applications, we will also discuss how experimental and other empirical studies have shown that human behavior in the real world often does not meet the strict requirements of rationality from "standard theory", leading us to models of "behavioural" and "experimental" game theory.

By the end of the course, students should be able to apply game-theoretic in diverse areas of analysis including > controlling turbines in a wind park, > nations negotiating international agreements, > firms competing in markets, > humans sharing a common resource, etc.
Lecture notesSee literature below. In addition we will provide additional literature readings and publish the lecture slides directly after each lecture.
LiteratureK Binmore, Fun and games, a text on game theory, 1994, Great Source Education

SR Chakravarty, M Mitra and P Sarkar, A Course on Cooperative Game Theory, 2015, Cambridge University Press

A Diekmann, Spieltheorie: Einführung, Beispiele, Experimente, 2009, Rowolth

MJ Osborne, An Introduction to Game Theory, 2004, Oxford University Press New York

J Nash, Non-Cooperative Games, 1951, Annals of Mathematics

JW Weibull, Evolutionary game theory, 1997, MIT Press

HP Young, Strategic Learning and Its Limits, 2004, Oxford University Press
851-0585-38LData Science in Techno-Socio-Economic Systems Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 80

This course is thought be for students in the 5th semester or above with quantitative skills and interests in modeling and computer simulations.

Particularly suitable for students of D-INFK, D-ITET, D-MAVT, D-MTEC, D-PHYS
W3 credits3SN. Antulov-Fantulin
AbstractThis course introduces how techno-socio-economic systems in our complex society can be better understood with techniques and tools of data science. Students shall learn how the fundamentals of data science are used to give insights into the research of complexity science, computational social science, economics, finance, and others.
ObjectiveThe goal of this course is to qualify students with knowledge on data science to better understand techno-socio-economic systems in our complex societies. This course aims to make students capable of applying the most appropriate and effective techniques of data science under different application scenarios. The course aims to engage students in exciting state-of-the-art scientific tools, methods and techniques of data science.
In particular, lectures will be divided into research talks and tutorials. The course shall increase the awareness level of students of the importance of interdisciplinary research. Finally, students have the opportunity to develop their own data science skills based on a data challenge task, they have to solve, deliver and present at the end of the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeGood programming skills and a good understanding of probability & statistics and calculus are expected.
851-0591-01LBETH - Blockchain for Sustainability Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 200

