2013 Working Groups

The Continental-Analytic Divide in Philosophy: Scientific and General Implications

Jonathan Lopez

This group will explore the following questions: what exactly is this divide, and why is this boundary impermeable to dialogue? What implications does this divide have for ethics, science, and other fields? Drawing on the diverse experience of whoever attends this group, discourse will attempt to map out some potential answers with a focus on the implications relevant to participants. It should be noted that no previous experience in philosophy is required but enthusiasm of philosophy is an asset.

Collaboration without Boundaries

Prateek Gupta & David Sands

This group will explore implicit boundaries in collaboration projects of various scales from various perspectives to understand why they exist and what can be gained from breaking them.  It will take an action-based approach to showing how these boundaries can be changed.

Arts & Science & Jargon – Boundaries of Language

Jae Eun Ryu, Alon Coret & Sam Godfrey

This group will provide an exploration of the various ways in which language limits and frees us in our study of the arts and the sciences.  From a discussion of specific differences between languages and how they affect thought, this group will move to a discussion of language barriers between the arts and the sciences.

Boundaries – Limits, or opportunities?

Kami Valkova & Sylvia Han

This group will explore the concept of perceiving boundaries as opportunities as opposed to limits, and seeing them as mental and social constructs that can be abolished.  This group will examine the role of boundaries in our lives through discussion of definitions, personal experiences, and examples of innovators reacting to boundaries.

Sustainability: an Interdisciplinary Community

Victor Lam & Alan Chen

This group will explore sustainability from the perspective of interdisciplinary programs at the university level and gain awareness of sustainability efforts in different contexts. There will be discussion on how the interdisciplinary community can mobilize and enable change in how we learn about and implement sustainable practices.

The Problem of Interdisciplinary Education: a Design Lab

Brianna Smrke, Michael Hewlett, Jeremy Henderson & Nate Reilly

This group will take on the structure of a design lab to discuss some of the challenges we face as students of interdisciplinary programs. The design lab structure will be introduced to expose participants to the power of taking advantage of all of a group’s strengths to tackle a problem, and how they can use that power to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary education.

Why Does “Normal” Exist?

Bess Mitchell

This group will explore the relationship between disability and “normal society”, focussing on the different boundaries that bar people with disabilities from being fully integrated into society. A deep look will be taken into personal perspectives of disability and how it shapes our view of “normal” and why we find it so easy to notice differences in our fellow humans.

How Can we Overcome Interpersonal Barriers to Collaborate Better?

Devin Howard

This group will explore the kinds of cognitive biases that affect our everyday lives and put up boundariesin our activity with other people. Ingroup vs. outgroup topics, group polarization, Janusian thought, and cognitive dissonance will all be discussed.

An Interdisciplinary, Gandhian Approach to Sustainable Agriculture Development in India

Shanthiya Baheerathan & Sid Gandhi

This group will explore how interdisciplinary perspectives can help or hinder the current approach to Food Security in India. Questions regarding such topics as communication of local and scientific knowledge, implementation of Gandhian values, and policy will be discussed.

Turning the Tide

Osman Raza

Boundaries are limits that we self-construct. We as interdisciplinary students have a broader education and a more diverse background. We are able to see humanities and sciences as complementary rather than two solitudes. The broad interdisciplinary education guides you to where the world is going. There’s the ever-growing notion that employers are seeking well-rounded graduates. Yet some still consider liberal-style of learning impractical. We need graduates who are intellectually agile and well trained. It’s not about ideas, it about making ideas happen.

The Challenge of Bounded Perspectives in Complex Problem Solving

Benjamin Carr

An integral challenge facing any who wish to work in areas that deal with complex problems, is how to effectively surface and integrate the perspectives of individuals from different disciplines, sectors, and backgrounds. Exploring this research question will serve as an experiential learning opportunity for members of this group to examine the boundaries of their own perspectives and how this impacts transdisciplinary collaboration. Models such as Hierarchy Theory, Bounded Rationality, the Adaptive Cycle, Design Thinking, Change-Labs, and Art of Hosting, will be examined to provide different perspectives on the research question.