Zachary Seguin

STV Courses

STV 100 – Society, Technology and Values: Introduction

This course examines the interaction of the technologies developed by a culture with the values and social organization of that culture. The course exposes students to various definitions of society, technology and values, and it presents alternative views about how the three interact. These views are then applied to a number of spheres of influence, including patterns of employment and the role of work; medicine and health; polity and economy; sustainable development and the environment.

STV 201 – Society, Technology and Values: Special Topics

Study of the interaction of society, technology and values in a particular topic area under tutorial guidance by visiting or adjunct faculty.

STV 202 – Design and Society

The course uses design as a vehicle for examining technology and society interaction, particularly how we design, create, and choose technology. Design and Society has been created to introduce students to various methods to help them view design and technology from a technology-society perspective. The overriding aims of the course are to (a) develop an ability to see through the eyes of others and promote thinking about technology in terms of users as well as producers or creators, (b) develop critical thinking skills, and (c) present design and the choice of technology as an activity involving societal and individual concerns rather than as a purely technical matter. The course does not require advanced technical knowledge and is open to students of all faculties.

STV 203 – Biotechnology and Society

Biotechnologies are currently migrating from the laboratory to a wide range of consumer products. In everything from foods to pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering is entering daily life. The biotechnology revolution will likely have as much of an impact on our lives as the information technology revolution. However, there is a wide and potentially dangerous gap between research and development on the one hand and societal awareness of its impact on the other. This course is intended to help students gain a deeper appreciation for the issues, including ethics, surrounding biotechnology and society. It will do this through an investigation of such interactions between biotechnologies and society as genetics and the law, foods and the media, and soil remediation and the environment. Consideration will also be given to the role of computing in biotech research and in the human genome project.

STV 205 – Cybernetics and Society

Cybernetics is the study of the interfaces between humans and machines. This course will present an overview of cybernetics from automation and robotics to prosthetics and wearable computing. The roles of men and women in a post-human era will be discussed along with related themes dealing with gender, cyberspace, politics and popular culture.

STV 210 – The Computing Society

This course examines the historical and current relationships between computer technology and society. It explores the impact and consequences of computing from a societal perspective, but also considers various nontechnical factors and values that have shaped computing technology and practice. The scope of the course will range from early mechanical aids, through the mid-20th century invention of electronic digital computers, to the networks and mobile applications of the 21st century. Technological studies relating to gender, education, employment and war will be used as focal points. Material artifacts will form a core element of the course.

STV 302 – Information Technology and Society

The course has been designed to provide a framework or set of intellectual tools to help students understand and evaluate technological change. These tools will be applied to the development of information technology, its interaction with society, and possible future scenarios. Selected topics include understanding digitization as culture, visions of the future and the perils of prediction, as well as issues related to application areas such as the home, manufacturing, office work, design and services, education, and law. The course will also consider some of the privacy and personal dignity issues associated with information technology.

STV 303 – Cross-Cultural Change, Technology and Society

The course will examine the concept of cross-cultural change as more than a consequence of contact between ethnic and national groupings. Technological change and the mutual interaction between technology and culture produce new cross-cultural change and challenges. The purpose of the course is to help students understand and identify the complex interaction between technology and culture and its impact on design and the choice of technology. Students will be expected to use this knowledge as a decision-making tool.

STV 304 – Technology in Canadian Society

The course begins by questioning whether or not there is anything distinctive about Canadian design and its context. Through the use of historical and contemporary cases, this course examines factors influencing design and technology choice in Canada and their outcomes. The future of design is also considered in terms of current trends, issues, challenges and opportunities.

STV 305 – Technology, Society and the Modern City

Cities may be humanity's most significant invention, where we shape our vision of the civilized life. At the same time, the demands of cities shape our lives in fundamental ways. As most of humanity now lives in cities, the technology of city living increasingly becomes the technology of human life itself. The purpose of this course is to examine the technology of civilized life, with the city itself as both a technological system and a scene of technological living. Topics explored include food, transport, cars, architecture, urban planning, public spaces, sanitation and health, civics and governance, sustainability, and information and communications technology. The Canadian city receives some emphasis.

STV 306 – Biotechnology and Society

Biotechnologies are currently migrating from the laboratory to a wide range of consumer products. In everything from foods to pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering is entering daily life. The biotechnology revolution will likely have as much of an impact on our lives as the information technology revolution. However, there is a wide and potentially dangerous gap between research and development on the one hand and societal awareness of its impact on the other. This course is intended to help students gain a deeper appreciation for the issues, including ethics, surrounding biotechnology and society. It will do this through an investigation of such interactions between biotechnologies and society as genetics and the law, foods and the media, and soil remediation and the environment. Consideration will also be given to the role of computing in biotech research and in the human genome project.

STV 400 – Society, Technology and Values: Senior Project

An independent, supervised research project related to the interaction of society, technology and values. Projects may take any format that demonstrates scholarly merit. Formats may include essays, impact studies, designs, computer software, or other media. Students are responsible for proposing suitable projects and are encouraged to seek faculty advice on plausible topics.

STV 401 – Society, Technology & Values: Advanced Topics

Advanced study of the interaction of society, technology and values in a particular topic area under tutorial guidance by visiting or adjunct faculty.

STV 404 – Technology in Canadian Society

The course begins by questioning whether or not there is anything distinctive about Canadian design and its context. Through the use of historical and contemporary cases, this course examines factors influencing design and technology choice in Canada and their outcomes. The future of design is also considered in terms of current trends, issues, challenges and opportunities.