Particularly suitable for students of D-INFK, D-MTEC, D-ITET, D-MAVT,D-PHYS
W3 credits4GD. Helbing
AbstractBlockchain and Internet of Things technologies hold the promise to transform our societies and economies. While IoT devices allow us to measure all kinds of activity by humans and machines, the blockchain allows us to securely time-stamp and value this data and even give it a price to trade it on (new) markets. We explore this potential with a specific focus on sustainable development.
ObjectiveThe course provides opportunities to gain fundamental understanding of promising new technologies as well as develop creative decentralized solutions for societal challenges using these technologies.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of blockchain technology, its mechanisms, design parameters and potential for decentralized solutions. Those with software development skills will then further explore the blockchain to develop hands-on decentralized applications and smart contracts. Non-coding participants will further explore how these technologies could be used to design new economic systems. These new cryptoeconomic systems should give citizens multiple incentives to increase cooperation, health, recycling, or education and other positive externalities and to decrease emissions, waste, noise, or stress and other negative externalities. During the hackathon, participants will work in mixed teams on concrete challenges addressing some of the pressing global challenges our societies face, like climate change, financial instability, energy, or mass migration, etc. The aim is to develop decentralized approaches towards a sustainable, sharing circular economy using blockchain and IoT technologies.
Teams will produce a short report (about 10 pages), demonstrate their hackathon prototype based on blockchain technology (Ethereum platform) and present to a interdisciplinary jury on the last day. Throughout the course, participants will hone their critical thinking abilities by leaving their own discipline and discussing best approaches to solve global complex challenges in an international, multi-disciplinary setting with invited subject matter experts and peers from all around the world.
We encourage students with no programming experience, who are interested in the potential of blockchain and IoT to address global challenges, to apply as well!
851-0585-43LExperimental Game Theory Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 100.
W2 credits2VA. Diekmann
AbstractThe course addresses principles and methods of experimental game theory. It focuses on experiments about social interaction, conflict and cooperation, emergence of cooperation and experimental validity of concepts for strategic behaviour in decision-making situations.
ObjectiveLearn the fundamentals and logic of thinking about experimental methods and experimental game theory. Apply experimental game theory methods to strategic interaction situations.
ContentDie Spieltheorie stellt Modelle zur Beschreibung und Analyse sozialer und strategischer Interaktionen zur Verfügung.
Schwerpunkt der Vorlesung sind experimentelle Studien und empirische Anwendungen der Theorie in verschiedenen Bereichen. Dazu zählen sozialtheoretische Analysen von Kooperation, des sozialen Austauschs, von Institutionen und Normen, sozialen Dilemmata und Reziprozität ebenso wie Anwendungen auf strategisches Verhalten in Politik und zwischen Staaten und Firmen, den Auswirkungen von Reziprozitätsnormen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt und einige Anwendungen in der Biologie. Experimentelle Studien zeigen allerdings, dass häufig die strikten Rationalitätsanforderungen der "Standardtheorie" nicht erfüllt sind. Unter dem Stichwort "Behavioural Game Theory" werden in der Vorlesung auch Theorievarianten vorgestellt, die mit den experimentellen Beobachtungen von Entscheidungen "begrenzt rationaler" Akteure besser im Einklang stehen.
Lecture notesFolien der Spieltheorie-Vorlesung und Literatur (Fachartikel, Kapitel aus Lehrbüchern) können auf der Webseite der Vorlesung eingesehen und heruntergeladen werden.
LiteratureKurzer Überblick in Kapitel 10 von Diekmann, Andreas, 2016. Spieltheorie. Einführung, Beispiele, Experimente. 4. Aufl. Reinbek: Rowohlt.
Ausführlich: John H. Kagel und Alvin E. Roth, Hg., 1995, Handbook of Experimental Economics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
(Ein Handapparat dieser und weiterer Literatur wird in der D-GESS-Bibliothek bereitgestellt.)
Literatur zum Download befindet sich auch auf der Webseite:
Prerequisites / NoticeInteresse am Thema und Motivation zur Mitarbeit.
851-0513-00LEconomic SociologyW2 credits2VT. Hinz
AbstractEconony and society are closely interconnected. The lecture presents classical and new sociological approaches to address the complex relationship between economic action and social structure. Issues of specific interest are: rational decision making, consumer behavior, social networks, state and economy, entrepreneurship and discrimination.
ObjectiveThe lecture gives an overview on the "new eonomic sociology". Students learn to analyze economic processes from a sociological point of view, e.g. the relevance of "embeddedness" into social networks for economic exchange.
ContentIn der Vorlesung Wirtschaftssoziologie soll das Verhältnis von Soziologie und Ökonomie theoretisch wie empirisch fruchtbar bearbeitet werden. Wir beschäftigen uns unter soziologischem Blickwinkel mit der Produktion, der Verteilung, dem Austausch und dem Verbrauch knapper Güter und Dienstleistungen. Austauschprozesse unterliegen strukturellen Rahmenbedingungen und Grenzen, sie bedürfen in vielen Situationen normativer Regelungen und einer unterstützenden institutionellen Umgebung. Eine Definition der Wirtschaftssoziologie könnte so lauten: Wirtschaftssoziologie umfasst alle Beobachtungen, Begriffe, Hypothesen, Gesetzmäßigkeiten und Erklärungsmodelle, die sich auf Zusammenhänge von ökonomischen und sozialen Sachverhalten und Prozessen beziehen. Arbeitsgebiete der Wirtschaftssoziologie sind beispielsweise die soziale Bedingtheit wirtschaftlicher Vorgänge, die Rückwirkung ökonomischer Prozesse für gesellschaftliche Strukturen, die sozialen Dimensionen und Verhaltensprämissen, Ähnlichkeiten und Unterschiede zwischen Gesellschaften bezüglich des wirtschaftlichen Geschehens und Zusammenhänge zwischen sozialem und ökonomischem Wandel.

