Look for the catalog of 2020-21IntroSems to roll out here on August 1st.
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
The Blockchain Revolution Will Not Be Televised
This Frosh Seminar course will explore the nature of cultural revolutions supported and enabled by technological change. We will begin by looking at the Internet and the smart phone as two inventions with widespread social, political and economic consequences. These short investigations will help us understand how difficult it may be to predict the consequences of technological innovations. The main portion of the course will look at blockchain technology, the state of international banking, and the potential for blockchain technology to allow dramatic wide-sweeping change.
This project-based course will meet twice a week. Approximately one meeting per week will bring in new information, including visits from expert guest who are active in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, or financial infrastructure. Other class meetings will involve work in teams, presentations, and discussion. Each student will be responsible for leading a section of a course meeting. In doing so, they will be responsible for preparing and serving as an expert on a particular question raised in the course. The outcome of the course will be a collected assembly of thought, in a medium to be decided by the class.
Source material for the class includes: Stanford CS 58, You Say You Want A Revolution (Blockchain Version), winter 2019 and Stanford 251, Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and smart contracts, autumn 2019. Guests may include Sam Blackshear, designer of Move blockchain programming language, Dahlia Malkhi, designer of HotStuff blockchain consensus protocol, Dan Boneh, cryptographer and director of the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research, and others.