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Professor at University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Professor at University of Maryland - Baltimore County >

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Videos
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Artificial Intelligence
Episode 34 of Redefining Reality
Trace the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) from simple calculating machines to computers that can vanquish chess masters. Learn the distinction between weak AI, such as a chess-playing machine, and strong AI, which is a machine that has a truly…
Jung and the Behaviorists
Episode 17 of Redefining Reality
Trace the different directions psychology took before World War II. Carl Jung extended Freud's ideas to encompass a universal collective unconscious. Meanwhile, the behaviorists rejected the mind to focus on observable behavior, an approach that had profound influence on advertising…
Metaphysics and the Nature of Science
Episode 1 of Redefining Reality
Start with the metaphysical concept of reality and how it led to a scientific worldview. Then see how the scientific picture of reality changes as theories are refined or overthrown. Explore examples such as the germ theory of disease and…
Evolutionary Psychology
Episode 21 of Redefining Reality
If the human brain is the result of evolutionary processes, then many shared psychological traits must have adaptive advantages. Explore this intriguing view, known as evolutionary psychology. See how it can be illustrated by a simple logic problem, which perplexes…
The Birth of Sociology
Episode 22 of Redefining Reality
Culture imprints itself on our brains through the process of socialization. Investigate the insights that sociology provides--from the 19th-century founder of the discipline, Auguste Comte, to Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim, who suggested that crime has an unappreciated…
Genes and Identity
Episode 15 of Redefining Reality
The mechanism that drives evolution was not discovered until long after Darwin's death. Follow the clues that led researchers first to the cell nucleus, then to chromosomes and genes, and finally to the DNA molecule as the agent of heredity.…
Chaos Theory
Episode 10 of Redefining Reality
Traditional attempts to understand the world assumed that it was regular, simple, periodic, and predictable. But nature surprised scientists, giving them a richer picture of reality through chaos theory, which includes fractal structures. Learn how chaos is not randomness but…
Genetic Engineering
Episode 31 of Redefining Reality
Explore the history of genetic engineering, which has roots in the imaginary hybrid creatures of ancient myth. Learn how real hybrids can be made by splicing genes for desired traits into the genome of an organism. Then discover how this…
General Relativity
Episode 5 of Redefining Reality
Relativity was incomplete until Einstein formulated a general theory of relativity that incorporated gravity. See how this breakthrough demolished the age-old idea of gravity as a force, replacing it with the concept of warped spacetime, leading to strange predictions such…
Technology and Death
Episode 29 of Redefining Reality
Reality for the individual ends at death. But medical technology is making that endpoint increasingly hard to define. Consider what it means to die and the complications that would ensue if we developed brain transplants or found the secret of…
The Birth of Psychology
Episode 16 of Redefining Reality
The quest to understand human behavior inspired researchers to study the mind. Investigate the theories of Sigmund Freud, who gave the world a new vocabulary, including concepts like ego, id, and superego. Learn how Freud's legacy has been especially enduring…
Exoplanets and Extraterrestrial Life
Episode 28 of Redefining Reality
Fiction writers have led the way in exploring the prospects of life beyond Earth. See how scientists are catching up, looking for extraterrestrial organisms using a variety of ingenious techniques. Learn how they are narrowing the search and which tantalizing…
Data Analytics
Episode 36 of Redefining Reality
Today's networked culture is a dream come true for researchers in fields from marketing to sociology to epidemiology. Learn how big data puts potentially everyone and everything under the microscope of analysis, creating a comprehensive view of the intricate reality…
The Origin of Life
Episode 27 of Redefining Reality
Apply the reality-analyzing tools you've learned in the course to the problem of life. Consider the close connection between life and sunlight. Then look at the startling exception to this rule: the fauna that flourish around volcanic vents in the…
Race and Reality
Episode 24 of Redefining Reality
What differences between groups are real, and what differences are as arbitrary as a political boundary? Address this question regarding race, which less than a century ago was considered firmly rooted in biological reality. Trace the evidence that led this…
Social Progress
Episode 25 of Redefining Reality
Continue your investigation of social reality by looking at the concept of progress. Social optimists and pessimists alike believe that society is progressing, but they see different causes. Evaluate their theories, and explore the idea that Western culture is doomed…
The Internet and Virtual Reality
Episode 35 of Redefining Reality
For all of their ubiquity, personal computers, email, and the Internet represent a major departure in the evolution of computer technology. Witness the exciting and improbable birth of personal computing in the 1970s, and explore the nature of the virtual…
Defining Reality
Episode 2 of Redefining Reality
Take a step back to define reality as understood by the ancient Greeks. Then work your way forward through revolutionary ideas about reality proposed by Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and finally Newton, who inspired the Age of Enlightenment. Close…
Mathematics in Crisis
Episode 3 of Redefining Reality
The most secure science, mathematics, hit the rocks of uncertainty in the 19th and 20th centuries. Trace the shocking discoveries of non-Euclidean geometries, Cantor's paradoxes of infinite sets, and the incompleteness theorem of Kurt Godel. See how Alice in Wonderland…
The Reality of Money
Episode 26 of Redefining Reality
For all of its abstractness, money is a powerfully real phenomenon. Delve into the intricate events that unfold as money, goods, and services are exchanged in the economy. Examine how the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and the results of…