Die Vorlesung behandelt zunächst knapp die makrosoziologischen Klassiker. Die Gründerväter der Soziologie haben wirtschaftlichem Handeln eine überragende Bedeutung für die Konstitution der Gesellschaft beigemessen – ob Marx, Simmel, Weber oder Durkheim. An der Schnittstelle von Soziologie und Ökonomie sind die Mikrotheorien von herausragender Bedeutung. Die Wirtschaftssoziologie ist ein ideales Terrain für Rational Choice Soziologie. Abweichungen vom Modell des Wettbewerbsmarktes und strikter Rationalität begründen in dieser Theorierichtung besonders interessante Analysen. Die Struktursoziologie (im Extremfall: „how people don't have any choices to make“) wird durch die Konzeption sozialer Netzwerke, in denen Austauschprozesse stattfinden, berücksichtigt. Auch das interpretative Paradigma der Mikrosoziologie kann auf Fragestellungen der Wirtschaftssoziologie („the making of markets“) angewandt werden.

Die Wirtschaftssoziologie versteht sich als empirisches Projekt. In der modernen Wirtschaftssoziologie finden sich eine Vielzahl von Analysen ökonomischer Institutionen, von Markt und Organisation, von Konsumverhalten, Firmennetzwerken und Schwarzmärkten.

Einen Überblick zu Theorien und Anwendungsgebieten der Wirtschaftssoziologie gibt das „Handbook of Economic Sociology“ herausgegeben von Richard Swedberg und Neil Smelser (inzwischen in zweiter Auflage erschienen). Die Vorlesung beruht auf einzelnen Beiträgen, ebenso werden eigene Studien vorgestellt.
Lecture notesPdf files (in German) will be available on ILIAS.
LiteratureAbraham, Martin/Hinz, Thomas (2008): Arbeitsmarktsoziologie. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag (2. Auflage).

Braun, Norman/Keuschnigg, Marc/Wolbring, Tobias (2012) Wirtschaftssoziologie (2 Bände). München: Oldenbourg.

Smelser, Neil/Swedberg, Richard (Hrsg.) (2005) Handbook of Economic Sociology. Princeton: UP (2. Auflage).

