Monday, November 2, 2020

PACS Courses Winter 2021

Course selection for Waterloo students is over on November 5th, but don't fret! There's still plenty of time to choose Winter 2021 courses, including these five featured PACS courses! If you miss the course selection date, you can still switch your schedule around during the Add/Drop Period, beginning November 30th, or during the first few weeks of January 2021. However you choose to do it, be sure to check out these fantastic PACS course offerings!

PACS 202/LS 271 Conflict Resolution

This course explores the range of methods for responding to conflict, as well as helping students reflect on their own stance within the conflicts they experience. The course opens the door for students to respond in new ways to their own conflicts, making it what some have called the most practical course on campus.


PACS 301 Special Topics: The Future of War and Peace: Drones, Robots, and the Role of Peace Research

Advances in technology and the increasing use of drones, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyberwarfare has changed the landscape of war in the future. This will require a new set of responses from peace advocates, and peace research will play an increasingly important role. Join Cesar and Branka from Project Ploughshares, located at Grebel in the Centre for Peace Advancement, one of the world’s leading organizations in leveraging peace research for policy responses and social good. (Note: This course is back by popular demand!)


PACS 302 Special Topics: Math for Good and Evil

This course is built on the conviction that the kinds of problems mathematicians and computer scientists seek to address, and the ways they seek to address them, should matter for anyone interested in advancing peace in the world. The peace implications of math and computer science are explored in connection to topics such as wealth, democracy, policing, oppression, war, environment, and health. Students engage with the material through reading, writing and discussion and are not asked to do any computation. This course is open students in all programs and faculties, from first year on, with all levels of comfort (or discomfort) with mathematics.


PACS 312 Quest for Peace in Literature and Film

Stories, narratives and images possess a power to intimately engage the experience of violent conflict, structural injustice and the pursuit of peace. This course explores a wide variety of works, from poems to short stories, novels to films, and asks: how do works of literature and film tell stories of the quest for peace?  In what ways do they shape our understanding of the world ,and what is necessary or possible on this quest for peace?


PACS 490 Special Topics: Map the System

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, humanity is confronted with a mounting series of historic crises requiring unprecedented interdisciplinary responses. This course will utilize systems thinking to equip students to research cutting-edge peace and justice challenges, and better position them to pursue systemic change in the midst of this complex context. Through the course, students will participate in Map the System, a global competition organized by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford. Map the System provides the opportunity for student teams to present their understanding of a system related to their chosen local or global challenge, their understanding of existing solution efforts, and their identification of impact gaps or levers of change. Please note: it's rare for a special topics course to be at the 400-level! If you're an upper-year student looking at grad school, a 400-level course looks very good on your transcripts.


These courses are available for Winter 2021, and can be accessed through the course selection function on quest. Be sure to keep an eye on UWaterloo's Important Dates Calendar, and contact Rachel Anderson, the PACS Undergraduate Advisor, if you have any questions.