Catastrophic Risks and Solutions (CRS)

photo of an atomic explosion

This concentration allows students to focus on understanding, anticipating, communicating, and reducing large-scale catastrophic risks, defined as threats to large cities, regions, ethnic groups, entire societies, human civilization, or humanity itself. Examples include climate change, pandemics, ecosystem collapse, famine, nuclear war, genocide, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, and uncontrolled or hostile artificial intelligence. Students in this concentration will choose one or several such risks and define a plan of study that includes analysis, tools for understanding, and current knowledge of how they might be solved or reduced in scale and scope. Examples of analysis and tools for understanding include scientific approaches (statistics, modeling), social science approaches (psychology, anthropology, or sociology of risk), and humanistic studies (history, philosophy, fiction, film, art). 

STS Concentration Area Requirements

  • 4 (BS) or 8 (BA) Socio-cultural courses from the approved course list for the selected concentration area. Your list must include 3 courses from the Concentration Core.
  • 4 (BA) or 8 (BS) Technical courses from the approved course list for the selected concentration area

  • A cohesive overall theme, or two, that articulate how your Concentration Core and Sociocultural courses help you to critically examine your Technical courses.

50+ units; 12 course minimum. Note that the 50-unit requirement may require taking additional courses and that approved courses may not be approved for your specific concentration, if your curriculum does not achieve the above requirements as a whole.

Don't forget the Major Requirements : As for all concentrations, students will need to fulfill the Program Core course requirement (26+ units; 8 course minimum with grade C minimum). 

Socio-Cultural Courses (4 BS/8 BS)

STS Sociocultural Courses

  • Provide historical, social, cultural and/or political context for specific areas of science and technology in each concentration

  • May include STS Program Core or Concentration Core courses not used to fulfill those requirements

  • Electives must be part of a cohesive plan approved by the STS Associate Director

  • See major requirements for more information

Title
Instructor
Quarter
Day, Time, Location

Trounce, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
11:00 AM
1:00 PM
School of Medicine Room

Altman, R. (PI)
Magnus, D. (PI)
Patnaik, R. (TA)
Samuel-Gama, K. (TA)
Li, P. (TA)
Washington, P. (TA)
Maikawa, C. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
3:15 PM
4:45 PM

Jacobson, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
11:30 AM
1:00 PM
Shriram Ctr BioChemE 104

Woodward, J. (PI)
Gragg, D. (PI)
Stasio, K. (PI)
Hills-Bunnell, D. (TA)
Michielssen, M. (TA)
Amoh, B. (TA)
Palmer, F. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday Wednesday Friday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
540-108

Woodward, J. (PI)
Gragg, D. (PI)
Stasio, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:30 AM
1:00 PM

Jacobson, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Skilling 190

Holt, A. (PI)
Palumbo-Liu, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Lathrop 292

Naimark, N. (PI)
Jolluck, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday
1:30 PM
4:30 PM
200-105

DESINST 245
Units:
3-4

2021 - 2022
Spring

Gerritsen, M. (PI)
Kovscek, A. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM

Naylor, R. (PI)
Grattan, T. (TA)
Kushel, C. (TA)
Belongia, M. (TA)
Robles-Baez, C. (TA)
Stock, A. (TA)
Frank, Z. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
200-002

Openshaw, J. (PI)
Jones, J. (PI)
Thomas, A. (TA)
Muraida, C. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Spring

EARTHSYS 160
Units:
4-5

Chan, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Yasmin, S. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday
1:30 PM
4:30 PM
Y2E2 101

EARTHSYS 185
Units:
4-5

Lobell, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Thornt110

Wong-Parodi, G. (PI)
Berlin Rubin, N. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Y2E2 101

Wolak, F. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
11:00 AM
1:00 PM
160-315

Naylor, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM

Goulder, L. (PI)
Kissel, H. (TA)
Grasley, N. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
11:00 AM
1:00 PM
STLC111

Soon, V. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
200-034

Dupuy, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday
1:30 PM
4:30 PM
240-101

HISTORY 203C
Units:
5

Proctor, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday
9:45 AM
12:45 PM
200-105

Kaplan, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Thursday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center 102

Buono, S. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Lathrop 191

Patenaude, B. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Summer

LAW 2504
Units:
3

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday
4:15 PM
7:15 PM

Seiger, A. (PI)
Gordon, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Wednesday
4:15 PM
6:15 PM

LAW 2515
Units:
2

Anderson, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Thursday
4:15 PM
6:15 PM

Bloom, G. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Wednesday
1:30 PM
4:30 PM
Alway Building, Room M112

Bloom, G. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Saturday
1:15 PM
2:15 PM

Weyant, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Shriram Ctr BioChemE 052