Weitere Literatur wird zu Veranstaltungsbeginn bekannt gegeben.
Prerequisites / NoticeTeaching in German.
701-0712-00LUse and Perception of Nature Among Societies Outside EuropeW2 credits2VT. Haller Merten
AbstractViews of what we call "nature“" in traditional societies in Africa, Asia and Southern America are presented and discussed. In such subsistence-oriented ethnic groups "nature" is often perceived as being inhabited by gods and spirits. This view is often regarded as being irrational by natural science. But what are the impacts of such religious views on the sustainable use of natural resources?
ObjectiveThis lecture shall give an overview of worldviews of so called traditional societies in Africa, Asia and Southern America. The aim is to understand the way such societies view what we call nature or environment and their strategies to use natural resources. The lecure shall also provide a critical analysis of such processes based on concrete case studies, in which we will discuss problems of sustainable use of natrual resources and participatory processes in the governance of such resources.
ContentDie Studierenden werden dabei mit Vorstellungen und Ideologien von Natur konfrontiert, die sich nicht mit unserer Logik physisch-chemischer und biologischer Abläufe in der "Natur" decken, und die wir somit als "irrational" empfinden. Wir werden uns mit verschiedenen Konzepten aus dem Bereich der Religions-Ethnologie beschäftigen, die sich insbesondere im Bereich Magie, Hexerei und Orakelbefragung mit der "Rationalität" solcher Umweltvorstellungen auseinandersetzen. Seit der Beschäftigung mit der Ökosystemtheorie durch Roy Rappaport erhielt diese "wilde Denken" eine neue Funktion (Rappaport 1971, 1979). Es wurde in Zusammenhang eines gesamten Ökosystems analysiert, zu dessen Erhaltung und zu dessen Fliessgleichgewicht es diene. Diese Sichtweise, obwohl heftig kritisiert, ist von Bedeutung, weil mit der ökologischen Krise man in der industrialisierte Welt Ausschau nach neuen Konzepten hält. Diese werden teilweise in den uns fremden Bildern aussereuropäischer Völker von der "heiligen Natur" gesehen, welche uns als Lehre dienen und zu nachhaltiger Ressourcennutzung führen könnte. Zudem erscheinen die Umwelt-Bilder und Weltsichten dieser Gesellschaften (heute oftmals indigene Völker genannt) auf der praktischen Ebene als gelebter Naturschutz, den es insbesondere für die Konservierung von Biodiversität zu erhalten gilt. Heilige Orte sollen nun auch für den Schutz von beispielsweise Nationalparks oder Biosphärenreservaten dienen. In diesem Zusammenhang ist ein genauer Blick von Nöten, denn Fehlanalysen sind in diesem Bereich fatal und eine unkritische Instrumentalisierung magischer Weltsichten kontraproduktiv. Wo jedoch religiöse Weltsichten der Natur eine im Sinne der Nachhaltigkeit positive Rolle spielen können, ist der Bereich der Institutionen für das Ressourcenmanagement. Dieser Begriff wird hier im Sinne des Neuen Institutionalismus verwendet: Institutionen sind demnach Regeln, Werte und Normen, die das Handeln der Individuen beeinflussen und eine gewisse Sicherheit bezüglich dem erwarteten Verhalten der anderen Individuen einer Gemeinschaft bieten und dabei die sogenannten Transaktionskosten (Informationsbeschaffung bezüglich dem Verhalten anderer Akteure, Überwachung und Sanktionierung) reduzieren (North 1990. Ostrom 1990, Ensminger 1992). Dieser aus der Ökonomie beeinflusste Ansatz weist meines Erachtens interessante Elemente bezüglich der nachhaltigen Nutzung von Ressourcen auf, was sich bei der Nutzung von Kollektivressourcen (Com
Lecture notesZur Veranstaltung gibt es kein Script, aber es wird rechtzeitig ein Ordner mit der relevanten Literatur bereitgestellt. Am Thema Interessierte Studierende können sich bereits in folgenden zwei Büchern ins Thema einlesen:
- Berkes, Fikret. 1999. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Managment. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis.
- Haller, Tobias. 2001. Leere Speicher, erodierte Felder und das Bier der Frauen: Umweltanpassung und Krise bei den Ouldeme und Platha in den Mandarabergen Nord-Kameruns. Studien zur Sozialanthropologie. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.
LiteratureBecker, Dustin, C. and Elinor Ostrom,.1995. Human Ecology and Resource Sustainability: The Importance of Institutional Diversity. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst.1995. No. 26:113-33.
Berkes, Fikret. 1999. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Managment. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis.
Dangwal, Parmesh. 1998. Van Gujjars at Apex of National Park Management. Indigenous Affairs No.4:24-31.
Diener, Paul and Robkin, Eugene E. 1978. Ecology, Evolution, and the Search for Cultural Origins: The Question of Islamic Pig Prohibition. In: Current Anthropology 19, No.3():493-540.
Diener, Paul, Nonini, Donald and Robkin, Eugene E. 1977/78. The Dialectics of the Sacred Cow: Ecological Adaptation versus Political Appropriation in the Origins of Indias Cattle Complex. In: Dialectical Anthropology (Amsterdam) 3: 221-241.
Evans-Pritchard, Edward E. 1978. Hexerei, Magie und Orakel bei den Zande. Frankfurt am Main:Suhrkamp.
Evans-Pritchard, Edward und Mayer Fortes. 1983. Afrikanische politische Systeme, in: Kramer, F. und Siegrist, Ch. eds. Gesellschaften ohne Staat. Frankfurt a. Main:Syndikat: 150-174.
Fairhead, James und Leach, Melissa. 1996. Misreading the African Landscape. Society and ecology in a forest-savanna mosaic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Freed, Stanley A. and Freed, Ruth, S. 1981.Sacred Cows and Water Buffalo in India: The Uses of Ethnography. In. Current Anthropology 22, No.5: 483-502.
Haller, Tobias. 1995.Raub der „Seelenschatten in Nord-Kamerun. Krankheit bei den Ouldeme und Platha in den Mandarabergen“. In: Keller, Frank-Beat (Hg.). Krank warum? Vorstellung der Völker, Heiler und Mediziner, Katalog zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung. Ostfildern: Cantz Verlag. pp.302-306.
Haller, Tobias. 2000. Bodendegradierung und Ernährungskrise bei den Ouldeme und Platha. Umwelt- und Ernährungsprobleme bei zwei Feldbauerngruppen in den Mandarabergen Nord-Kameruns: Eine Folge der Adaptation an Monetarisierung und Wandel traditioneller institutioneller Rahmenbedingungen. In: Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 124 (1999): 335–354.
Haller, Tobias. 2001. Leere Speicher, erodierte Felder und das Bier der Frauen: Umweltanpassung und Krise bei den Ouldeme und Platha in den Mandarabergen Nord-Kameruns. Studien zur Sozialanthropologie. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.
Haller, Tobias. 2002a. „Spiel gegen Risiken in der ‘Natur’“, In: Giordano et al (Hrsg.). Ordnung, Risiko und Gefährdung. Reader des Blockseminars der Schweizerischen
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Veranstaltung beginnt in einem ersten Teil mit einer Reihe von Vorlesungen und wird in einem zweiten Teil mit Lesen und Diskutieren von Texten (Kurzvorträge von den Studierenden) fortgesetzt (nähere Erläuterungen und Programm am Anfang der Veranstaltung).
701-0729-00LSocial Research Methods Restricted registration - show details
Target group: students of BSc Environmental Sciences
W3 credits2GM. Stauffacher, A. Bearth, O. Ejderyan
AbstractThe aim of this course is to impart methodological principles of social science research and thus to stimulate a critical reflection of social science findings. The course provides an insight into the concrete approach and methods of guideline-based interview techniques and questionnaire research.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- describe the significance of method-supported procedures in the social sciences.
- explain the basic principles of social-scientific research.
- critically interpret the results of social-scientific research .
- conduct small-scale interviews and surveys via questionnaires.
ContentAlle Teilnehmenden verpflichten sich zur aktiven Mitarbeit in Form von drei Übungen (leitfadengestütztes Interview, Erstellung von Fragebogen, Erhebung und Auswertung von Fragebogen).

