100202 Gambling: Here and Everywhere

Course offering details

Instructors: Prof. Dr. Derek Smith

Type: Seminar

Org-unit:

Course Name Abbreviation: 100202

Credits: 5.00

Min. | Max. participants: - | 31

Partial Grades:
Writing Assignments (55%)
Quizz(es) and daily assignments (25%)
Active Participation (20%)

Official Course Description:
In the fall of 2005, the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (USA), voted on the issue of allowing casino gambling on the former site of Bethlehem Steel. Rarely has a question polarized a city to such a profound extend: should Bethlehem, founded upon Moravian values of discipline and hard work and once a monolith of industrial strenght, welcome gambling and its promise of the possibility of instant wealth? Proponents touted a proposed 879 million dollar casino-anchored development plan as a probable economic windfall for the city, with thousands of jobs created. Opponents feared sharp rises in crime, poverty, and addiction associated with what many see as a house of sin. At the end of a series of several contentious hours-long public meetings, the city council voted 4-to-3 to not prohibit gambling. Today, over 3000 slot machines and other electronic gaming devices are joined by dozens of table games at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
Bethlehem's debate is a debate playing out across America and many other areas of the world, as legalized gambling in various forms continues to spread. In this course, we will introduce and analyze the mechanisms of gambling and the games that are played; in parallel, we will continually examine the benefits and costs of gambling, including those social, economic, and psychological. At times, particular emphasis will be placed on the role of technology in gambling, from the ready availability of hundreds of virtual poker rooms on any computer connected to the internet, to casino-managed "players club" systems that provide rewards for loyal patrons as the casino records, analyzes, and responds to the timing and amount of every bet placed. Ethical issues will also take center stage, including those stemming from analyses of government-run lotteries as forms of regressive taxation. Students in the course will be expected to learn and actively contribute their knowledge and perspectives to discussions of many specific topics, including several of those listed below. The intended learning outcome of the course is that you will be able to present an effective interdisciplinary and data-supported argument that answers the motivating question of the course: "is the proliferation of gambling good for society?"
Topics include:
- Gambling in history and literature
- Lotteries and numbers games, with an introduction to probability
- the classic casino table games: roulette, craps, blackjack, poker, etc.
- the lure of slot machines and video poker
- random and pseudorandom number generation
- online gambling
- problem and pathological gambling
- analyses of the introduction of gambling into communities

Additional Information:
This course has been developed and is offered in particular for the Lafayette exchange students. Their registrations will be given priority. A limited number of Jacobs students will also be able to attend this class. Prof. Smith is clarifying the details and further information will be added as soon as it is available.
Please note that the course Gambling: Here and Everywhere will count as a Transdisciplinary course (i.e., USC-equivalent) for all Jacobs students registered for it, regardless of major.

Literature
Primary Text
Required Reading (To view a list click a category.)
Recommended Reading (To view a list click a category.)
Appointments
Date From To Room Instructors
1 Tue, 5. Feb. 2013 11:15 12:30 Conrad Naber Lecture Hall Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
2 Th, 7. Feb. 2013 09:45 11:00 Conrad Naber Lecture Hall Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
3 Tue, 12. Feb. 2013 11:15 12:30 Conrad Naber Lecture Hall Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
4 Th, 14. Feb. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
5 Tue, 19. Feb. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
6 Th, 21. Feb. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
7 Tue, 26. Feb. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
8 Th, 28. Feb. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
9 Tue, 5. Mar. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
10 Th, 7. Mar. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
11 Tue, 12. Mar. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
12 Th, 14. Mar. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
13 Tue, 19. Mar. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
14 Th, 21. Mar. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
15 Tue, 2. Apr. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
16 Th, 4. Apr. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
17 Tue, 9. Apr. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
18 Th, 11. Apr. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
19 Tue, 16. Apr. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
20 Th, 18. Apr. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
21 Tue, 23. Apr. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
22 Th, 25. Apr. 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
23 Tue, 30. Apr. 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
24 Th, 2. May 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
25 Tue, 7. May 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
26 Tue, 14. May 2013 11:15 12:30 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
27 Th, 16. May 2013 09:45 11:00 Seminar Room RLH (Room 274) Prof. Dr. Derek Smith
Course specific exams
Description Date Instructors Mandatory
1. Writing Assignments No Date No
2. Writing Assignments No Date No
1. Quizz(es) and daily assignments No Date No
2. Quizz(es) and daily assignments No Date No
1. Active Participation No Date No
2. Active Participation No Date No
Contained in course catalogues
Course catalogue
Course Catalogue > School of Engineering and Science > Mathematical Sciences > Undergraduate Level Courses
Class Session Overview
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Instructors
Prof. Dr. Derek Smith