Lin, H. (PI)
Kumar, R. (TA)
Rajesh, N. (TA)
Tokuyama, D. (TA)
O'Donohue, A. (TA)
Alpert, L. (TA)
Person, H. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Remote

Laurent, E. (PI)
calefas-strebelle, a. (GP)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Mastro, O. (PI)
Carlson, M. (PI)
Nelson, R. (TA)
Dalton, M. (TA)
Napier, C. (TA)
Bate, J. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
STLC114

Nation, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Wednesday
6:45 PM
8:45 PM
370-370

Starkman, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

STS 190
Units:
4

Sato, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM

Sato, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
160-314

THINK 65
Units:
4

Luby, S. (PI)
Edwards, P. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
Concentration Core (CC) Courses: 3 required for BA/BS

STS Concentration Core courses

CC, formerly Foundational

 

  • Are specifically designated sociocultural courses directly relevant to the chosen STS concentration 
  • Provide students with tools to critically engage with the knowledge and skills they are learning in their technical courses
  • Cannot be double-counted with student’s choice of Program Core courses
  • Cannot be substituted or petitioned
Title
Instructor
Quarter
Day, Time, Location

Naylor, R. (PI)
Grattan, T. (TA)
Kushel, C. (TA)
Belongia, M. (TA)
Robles-Baez, C. (TA)
Stock, A. (TA)
Frank, Z. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
200-002

HISTORY 203C
Units:
5

Proctor, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday
9:45 AM
12:45 PM
200-105

STS 190
Units:
4

Sato, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM

Sato, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
160-314

THINK 65
Units:
4

Luby, S. (PI)
Edwards, P. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
Technical Courses (4 BA/8 BS)

STS Technical Courses

  • Courses involving lab work, engineering problems, coding, or other technical work in science, technology, or medicine

  • Help build technical knowledge and skills relevant to the chosen concentration

  • Students seeking the B.S. degree take more of these

  • The majority of Technical Electives should be a sequence (or two sequences) of increasingly advanced levels. In general, introductory courses with little technical content will not be approved. 

  • At least one sequence should be accompanied by either Concentration Core or Sociocultural Electives that allow you to examine and analyze its context and social consequences

Title
Instructor
Quarter
Day, Time, Location

Kopperud, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
260-113

Wong-Parodi, G. (PI)
Ouyang, D. (PI)
Suckale, J. (PI)
Srinivas, S. (TA)
Duan, J. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Y2E2 292A

Ouyang, D. (PI)
Suckale, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Y2E2 292E

Freyberg, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Y2E2 111

CEE 263C
Units:
3

Palmer, F. (TA)
Jacobson, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Turingaud

CEE 274D
Units:
3

Criddle, C. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM

CEE 278A
Units:
3

Hildemann, L. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
2:45 PM
3:45 PM
530-127

Galvis, F. (TA)
Miranda, E. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Kiremidjian, A. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
11:30 AM
1:00 PM
Y2E2 111

Baker, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

McCann, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

CS 21SI
Units:
2

Piech, C. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Wednesday
5:30 PM
7:30 PM

Boneh, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

Liang, P. (PI)
Sagawa, S. (TA)
Sadigh, D. (PI)
Fang, F. (TA)
Piseno, M. (TA)
Li, T. (TA)
Liao, M. (TA)
Shen, K. (TA)
Khanna, S. (TA)
Palaparthi, A. (TA)
Yu, K. (TA)
Zhou, Z. (TA)
Gillespie, L. (TA)
Wu, Y. (TA)
Lowe, S. (TA)
Wang, Y. (TA)
Sridhar, A. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Remote

Hashimoto, T. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

Manning, C. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
3:15 PM
4:45 PM
NVIDIA Auditorium

CS 224W
Units:
3-4

Leskovec, J. (PI)
Reyes Gomez, F. (TA)
Porter, A. (TA)
Ren, H. (TA)
Hu, W. (TA)
Ogut, G. (TA)
Chang, S. (TA)
Su, X. (TA)
Chen, X. (TA)
Liu, Y. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
NVIDIA Auditorium

CS 229
Units:
3-4

Charikar, M. (PI)
Ng, A. (PI)
Sachidananda, V. (TA)
Bhaskhar, N. (TA)
Thomas, G. (TA)
Cheong, R. (TA)
Knowles, T. (TA)
Wolff, C. (TA)
Jung, S. (TA)
Chou, K. (TA)
Srikanth, M. (TA)
Nicholls, A. (TA)
Waites, C. (TA)
Yan, X. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Remote

CS 229
Units:
3-4

Re, C. (PI)
Ma, T. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
3:15 PM
4:45 PM

