I teach a number of classes in the Department of Anthropology, some of which are cross-listed in Human Biology. I have collected here course descriptions as they appear in the Stanford Bulletin, some other contextual material where appropriate, syllabi, and some other assorted hand-outs.
In addition to my Stanford teaching, I co-organize a summer workshop on formal demography that draws mostly Ph.D. students from NICHD-supported population centers throughout the country. At the bottom of this page, I have posted lecture notes and other handouts from the 2006 workshop.
More generally, I have assembled a style guide for scientific research papers, which may be of interest.
Based on my experience with the NSF Cultural Anthropology Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant Panel, I have written up some notes on writing an NSF proposal. These notes are primarily stylistic. More substantive notes on methods are forthcoming...
This was a new class for Winter 2007. Unfortunately, the Stanford Bulletin description of this class was essentially identical to Human Population Biology, despite the fact that it was quite a different class. The class is theoretically integrated demographic method and theory course dealing with questions surrounding the evolution of the human life cycle. As such, we focuses on some methods and tools like optimization models, matrix population models. Readings for the class are drawn primarily from the classics in the field which, in my experience, are frequently cited but rarely read. See the course web site for more information.
Problems in life history theory and evolutionary demography applied to the human life cycle. The class will emphasize developing an understanding the classical models of life history theory and their relevance for understanding human evolution. Special emphasis will be placed on assumptions of the classical models are violated by empirical patterns of the human life cycle. In particular, we will focus on complications with classical theory introduced by age-structure. Topics include continuous and discrete time population models for age-structured populations, scaling and allometry, the evolution of reproductive effort in constant and variable environments, the evolution of clutch size and quality/quantity trade-offs more generally, state-dependent life history tactics, models of somatic growth, senescence, the evolution of childhood, and post-reproductive survival. Prerequisites: HUMBIO 137 or consent of instructor. (HEF III, V) (DA-C)
I have now co-taught this class three times with Bill Durham (Winter 2005 and 2006 anf Fall 2007). There are an infinite number of ways that human agency can facilitate (or hinder) the emergence of new infectious diseases or the re-emergence of old ones. Our goal has been to ground the study of emerging infectious diseases in the theory of community ecology, evolutionary biology, and mathematical epidemiology. Providing such a theoretical grounding helps us to organize thinking on the subject, tells us which data we should be collecting, and hopefully yields insights into prevention and control of emerging infections.
This is a lecture course on the changing epidemiological environment, with particular attention to the ways in which human-induced environmental changes are altering the ecology of infectious disease transmission, thereby promoting their re-emergence as a major global public health threat. Organized by case studies of environmental change at (roughly) local to global scales, we focus on the role that environmental changes (such as deforestation and land-use conversion, urbanization, human migration, international commerce, and global warming) play in contemporary disease transmission. The diseases affected by these environmental changes include SARS, Malaria, HIV, Chagas disease, Lyme, Influenza, Cholera, Hantavirus, BSE/vCJD, and West Nile Virus.
I have a couple of handouts on mathematical epidemiology that pertain to this class:
This is another case where the description in the Bulletin is inaccurate. This is a graduate-level theory class that I am teaching in the Winter of 2008. I have made a special focus of the class in three areas: (1) models for the evolution of quantitative traits, (2) multi-level evolution and the Price Equation, (3) the intellectual legacy of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. I have posted a blog entry about some of the unusual readings for the course.
We discuss the Price Equation on several occasions in this course, and to help students understand its derivation and use, I have begun to write some notes. Steve Frank's excellent book, Foundations of Social Evolution, provides a very thorough coverage of the application of the Price Equation, but is very terse in its derivation of the equation itself. I try to be a little more pedantic in stepping through the steps for deriving this remarkable equation. These notes are a work in progress and will probably be expanded in the near future.
I co-teach this class with my archaeologist colleague Ian Robertson. Our course web page will remain active for a while and includes lots of (hopefully useful) notes. Ian and I, with the help of Claudia Engel, are setting up a space where we will post a variety of notes on matters statistical, demographic, and spatial on the Spatial Anthropology website
We may be morphing this class into a more advanced course aimed primarily at graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
In this course, we will develop a statistical toolkit appropriate for anthropologists. The emphasis will be on practical data analysis and the development of a problem-solving approach to inference. Students taking the course will gain skills that significantly improve their ability to: (1) read quantitative arguments in an informed, critical way, (2) use computers to analyze anthropological data, (3) convey quantitative arguments in scholarly publications, (4) design research projects to generate data that can be analyzed quantitatively. No extensive prior knowledge of statistics or computers is assumed, but a reasonable background in anthropology and/or archaeology is. The course will require a substantial commitment of time, including extensive use of computers for analysis and presentation of work.Simon Jackman is on applied Bayesian analysis in the social sciences. A working syllabus can be found on the course webpage.
