The Bju program at the University of Melbourne has introduced a series of online courses which aim to equip students to tackle the major challenges of the 21st century, including climate change and the threat of artificial intelligence.
The course, which will be launched this summer, will teach students how to design, implement and run simulations for modelling climate change.
Students will also learn about the history of climate change from an evolutionary perspective, and how we can prepare for future changes.
The Bsm curriculum will be designed by Professor John Watson from the University’s School of Computer Science and is aimed at students in the university’s BCom programme.
Dr Watson said the course was “designed to provide students with an introduction to the scientific literature and the tools necessary to solve complex problems”.
“We are confident that this will be of great value to students and the broader community in the BCom program and beyond.”
The course has a total of two courses, one at the beginning of the semester and one at either end.
Both will be online, and the course will be taught on the first day of each week.
“We’ve made the decision to go online at the end of the year to give students a chance to have a look at it and get feedback,” Dr Watson told New Scientist.
“The course will continue to be taught as a group.”
The first course is set to start in the second week of September.
The first week of the program is a Tuesday morning class for students in this year’s BCOM programme.
The second week is a Thursday evening class for the first week.
Topics to be covered include the impact of climate and artificial intelligence on society and how to make informed decisions.
“It’s a great opportunity to give some hands-on experience with the fundamentals of climate science and how you can think through different ways to mitigate climate change,” Dr Worthington said.
“Our students are really keen to learn more about how the sciences work and how the world can make better choices about how we live and work in the future.”
The courses will run for three months, starting in August.
Dr Wortington said the first two weeks will be spent in a virtual environment and the third week will be on paper.
He said the aim of the project was to have the students understand the fundamentals behind climate change science.
“What’s important is that they understand the basics and understand the underlying science, so they have a good understanding of how it’s developed,” Dr Worryton said, adding that he would like to have students learn the basics of climate modeling in the next two weeks.
“They have to be able to solve these problems, so it’s important to have those hands- on experiences.”
Professor Watson said there was a need for a curriculum for students who were in the climate science field.
“If you’re not in the field of climate research, then you probably aren’t going to be as effective as somebody who is, because you don’t have a lot of hands-ons experience,” he said.
He added that students should also have a grounding in mathematics and physics, and “be able to make a decision based on the facts”.
Professor Watson’s research focuses on the theory of natural systems, and he said that a better understanding of these systems was vital for understanding how the climate system works.
“I think this is going to help students understand more about the science behind climate and what it is,” he told Newsmax.