(1) Wozu empirische (Sozial-)Forschung?
(2) Der Forschungsablauf im Überblick, verknüpfen von qualitativen und quantitativen Methoden
(3) Leitfadengestützte Interviews: erstellen Leitfaden, Durchführung und Auswertung
(4) Fragebogen: Hypothesen erarbeiten, Fragebogen erstellen, Durchführung, Daten auswerten, und Resultate darstellen
Lecture notesDie Dozierenden arbeiten mit Folien, die als Handout abgegeben werden.
LiteratureZur ergänzenden Begleitlektüre kann folgendes Buch empfohlen werden:
Bryman, A. (2012, 4th edition). Social research methods. New York: Oxford University Press.
701-0786-00LMediation in Environmental Planning: Theory and Case Studies.W2 credits2GK. Siegwart Merz
AbstractThis course is intended to demonstrate how environmental decisions can be optimized and conflicts better dealt by using mediation. Case studies will focus on construction of windmills for electricity purpose, use of fracking, sustainable city-planning in the field of former industrial area or the establishment of a birds- or a forest-management plan.
Objective- Develop comprehension of legal and social responses to environmental conflicts
- Recognize the most important participative techniques and their ranges
- Develop concepts for doing and evaluating mediation processes
- Estimate the potential and limitations of cooperative environmental planning
- Train communicative skills (presentation, moderation, discussion design, negotiation), especially by participating at a mediation
ContentTo this end, we will look at the most important techniques of mediation and put them into the context of today's legislation, participation and conflict culture. The potential and limitations of the individual techniques will be discussed using current Swiss and international case studies, namely in the field of windenergy. Students can do conflict analyses, for instance, as part of individual and group analyses and a half-day mediation-simulation, develop technique concepts and train their own communicative and negotiation skills.
Lecture notesA reader will be handed out.
052-0704-00LSociology II Information W2 credits2VM. Streule Ulloa Nieto, M. A. Glaser, S. Guinand, C. Schmid
AbstractSociology II introduces in the first and second part major current perspectives of analysis in urban studies (Monika Streule und Sandra Guinand). The third part of the course discusses Housing as social and cultural practice (Marie Glaser).
ObjectiveThis series of lectures enables students to comprehend the built environment in its social context. It approaches the architectural profession from two different angles: macro-sociological and micro-sociological.
ContentIn the first part, Sociology II focuses on current perspectives of analysis in urban studies. Theoretical approaches are presented with the help of concrete case studies. First, the postcolonial perspective in urban studies will be introduced, illustrated with examples of empirical research. This part concludes with an introduction into scientific research by presenting different methods in the analysis of urbanization processes in Mexico City, Toyo and San Francisco (lecturer: Monika Streule). In the second part, different processes of urban regeneration will be discussed looking at various case studies in Europe, North America and North Africa. Followed by a presentation of different forms of gentrification (lecturer: Sandra Guinand). In the third part, different models of housing are discussed (lecturer: Marie Glaser).
Lecture notesNo script - Information available at the following link:
LiteratureVarious texts, in addition to the lecture will be provided.
860-0024-00LDigital Society: Ethical, Societal and Economic Challenges Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants is limited to 35
W3 credits2VM. M. Dapp
AbstractThis seminar will address ethical challenges coming along with new digital technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, artificial
intelligence, cognitive computing, quantum computing, robots, drones, Internet of Things, virtual reality, blockchain technology, and more...
ObjectiveParticipants shall learn to understand that any technology implies not only opportunities, but also risks, and that it is important to
understand these well in order to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits. In some cases, it is highly non-trivial to identify and
avoid undesired side effects of technologies. The seminar will sharpen the attention how to design technologies for values,
also called value-sensitive design or ethically aligned design.
LiteratureWill be provided on a complementary website of the course. Complementary literature should be searched and evaluated by the students
Prerequisites / NoticeTo earn credit points, students will have to read the relevant literature on one of the above technologies and give a
presentation about the ethical implications. Both, potential problems and possible solutions shall be carefully discussed.
860-0022-00LComplexity and Global Systems Science Information Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 64.