CS 229
Units:
3-4

Chinchali, S. (TA)
Kim, C. (TA)
Bhaskhar, N. (TA)
Avati, A. (PI)
Zhang, J. (TA)
Bakr, S. (TA)
Geng, Z. (TA)
Song, R. (TA)
Jung, S. (TA)
Liu, C. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Summer

CS 230
Units:
3-4

Ng, A. (PI)
Kanodia, A. (TA)
Joshi, R. (TA)
Katanforoosh, K. (PI)
Wulfovich, M. (TA)
Ramjee, S. (TA)
Kanodia, S. (TA)
Hong, F. (TA)
Chen, Y. (TA)
Li, V. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:45 AM
Remote

CS 230
Units:
3-4

Ng, A. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:45 AM

Li, F. (PI)
Wu, J. (PI)
Gao, R. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

CS 236
Units:
3

Ermon, S. (PI)
Shu, R. (TA)
Sethi, T. (TA)
Song, Y. (PI)
Saladi, V. (TA)
Velu, A. (TA)
Patel, M. (TA)
He, K. (TA)
Lee, J. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Wednesday Friday
11:30 AM
1:00 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center 200

Boneh, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
Gates B1

Landay, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Wednesday Friday
11:30 AM
1:00 PM

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM

Callaghan, E. (PI)
Carney, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday
5:30 PM
7:00 PM
Departmental Room

EARTH 2
Units:
3

Diffenbaugh, N. (PI)
Burke, M. (PI)
Lobell, D. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
260-113

Durlofsky, L. (PI)
Azevedo, I. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center Rm 101

Casciotti, K. (PI)
Vitousek, P. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
STLC114

Openshaw, J. (PI)
Jones, J. (PI)
Thomas, A. (TA)
Muraida, C. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Eggleston, K. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Tuesday Thursday
9:45 AM
11:15 AM
Lathrop 180

Durlofsky, L. (PI)
Azevedo, I. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
1:30 PM
2:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center Rm 101

de Chalendar, J. (PI)
Hennessy, N. (TA)
Grekin, R. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Green Earth Sciences104

2021 - 2022
Spring

Diffenbaugh, N. (PI)
Ly, A. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Wednesday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Y2E2 105

Caers, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Monday Wednesday Friday
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Green Earth Sciences150

Segall, P. (PI)
Zheng, Y. (TA)
Wang, K. (TA)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Biondi, B. (PI)
Tikoo, S. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Autumn

Monday
1:30 PM
3:30 PM
Mitch 350 plus 372

Amieva, M. (PI)
Chen, S. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Winter

Chueh, W. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

Sweeney, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

Weyant, J. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Tuesday Thursday
3:15 PM
4:45 PM
Huang Engineering Center 203

STATS 101
Units:
5

Sklar, M. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Robinson, B. (PI)

2021 - 2022
Spring

Not Currently Offered Courses

These courses are approved for one or more the STS concentrations but are not offered this academic year. You may find tabbing back to previous academic years in Explore Courses is helpful to see when courses have been offered historically. STS does not determine when courses in other departments will be offered as course offerings are at the discretion of the departments who own them.

 

Title

COMPLIT 207
Tagged for:
Core Social Science and Humanities, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core

COMPLIT 371
Tagged for:
Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural

HISTORY 179C
Tagged for:
Core Social Science and Humanities, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Core Social Science and Humanities - Global

HISTORY 234P
Tagged for:
Core Social Science and Humanities, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Core Social Science and Humanities - Global, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core

STS 51A
Tagged for:
Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core, Social Dynamics of Data and Information Core, Innovation and Organization Core, Communication and Media Core, Innovation and Organization Socio-Cultural, Communication and Media Socio-Cultural, Politics and Policy Core, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Social Dynamics of Data and Information Socio-Cultural, Life Sciences and Health Core, Life Sciences and Health Socio-Cultural, Politics and Policy Socio-Cultural

STS 51B
Tagged for:
Communication and Media Core, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core, Social Dynamics of Data and Information Core, Innovation and Organization Core, Politics and Policy Core, Life Sciences and Health Core, Communication and Media Socio-Cultural, Politics and Policy Socio-Cultural, Innovation and Organization Socio-Cultural, Life Sciences and Health Socio-Cultural, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Social Dynamics of Data and Information Socio-Cultural

STS 51C
Tagged for:
Social Dynamics of Data and Information Core, Politics and Policy Core, Life Sciences and Health Core, Innovation and Organization Core, Communication and Media Core, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Core, Communication and Media Socio-Cultural, Politics and Policy Socio-Cultural, Innovation and Organization Socio-Cultural, Life Sciences and Health Socio-Cultural, Catastrophic Risks and Solutions Socio-Cultural, Social Dynamics of Data and Information Socio-Cultural
Recommended Concentration Advisors
French and Italian
Inter-Departmental Programs
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Political Science
Science, Technology and Society