Program Details

In this course you learn to look with the eyes of a computer scientist, to understand the potential and limitations of computing and to apply these insights to such topics as social networks, biological processes, language and consciousness.
Location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:

“Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” – Edgar W. Dijkstra.

Interaction with computers has become a big part of our daily life, but they do much more than help us with practicalities. They are tools for understanding the fundamentals of information, processes and human thinking. The insights they have brought us are some of the most important in human history, with far-reaching consequences for society. In this course you learn to look with the eyes of a computer scientist, to understand the potential and limitations of computing and to apply these insights to such topics as social networks, biological processes, language and consciousness.

Specific subjects we investigate are:

  • The science of algorithms, their power, universality and limits. This includes some programming, but for the most part you explore algorithmics away from the computer.

  • The science of data: encoding, compression and pattern recognition.

  • Taming complexity: dividing the problem, the search as a general heuristic and quantum computing.

  • Computing and philosophy: the ethics of big data and AI, free will and consciousness.

Learning objectives:

  • You understand the possibilities – and limitations – of computing, and how they shape our world, our organizations and our thinking.

  • You can apply computational thinking in a range of areas, even ones apparently unrelated to computing.

  • You can interact knowledgeably with programmers and other IT specialists.

Setting Description:
With over 180 unique nationalities, Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures and embraces different cultures, religions, and lifestyles. 165 canals criss-cross the entire city, giving it its nickname ‘Venice of the North.’ The city also features more bikes than inhabitants! With a bustling creative industry, Amsterdam offers plenty of cultural activities and events throughout the year. In Amsterdam you can benefit from the advantages of a big city with enough quiet spots to kick back and relax.
Cost:
1150 EUR. The tuition fee includes: • Airport pick-up service • Welcome goodie bag • Orientation programme • Course excursions • On-site support • Emergency assistance • Transcript of records after completion of the course

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

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