Prerequisites: solid mathematical skills.

Particularly suitable for students of D-ITET, D-MAVT and ISTP
W3 credits2VD. Helbing
AbstractThis course discusses complex techno-socio-economic systems, their counter-intuitive behaviors, and how their theoretical understanding empowers us to solve some long-standing problems that are currently bothering the world.
ObjectiveParticipants should learn to get an overview of the state of the art in the field, to present it in a well understandable way to an interdisciplinary scientific audience, to develop models for open problems, to analyze them, and to defend their results in response to critical questions. In essence, participants should improve their scientific skills and learn to think scientifically about complex dynamical systems.
ContentThis course starts with a discussion of the typical and often counter-intuitive features of complex dynamical systems such as self-organization, emergence, (sudden) phase transitions at "tipping points", multi-stability, systemic instability, deterministic chaos, and turbulence. It then discusses phenomena in networked systems such as feedback, side and cascade effects, and the problem of radical uncertainty. The course progresses by demonstrating the relevance of these properties for understanding societal and, at times, global-scale problems such as traffic jams, crowd disasters, breakdowns of cooperation, crime, conflict, social unrests, political revolutions, bubbles and crashes in financial markets, epidemic spreading, and/or "tragedies of the commons" such as environmental exploitation, overfishing, or climate change. Based on this understanding, the course points to possible ways of mitigating techno-socio-economic-environmental problems, and what data science may contribute to their solution.
Prerequisites / NoticeMathematical skills can be helpful
851-0252-19LApplied Generalized Linear ModelsW3 credits2VV. Amati
AbstractGeneralized linear models are a class of models for the analysis of multivariate datasets. This class subsumes linear models for quantitative response, binomial models for binary response, loglinear models for categorical data, Poisson models for count data. Models are presented and practiced from a problem oriented perspective using applications from the social, economic and behavioural sciences.
ObjectiveThe aim of this course is to acquire knowledge about generalized linear models and a practical understanding of how to apply these models. Further objectives for the course participants are to be able to choose the most suitable methods to analyse multidimensional datasets, to perform the analysis using the statistical software R, and to critically assess the results obtained.
ContentThe following topics will be covered:

* Introduction to generalized linear models
* The general linear model: ANOVA and ANCOVA
* Models for binary outcomes: logistic regression and probit models
* Models for nominal outcomes: multinomial logistic regression and related models
* Models for ordinal outcomes: ordered logistic regression and probit models
* Models for count outcomes: Poisson and negative binomial models
Lecture notesLecture notes are distributed via the associated course moodle.
Literature* Long, J. Scott. (1997). Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
* Hosmer, David W, Lemeshow, Stanley, & Sturdivant, Rodney X. (2013). Applied logistic regression. Hoboken: Wiley.
* Fox, John. (2016). Applied regression analysis and generalized linear models (Third ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
* Fox, John, & Weisberg, Sanford. (2019). An R companion to applied regression (Third ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
Prerequisites / NoticeA sound understanding of estimation methods, hypothesis testing and linear regression models (OLS) is required
851-0586-02LThe Spectacles of MeasurementW3 credits2VU. Brandes
AbstractIf you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Explorations into mathematical foundations and societal implications of measuring humans, processes, and things in an increasingly datafied world.
ObjectiveStudents have a basic understanding of what makes a property quantifiable. They know the difference between operational and representational measurement, and the consequences this has for both, the collection of data and its use in decision making and control. With a critical attitude toward datafication, contextual differences are appreciated across domains such as science and engineering, health and sports, or governance and policy making.
ContentMeasurement Theory
- representations, scales
- meaningfulness
- direct vs. indirect, conjoint measurement

Measurement Practice
- units and standards
- sensors and intruments
- items and questionnaires

Measurement Politics
- administration and control, adaptation
- digitization, e-democracy, privacy
Lecture notesSlides made available in a course moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents pair up in teams to write an essay on a measurement problem they care about (such as one pertinent to their discipline or research).
851-0109-00LPublic Images of ScienceW3 credits2VM. Bucchi
AbstractThe course will analize in a historical and sociological approach the public images of science and scientists and their major changes.
ObjectiveIn particular, we will explore the following subjects: the role of the visual element in the communication of science and its public representation; the role of ‘visible scientists’, with particular consideration of Nobel Prize winners; events and affairs that have shaped the public perception of science and the relationship between science and society.
ContentThe course will analize in a historical and sociological approach the public images of science and scientists and their major changes.
In particular, we will explore the following subjects: the role of the visual element in the communication of science and its public representation; the role of ‘visible scientists’, with particular consideration of Nobel Prize winners; events and affairs that have shaped the public perception of science and the relationship between science and society.
Various examples will be quoted and discussed, and will illustrate the Italian science and its relationship to society and to the various cultural fields (literature, visual arts, gastronomy), with particular reference to the period from the second half of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century.
851-0110-00LThe Frontier in LiteratureW3 credits2VM. Énard
AbstractIn this course, I will develop a reflexion around borders, limits, and frontiers in literature.
ObjectiveWe will focus on subjects such as bilingualism, multilingualism, and the representation of the
front in the literature of war.
ContentIn this course, I will develop a reflexion around borders, limits, and frontiers in literature. We will focus on subjects such as bilingualism, multilingualism, and the representation of the front in the literature of war. The teaching language is French, however, by definition, to be
interested in such subjects, implies also the exploration of texts and/or linguistic domains
outside of 'Francophonie'.
851-0745-00LEthics Workshop: The Impact of Digital Life on Society Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 30.

Open to all Master level / PhD students.
W2 credits2SE. Vayena, A. Blasimme, C. Brall, F. Gille, J. Sleigh
AbstractThis workshop focuses on understanding and managing the ethical and social issues arising from the integration of new technologies in various aspects of daily life.
ObjectiveExplain relevant concepts in ethics.
Evaluate the ethical dimensions of new technology uses.
Identify impacted stakeholders and who is ethically responsible.
Engage constructively in the public discourse relating to new technology impacts.
Review tools and resources currently available that facilitate resolutions and ethical practice
Work in a more ethically reflective way
ContentThe workshop offers students an experience that trains their ability for critical analysis and develops awareness of responsibilities as a researcher, consumer and citizen. Learning will occur in the context of three intensive workshop days, which are highly interactive and focus on the development and application of reasoning skills.

The workshop will begin with some fundamentals: the nature of ethics, of consent and big data, of AI ethics, public trust and health ethics. Students will then be introduced to key ethical concepts such as fairness, autonomy, trust, accountability, justice, as well different ways of reasoning about the ethics of digital technologies.

A range of practical problems and issues in the domains of education, news media, society, social media, digital health and justice will be then considered. These six domains are represented respectively by unique and interesting case studies. Each case study has been selected not only for its timely and engaging nature, but also for its relevance. Through the analysis of these case studies key ethical questions (such as fairness, accountability, explain-ability, access etc.) will be highlighted and questions of responsibility and tools for ethical practice will be explored. Throughout, the emphasis will be on learning to make sound arguments about the ethical aspects of policy, practice and research.
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