ANTHSCI 254. Applied Bayesian Analysis (Same as POLISCI 354F.) Bayesian modeling in the social sciences emphasizing applications in political science, anthropological science, sociology, and education testing. Topics include: Bayesian computation via Markov chain Monte Carlo; Bayesian hierarchical modeling; Bayesian models for latent variables and latent states (measurement modeling); dynamic models; and Bayesian analysis of spatial models. Implementation of Bayesian approaches (priors, efficient sampling from posterior densities), data analysis, and model comparisons. Final project. Prerequisites: exposure to statistical modeling such as 200-level STATS or POLISCI 150/350B,C, or ANTHSCI 292. 3-5 units, Spr (Jones, J; Jackman, S)
Problems in demography and theoretical population biology applied to human systems. Emphasis is on establishing relationships between models in theoretical population biology and empirical demographic methodology. Topics include philosophy of models and model building, population dynamics, stable population theory, species interactions in human ecology, models of infectious diseases and their control, cultural evolution. Prerequisites: HUMBIO 137 or consent of instructor. (HEF III, V) (DA-C)
An examination of human dietary choices, and the consequences thereof, from ecological, epidemiological, and evolutionary perspectives. Topics include: foraging theory, human community ecology, evidence for evolutionary design in human physiological and motivational systems related to feeding and nutrition, epidemiology of nutritional disorders, subsistence economies and modes of production, reduction diets, health diets. (HEF I, II, IV; DA-C) GER: 3b
I had the great pleasure of teaching this class with my partner in things creative and procreative, Libra R. Hilde. We offered this class in Stanford's Introduction to the the Humanities Program, a compulsory sequence of classes that all Stanford freshmen take. The motivating idea was to introduce students to thinking about human nature by challenging what we see as fallacious trope of a humans in a "state of nature." Isolating human action from its social context is like trying to describe honey without the sweet.
As Libra has moved to San Jose State and I have teaching constraints imposed by a research grant, Fall of 2005 was the last time we expect to teach CCHN. I can certainly imagine a future when we would teach something similar, but that will remain a hypothetical for some time to come...
What does your mother's brother's daughter call you? Chances are pretty good that she calls you "cousin," and because of this, you assume a host of duties, expectations, and social responsibilities. The classification of other people is a human universal, intimately related to the tension between conflict and cooperation that pervades human social systems, and helps define who we are.
In this course, you will explore some striking forms of human social interaction and their relationship with what makes us human. In addition to the construction of family systems, warfare and slavery are uniquely human activities: upon these we will focus our discussion of human nature. How people manipulate such social classifications as "nonhuman" or "kin" in an effort to define a potential spouse, an opponent in war, or a slave, and how people resist attempts at denying them their humanity, will provide insight into what makes a person "human."
Using tools from anthropology and history, we will approach the question "What is human?" from a broad historical and comparative perspective. Throughout our investigations, we will strive to understand how variation on social structures and cultural norms can provide more general insights into human nature and the resolution of social problems.
In the Spring of 2008, we ran an NICHD-funded four-day workshop on mathematical demography at Stanford. Thanks to IRiSS, we were able to cloister ourselves up on the hill at the NBER. Attending the class were about 35 Ph.D. students and other interested parties (lecturer's eye view working around the room: 1, 2, 3, 4). On the last day, we took a group photo (here is an alternative photo). In addition to Tulja and myself, participating faculty included Ken Wachter and Ron Lee from Berkeley, Josh Goldstein, director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Charlotte Lee from Florida State University, and Patrick Heuveline from UCLA. Here is the site for the 2008 Spring Workshop on Mathematical Demography. Access to the site requires registration.
Slides for my lectures are here:
Here is the syllabus for the 2006 Workshop.
Here are my remaining lectures from the Tulja's and my Summer Workshop in 2005 or 2006 (depending on which year I gave the lecture) that were not updated for the 2008 workshop:
In addition, here are some documents that help provide an orientation to the material in the class: