Give to WPI

Social Science & Policy Studies

ECON Economics
ENV Environmental Studies
GOV Political Science, Government and Law
PSY Psychology
SD System Dynamics
SOC Sociology
SS General Social Science
STS Society/Technology Studies

Economics (ECON)

ECON 1110. Introductory Microeconomics.


Cat. I
The course focuses upon the implications of reliance upon markets for the allocation of resources in a society, at the household, firm, and community level. Outcomes of current market systems are examined in terms of the efficient use of natural and other economic resources, as well as their impact upon the environment, fairness, and social welfare. Of special interest in these analyses is the role of prices in the determination of what commodities are produced, their means of production, and distribution among households. In cases where current market outcomes have features subject to widespread criticism, such as the presence of excessive pollution, risk, discrimination, and poverty, the analysis is extended to suggest economic solutions. There are no prerequisites for the course.

ECON 1120. Introductory Macroeconomics


Cat. I
This course is designed to acquaint students with the ways in which macroeconomic variables such as national income, employment and the general level of prices are determined in an economic system. It also includes a study of how the techniques of monetary policy and fiscal policy attempt to achieve stability in the general price level and growth in national income and employment. The problems of achieving these national goals (simultaneously) are also analyzed. The course stresses economic issues in public policy and international trade.

ECON 1130. Introduction to Econometric Modeling.


ISP Only
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to econometric modeling as it is applied in economics and to illustrate how it can be used in harmony with, or as an alternative to, system dynamics modeling. The first quarter of the course is devoted to discussing the methodological similarities and differences between econometric and system dynamics modeling, acquainting students with both the primary (survey instruments and controlled experiments) and secondary (government agencies and NGOs) sources of economic and social science data, and reviewing the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics. The remaining three quarters of the course are devoted to an examination of the assumptions that underlie the ordinary least squares model, the problems that occur when these assumptions are violated, and the methods that are available for correcting these problems. Throughout this process, the use of socioeconomic data, and the roles of economic theory and econometric software in modeling are emphasized. The course concludes with a presentation of how the econometric modeling can be used to complement system dynamics modeling.

ECON 2110. Intermediate Microeconomics.


Cat. II
The topics addressed in this course are similar to those covered in ECON 1110 (Introductory Microeconomics) but the treatment proceeds in a more rigorous and theoretical fashion to provide a firm platform for students majoring in Economics or Management, or those having a strong interest in economics. Mathematics at a level comparable to that taught in MA 1021-MA 1024 is frequently applied to lend precision to the analysis. The course rigorously develops the microeconomic foundations of the theory of the firm, the theory of the consumer, the theory of markets, and the conditions required for efficiency in economic systems.
Recommended background: ECON 1110.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

ECON 2117. Environmental Economics.


Cat. II
This course investigates the effect of human activity upon the environment as well as the effect of the environment on human well beingwell-being. It pays special attention to the impact of production and consumption of material goods upon the quantity and quality of environmental goods. The analysis focuses on the challenges presented in mixed economics where markets are combined with government intervention to manage pollution and scarcity. The course reviews efforts to measure the costs and benefits of improving environmental conditions and evaluates current and potential policies in terms of the costs of the environmental improvements they may yield. Attention is also paid to the special difficulties which arise when the impacts of pollution spill across traditional political boundaries.
Recommended background: ECON 1110.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

ECON 2120. Intermediate Macroeconomics.


Cat. II
This course is an advanced treatment of macroeconomic theory well suited for students majoring in Economics or Management, or others with a strong interest in economics. The topics addressed in ECON 2120 are similar to those covered in ECON 1120, however the presentation of the material will proceed in a more rigorous and theoretical fashion.
Recommended background: ECON 1110.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

ECON 2125. Development Economics.


Cat. II
This course is a general introduction to the field of development economics. The focus is on ways in which a developing country can increase its productive capacity, both agricultural and industrial, in order to achieve sustained economic growth. The course proceeds by first examining how economic growth and economic development are measured and how the various nations of the world compare according to well-known social and economic indicators. Theories of economic growth and theories of economic development are then examined, as are the various social and cultural structures that are thought to influence economic progress. The inputs to economic growth and development (land, labor, capital, entrepreneurial ability, education, technical change), and the possible distributions of income and levels of employment that result from their use, is considered next. Domestic economic problems and policies such as development planning, the choice of sectorial policies, the choice of monetary and fiscal policies, rapid population growth, and urbanization and urban economic development are then examined. The course concludes with a consideration of international problems and policies such as import substitution and export promotion, foreign debt, foreign investment, and the role of international firms. In conjunction with a traditional presentation of the above topics, the course curriculum will include the use of computer simulation models and games. These materials have been formulated with a simulation technique, system dynamics, that has its origins in control engineering and the theory of servomechanisms. As a result, students will find them complementary to their work in engineering and science. In addition, the various development theories and simulation and gaming results will be related, where possible, to specific developing nations where WPI has on-going project activities (e.g., Costa Rica and Thailand). This course is recommended for those students wishing to do an IQP or MQP in a developing nation.
Recommended background: ECON 1120.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

ECON 2135. Information Economics and Policy.


This course provides an introduction to the economics, business strategies, and regulatory and legal aspects of telecommunication markets. The analysis of complex interactions between technology, Federal and state government policies, copyright legislation, and forces driving supply and demand is performed using Economic and Industrial Organization theories combined with computer simulation techniques. Topics include, among others: the economics of telephony services, cable TV, satellite communication, spectrum auctions, WLAN, and peer-to-peer file sharing. Special attention will be paid to the analysis of the latest regulatory and legal developments in the telecommunications industry.
Recommended background: ECON 1110 or ECON 2110.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

Environmental Studies (ENV)

ENV 1100. Introduction To Environmental Studies.


Cat. I
The study of environmental problems and their solutions requires an interdisciplinary approach. This course will examine current environmental issues from the intersection of several key disciplines including: environmental philosophy and history, environmental policy, and science. The course will develop these different approaches for analyzing environmental problems, explore the tensions between them, and present a framework for integrating them. Topics such as environmental justice, developing nations, globalization, and climate change policy will be explored.

ENV 2200. Environmental Studies in the Various Disciplines.


Cat. II
Many disciplines contribute to the study of the environment. This course presents an overview of the approach taken by some of these disciplines, which may include biology, chemistry, engineering, geography, public policy, philosophy, history, and economics, and how they interact to help us understand environmental problems and solutions. Through an examination of the assumptions made and lenses used by different disciplines students will gain insight into how different actors and institutions frame environmental issues and how to overcome barriers to communication between disciplines. To ground the exploration of these disciplines contemporary environmental issues and policy programs will be explored.
Recommended background: ENV 1100.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

ENV 4400. Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies.


This course is intended for Environmental Studies majors. The course is designed to integrate each student's educational experience (e.g., core environmental courses, environmental electives, and environmental projects) in a capstone seminar in Environmental Studies. Through seminar discussions and writing assignments students will critically reflect on what they learned in their previous courses and project experiences. In teams, students will prepare a final capstone paper and presentation that critically engages their educational experience in environmental studies and anticipates how their courses and experiences will translate into their future personal and professional environmental experiences.
Recommended background: ENV 1100, ENV 2200 or ENV 2400, completion or concurrent enrollment in IQP and MQP.

ENV 2400. Environmental Problems and Human Behavior.


Cat. II
This course examines how people think about and behave toward the environment. Environmental problems can ultimately be attributed to the environmental decisions and actions of human beings. These behaviors can in turn be understood as resulting from the nature and limitations of the human mind and the social context in which behavior takes place. Knowledge of the root causes of environmentally harmful behavior is essential for designing effective solutions to environmental problems. The goals of the course are (1) to provide students with the basic social science knowledge needed to understand and evaluate the behavioral aspects of such important environmental problems as air and water pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, preserving biological diversity, and hazardous waste and (2) to help students identify and improve shortcomings in their knowledge and decisions related to the environment. Topics will include, but not be limited to: environmental problems as "tragedies of the commons"; public understanding of global warming and global climate modeling; folk biology; risk perception; intelligent criticism of environmental claims; making effective environmental choices; strategies for promoting pro-environmental behavior; and human ability to model and manage the global environmental future.
Recommended background: ENV 1100.
Suggested background: PSY 1400, PSY 1401, or PSY 1402.
Students may not receive credit for both PSY 2405 and ENV 2400.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternate years thereafter.

Political Science, Government and Law (GOV)

GOV 1301. U.S. Government.


Cat. I
This course is an introduction to the fundamental principles, institutions, and processes of the constitutional democracy of the United States. It examines the formal structure of the Federal system of government, including Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the various departments, agencies, and commissions which comprise the executive branch. Emphasis is placed on the relationships among Federal, state and local governments in the formulation and administration of domestic policies, and on the interactions among interest groups, elected officials and the public at large with administrators in the policy process. The various topics covered in the survey are linked by consideration of fiscal and budgetary issues, executive management, legislative oversight, administrative discretion, policy analysis and evaluation and democratic accountability. May be included in certain Humanities and Arts programs.

GOV 1303. American Public Policy.


Cat. I
American Public Policy focuses on the outcomes or products of political institutions and political controversy. The course first addresses the dynamics of policy formations and stalemate, the identification of policy goals, success and failure in implementation, and techniques of policy analysis. Students are then encouraged to apply these concepts in the study of a specific policy area of their choosing, such as foreign, social, urban, energy or environmental policy. This course is an important first step for students wishing to complete IQPs in public policy research. Students are encouraged to complete GOV 1303 prior to enrolling in upper level policy courses such as GOV 2303, GOV 2304 or GOV 2311. There is no specific preparation for this course, but a basic understanding of American political institutions is assumed.

GOV 1310. Law, Courts, and Politics.


Cat. II
This course is an introduction to law and the role courts play in society. The course examines the structure of judicial systems, the nature of civil and criminal law, police practice in the enforcement of criminal law, and the responsibilities of judges, attorneys and prosecutors. Additional topics for discussion include the interpretation of precedent and statue in a common law system and how judicial discretion enables interest groups to use courts for social change. The student is expected to complete the course with an understanding of how courts exercise and thereby control the power of the state. As such, courts function as political actors in a complex system of governance. It is recommended that students complete this course before enrolling in GOV 2310, Constitutional Law.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 1320. Topics in International Politics.


Cat. II.
GOV 1320 is a survey course designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of international relations: power and influence, nations and states, sovereignty and law. These concepts will be explored through the study of issues such as diplomacy and its uses, theories of collective security and conflict, and international order and development. The study of international organizations such as the UN, the European Union or the Organization of American States will also supplement the students' understanding of the basic concepts. The course may also include comparative political analysis of states or regions. It is designed to provide the basic background materials for students who wish to complete IQPs on topics that involve international relations or comparative political systems.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2302. Science-Technology Policy.


Cat. II
This course is an examination of the relationship between science-technology and government. It reviews the history of public policy for science and technology, theories and opinions about the proper role of government and several current issues on the national political agenda. Examples of these issues include genetic engineering, the environment and engineering education. It also examines the formation of science policy, the politics of science and technology, the science bureaucracy, enduring controversies such as public participation in scientific debates, the most effective means for supporting research, and the regulation of technology. Throughout the course we will pay particular attention to the fundamental theme: the tension between government demands for accountability and the scientific community's commitment to autonomy and self-regulation.
Recommended background: GOV 1301 or GOV 1303.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2304. Governmental Decision Making and Administrative Law.


Cat. II
The course addresses the role of technical expertise in political decision making. Politicians and public administrators rely on the expert knowledge of scientists and engineers to "bring reason" to otherwise political decisions. The course specifically addresses decision making in the administrative context including the value of expert knowledge, circumstances of inadequate information and the need to accommodate the political agenda. The context for the discussion will be the problems of regulated industries (for example, energy or those industries subject to environmental regulation). Legal review of administrative decision making will also be addressed.
Recommended background: GOV 1301 or GOV 1303 or GOV 2310.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2310. Constitutional Law: Foundation of Government.


Cat. II
Constitutional Law is the study of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the U. S. Constitution. The Foundations course focuses on the powers of the Congress, the Presidency and the Judicial Branch, especially the Supreme Court's understanding of its own power. These cases reveal, in particular, the evolution of Federal power with the development of a national economy and the shifting balance of power among the three branches of government. Issues of state power in a federal system are also addressed. Lastly, these materials are examined in the context of the great debates regarding how judges interpret the Constitution. How are the words and intent of the Founders applicable to the legal and political conflicts of the twenty-first century?
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2311. Environmental Policy and Law.


Cat. I
This course deals with environmental law as it relates to people, pollution and land use in our society. A case method approach will be used to illustrate how the courts and legislators have dealt with these social-legal problems. The course is designed to have the student consider: 1) the legal framework within which environmental law operates; 2) the governmental institutions involved in the formulation, interpretation and application of environmental law; 3) the nature of the legal procedures and substantive principles currently being invoked to resolve environmental problems; 4) the types of hazards to the environment presently subject to legal constraints; 5) the impact that the mandates of environmental law have had, and will have, on personal liberties and property rights; 6) the role individuals and groups can play within the context of our legal system to protect and improve man's terrestrial habitat and the earth's atmosphere; and 7) some methods and sources for legal research that they may use on their own.
Recommended background: GOV 1303 or GOV 1310.

GOV 2312. International Environmental Policy.


Cat. II
Environmental issues present some of the major international problems and opportunities facing the world today. Worst-case scenarios envision irrevocable degradation of the earth's natural systems, but virtually every analysis sees the need for major change worldwide to cope with problems such as global warming, deforestation, ozone layer depletion, loss of biodiversity, and population growth, not to mention exponential increases in "conventional" pollutants in newly industrialized countries. The global environment issues represent a "second-generation" of environmental policy in which the focus of concern has moved from national regulations to international law and institutions. In addition, the environment has emerged as a major aspect of international trade, conditioning corporate investment and accounting for some $200 billion in sales of pollution control equipment in 1991. Exploration of the genesis and implications of these phenomena is the essence of the course. Topically, the material begins with the nature of global environmental problems, drawing on literature from large-scale global modeling as well as particular analyses of the problems mentioned above. Approximately half the course focuses on international laws and institutions, including multilateral treaties (e.g., the Montreal Protocol limiting CFC use, ocean dumping, biodiversity), international institutions (UNEP, the Rio Convention, the OECD) and private initiatives (international standards organizations, ICOLP (Industry Committee for Ozone Layer Protection), etc.) In addition, US policy toward global environmental issues will be compared with that in Japan, Europe and developing countries, from which it differs significantly. Students will design and undertake term projects that address particular issues in detail in an interdisciplinary manner.
Recommended background: GOV 1303.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2313. Intellectual Property Law.


Cat. II
Intellectual property includes ideas, and the works of inventors, authors, composers and other creative people. Patents, copyrights and trademarks establish legal rights in intellectual property. Alternatively, control over the use of an idea might be maintained by treating it as a trade secret. In these ways, the ideas of inventors and creators are protected and others are prohibited from appropriating the ideas and creative works of others. This course addresses the concept of intellectual property and the public policies that support the law of patent, copyright and trademark. Subjects include the process of obtaining patents, trademarks and copyrights; requirements of originality and, for patents, utility; infringement issues; and the problems posed by international trade and efforts to address them through the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Recommended background: GOV 1310 or GOV 2310.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV/ID 2314. Cyberlaw and Policy.


Cat. II
Rapidly developing technologies for computing, information management and communications have been quickly adopted in schools, businesses and homes. The growth of the Internet and of e-commerce, in particular, have given rise to an entirely new set of legal issues as the courts, Congress and international bodies struggle to keep pace with changing technology. This course addresses the government's role in the development of these technologies and the legal issues that result including questions regarding privacy rights, speech and defamation, and the application of patent and copyright law. Policy questions such as surveillance of e-mail, regulation of content, mandates on the use of filters, and the responsibilities and liability of internet service providers are also discussed. Additional policies studied include attempts to control Internet content and enforce international judgments (resulting from e-commerce or cyber-crime) by foreign states and/or international organizations. Students are expected to integrate knowledge of technology with law, politics, economics and international affairs.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

GOV 2320. Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties.


Cat. II
Civil Rights and Liberties examines decisions of the Supreme Court which interpret the Bill of Rights and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. These court decisions elaborate the content and meaning of our rights to speak, publish, practice religion, and be free from state interference in those activities. Privacy rights broadly, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and due process rights for criminal suspects are also addressed. Finally, rights to be free from discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation are examined in the context of equal protection law.
Students completing this course will receive credit toward the Minor in Law and Technology among the courses satisfying the requirement in "legal fundamentals."
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

Psychology (PSY)

PSY 1400. Introduction to Psychological Science.


Cat. I
Psychological science is the experimental study of human thought and behavior. Its goal is to contribute to human welfare by developing an understanding of why people do what they do. Experimental psychologists study the entire range of human experience, from infancy until death, from the most abnormal behavior to the most mundane, from the behavior of neurons to the actions of nations. This course offers a broad introduction to important theories, empirical findings, and applications of research in psychological science. Topics will include: use of the scientific method in psychology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics, the anatomy and function of the brain and nervous system, learning, sensation and perception, memory, consciousness, language, intelligence and thinking, life-span development, social cognition and behavior, motivation and emotion, and the nature and treatment of psychological disorders.

PSY 1401. Cognitive Psychology.


Cat. I
This course is concerned with understanding and explaining the mental processes and strategies underlying human behavior. The ways in which sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, and recovered will be examined in order to develop a picture of the human mind as an active processor of information. Topics will include perception, memory, problem-solving, judgment and decision making, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence. Special attention will be paid to defining the limitations of the human cognitive system. Students will undertake a project which employs one of the experimental techniques of cognitive psychology to collect and analyze data on a topic of their own choosing.
Suggested background: PSY 1400.

PSY 1402. Social Psychology


Cat. I
Social psychology is concerned with how people think about, feel for, and act toward other people. Social psychologists study how people interact by focusing on the individual (not society as a whole) as the unit of analysis, by emphasizing the effect on the individual of the situation or circumstances in which behavior occurs, and by acquiring knowledge through empirical scientific investigation. This course will examine the cause of human behavior in a variety of domains of social life. Topics will include, but not be limited to, person perception, attitude formation and change, interpersonal attraction, stereotyping and prejudice, and small group behavior. Special attention will be given to applied topics: How can the research methods of social psychology be used to help solve social problems? Students will work together in small groups to explore in depth topics in social psychology of their own choosing. May be included in certain Humanities and Arts programs.
Suggested background: PSY 1400.

PSY 1403. The Psychology of Work


Cat. I
This course enables the undergraduate student to develop a conceptual framework, using cognitive and social psychological principles for understanding technology and workplace environments. Topics covered are designed to demonstrate the relationship among the individual, group and organizational effectiveness, job satisfaction and quality of work life. Emphasis is placed on variables related to the employee (for example, engineer) in the workplace. Issues of leadership, communication, organizational culture, risk-taking, job satisfaction, stress, motivation and group dynamics are discussed in the context of technology, science and workplace environments. Students will have the opportunity to learn by practicing skills through experiential linked exercises such as group discussions, presentations, and role-playing.
Suggested background: PSY 1400.

PSY 1504. Strategies for Improving Cognitive Skills


Cat. I
Life experience provides us with little insight into the basic workings of our own minds. As a result, we tend to approach many of the important problems and decisions of our professional and personal lives with only a dim awareness of the limitations and capabilities of the human cognitive system and how its performance can be improved. The purpose of this course is (1) to provide students with the basic psychological knowledge needed to understand and evaluate such important cognitive skills as memory, problem solving, decision making, and reasoning and (2) to provide students the practical skills and experience necessary to improve and assess their cognitive performance. Topics will include but not be limited to memory improvement, study skills, effective problem solving techniques, creativity, numeracy, making effective choices, risky decision making, dynamic decision making, intelligent criticism of assumptions and arguments, and evaluating claims about the mind.
Suggested background: PSY 1400.

PSY 2401. The Psychology of Education.


Cat. II
This course is concerned with the learning of persons in educational settings from pre-school through college. Material in the course will be organized into five units covering a wide range of topics: Unit 1: Understanding Student Characteristics - Cognitive, Personality, Social, and Moral Development; Unit 2: Understanding the Learning Process - Behavioral, Humanistic, and Cognitive Theories of Learning; Unit 3: Understanding Motivation to Learn; Unit 4: Understanding Student Diversity - Cultural, Economic, and Gender Effects upon Learning; Unit 5: Evaluating Student Learning - Standardized Tests, Intelligence, Grades, and other Assessment Issues. Students planning IQPs in educational settings will find this course particularly useful. Instructional methods will include: lecture, discussion, demonstration, and project work. Course will also focus on current issues in technological education and international higher education.
Recommended background: PSY 1400 or PSY 1401.
This course will be offered in 2011-12, and in alternating years thereafter.

PSY 2406. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Human Behavior in Global Perspective.


Cat. II
This course is an introduction to the study of the ways in which social and cultural forces shape human behavior. Cross-Cultural psychology takes a global perspective of human behavior that acknowledges both the uniqueness and interdependence of peoples of the world. Traditional topics of psychology (learning, cognition, personality development) as well as topics central to social psychology, such as intergroup relations and the impact of changing cultural settings, will be explored. Cultural influences on technology development and transfer, as they relate to and impact upon individual behavior, will also be investigated. Students preparing to work at international project centers, International Scholars, and students interested in the global aspects of science and technology will find the material presented in this course especially useful.
Recommended background: PSY 1400 or PSY 1402.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

PSY 2407. Psychology of Gender


Cat. II
This course will provide an overview of the psychological study of gender and will utilize psychological research and theory to examine the influence of gender on the lives of men and women. This course will examine questions such as: What does it mean to be male or female in our society and other societies? How do our constructs of gender develop over our life span? How does our social world (e.g., culture, religion, media) play a role in our construction of gender? and What are the psychological and behavioral differences and similarities between men and women?
Recommended background: PSY 1400 or PSY 1402.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternating years thereafter.

System Dynamics (SD)

SD 1510. Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling.


Cat. I
The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the field of system dynamics computer simulation modeling. The course begins with the history of system dynamics and the study of why policy makers can benefit from its use. Next, students systematically examine the various types of dynamic behavior that socioeconomic systems exhibit and learn to identify and model the underlying nonlinear stock-flow-feedback loop structures that cause them. The course concludes with an examination of a set of well-known system dynamics models that have been created to address a variety of socioeconomic problems. Emphasis is placed on how the system dynamics modeling process is used to test proposed policy changes and how the implementation of model-based results can improve the behavior of socioeconomic systems.

SD 1520. System Dynamics Modeling.


Cat. I
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to produce original system dynamics computer simulation models of economic and social systems. Models of this type can be used to examine the possible impacts of policy changes and technological innovations on socioeconomic systems. The curriculum in this course is divided into three distinct parts. First, a detailed examination of the steps of the system dynamics modeling process: problem identification (including data collection), feedback structure conceptualization, model formulation, model testing and analysis, model documentation and presentation, and policy implementation. Second, a survey of the "nuts and bolts" of continuous simulation modeling: information and material delays, time constants, the use of noise and numerical integration techniques, control theory heuristics, and software details (both simulation and model presentation and documentation software). Third, a step-by-step, in-class production of a model, involving the construction, testing, and assembly of subsectors. Students will be required to complete modeling assignments working in groups and take in-class quizzes on modeling issues.
Recommended background: SD 1510, or permission of instructor.

SD 2530. Advanced Topics in System Dynamics Modeling.


ISP Only
This course will focus on advanced issues and topics in system dynamics computer simulation modeling. A variety of options for dealing with complexity through the development of models of large-scale systems and the partitioning complex problems will be discussed. Topics will include an extended discussion of model analysis, the use of summary statistics and sensitivity measures, the model validation process, and policy design. The application of system Dynamics to theory building and social policy are also reviewed. Complex nonlinear dynamics and the chaotic behavior of systems will be discussed. Students will be assigned group exercises centering on model analysis and policy design.
Recommended background: SD 1520.

SD 3550. System Dynamics Seminar.


ISP Only
This special topics course is designed primarily for system dynamics majors and students presently engaged in planning system dynamics projects. The course will be conducted as a research seminar, with many sessions being reserved for student presentations. Classical system dynamics models will be replicated and discussed. Students will read, evaluate, and report on research papers representing the latest developments in the field of system dynamics. They will also complete a term project that addresses a specific problem using the system dynamics method.
Recommended background: SD 1520 and SD 2530.

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 1202. Introduction to Sociology and Cultural Diversity.


Cat. I
The Introduction to Sociology and Cultural Diversity is a Macro-Sociology course on modernization that incorporates a systematic comparison of one of the most and one of the least modernized regions of the World; Europe and the Middle East. However, the focus is on concepts used to describe how the social structure, culture and nature of community were affected by this massive social transition, and how to do qualitative comparative research at the level of whole societies. The field of sociology was created in the 19th century to try to understand the social changes and trends (ranging from social differentiation and demographic transition to the emergence of bureaucracy and secularization) that were sweeping Europe as the area industrialized. Trying to understand what new kind of society was being born amidst the ruins of the old order was the task of Sociology, the new science of society.
The course is designed to give students planning to go to Europe to do project work a chance to learn about the country they will be visiting, while giving everyone a chance to learn something about the Middle East.

General Social Science (SS)

SS/ID 2050. Social Science Research for The IQP.


Cat. I
This course is open to students accepted to off-campus IQP centers and programs. The course introduces students to research design, methods for social science research, and analysis. It also provides practice in specific research and field skills using the project topics students have selected in conjunction with sponsoring agencies. Students learn to develop social science hypotheses based upon literature reviews in their topic areas and apply concepts drawn from social psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics and other areas as appropriate. Students make presentations, write an organized project proposal, and develop a communication model for reporting their project findings.

SS 2400. Methods, Modeling, and Analysis in Social Science.


Cat. II
What is the process by which a hypothesis about human behavior gets supported or rejected? This course represents a review of the methodological tools of social and behavioral science. Topics to be covered include experimental design and ethical issues specific to behavioral research with human subjects, the use of statistical and simulation modeling in the interpretation of behavioral phenomena, and methods for statistical inference in compiling evidence for or against a hypothesis.
Recommended background: PSY 1400 and either PSY 1401 or PSY 1402.
This course will be offered in 2011-12 and in alternate years thereafter.

Society/Technology Studies (STS)

STS 1207. Introduction to the Psycho-Sociology of Science.


Cat. II
This course will describe how traditional issues addressed in the Sociology of Science dealing with science as an institution, social controversies involving science, priority disputes within science and process of scientific discovery are illuminated by studies using measures borrowed from psychology. Examples will involve measures of cognitive style, personality and openness to innovation. The scientific pipeline that runs through the science programs in the educational system and the experience of women as students and as practicing scientists will be addressed as a science and society equity issue. Problems balancing the roles of the scientist as expert and concerned citizen in a democratic but technological society will also be addressed. This course works equally well as a second course after PSY 1402, Social Psychology, or a first course in Social Science.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

STS 2208. The Society - Technology Debate.


Cat. II
A course which considers what one means when they say that we live in a technological society, focusing on the characteristics of technology that humanistic critics find problematic or objectionable. In the course of the analysis, the nature of technology, its connection to scientific advance, as well as its relationship to the state, and the social role of scientists and technologists will be considered. Special attention is given to the behavior of experts in scientific and technological controversies, and to the debate about the "technological mentality" said to pervade western societies. Utopian, Dystopian and Marxist interpretations of where technological development is taking us will be examined in an effort to understand the major themes in the larger debate about the social impact of technology. Computer science majors can take this course in place of CS 3043 if they write a term paper on a computer-related topic.
Recommended background: SOC 1202.
This course will be offered in 2010-11 and in alternating years thereafter.

Graduate System Dynamics Courses of Interest to Undergraduates

SD 550. System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity.


Why do some businesses grow while others stagnate or decline? What causes oscillation and amplification - the so called "bullwhip" — in supply chains? Why do large scale projects so commonly over overrun their budgets and schedules? This course explores the counter-intuitive dynamics of complex organizations and how managers can make the difference between success and failure. Students learn how even small changes in organizational structure can produce dramatic changes in organizational behavior. Real cases and computer simulation modeling combine for an in-depth examination of the feedback concept in complex systems. Topics include: Supply chain dynamics, project dynamics, commodity cycles, new product diffusion, and business growth and decline. The emphasis throughout is on the unifying concepts of system dynamics. Pre-requisites: None

SD 551. Modeling and Experimental Analysis of Complex Problems.


This course deals with the hands on detail related to analysis of complex problems and design of policy for change through building models and experimenting with them. Topics covered include: slicing complex problems and constructing reference modes; going from a dynamic hypothesis to a formal model and organization of complex models; specification of parameters and graphical functions; experimentations for model understanding, confidence building, policy design and policy implementation. Modeling examples will draw largely from public policy agendas. Pre-requisites: SD 550

SD 552. System Dynamics for Insight.


The objective of this course is to help students appreciate and master system dynamics' unique way of using of computer simulation models. The course provides tools and approaches for building and learning from models. The course covers the use of molecules of system dynamics structure to increase model building speed and reliability. In addition, the course covers recently developed eigenvalue-based techniques for analyzing models as well as more traditional approaches. Pre-requisites: SD 550 and SD 551

SD 553. Model Analysis and Evaluation Techniques.


This course focuses on analysis of models rather than conceptualization and model development. It provides techniques for exercising models, improving their quality and gaining added insights into what models have to say about a problem. Five major topics are covered: Use of subscripts, achieving and testing for robustness, use of numerical data, sensitivity analysis, and optimization/ calibration of models. The Subscripts discussion provides techniques for dealing with detail complexity by changing model equations but not adding additional feedback structure. Robust models are achieved by using good individual equation formulations and making sure that they work together well though automated behavioral experiments. Data, especially time series data, are fundamental to finding and fixing shortcomings in model formulations. Sensitivity simulations expose the full range of behavior that a model can exhibit. Finally, the biggest section, dealing with optimization and calibration of models develops techniques for both testing models against data and developing policies to achieve specified goals. Though a number of statistical issues are touched upon during the course, only a basic knowledge of statistics and statistical hypothesis testing is required. Pre-requisites: SD 550 and SD 551, or permission of the instructor

SD 554. Real World System Dynamics.


In this course students tackle real-world issues working with real managers on their most pressing concerns. Many students choose to work on issues in their own organizations. Other students have select from a number of proposals put forward by managers from a variety of companies seeking a system dynamics approach to important issues. Students experience the joys (and frustrations) of helping people figure out how to better manage their organizations via system dynamics. Accordingly the course covers two important areas: Consulting (i.e. helping managers) and the system dynamics standard method - a sequence of steps leading from a fuzzy "issue area" through increasing clarity and ultimately to solution recommendations. The course provides clear project pacing and lots of support from the instructors and fellow students. It is recommend that students take this course toward the end of their system dynamics coursework as it provides a natural transition from course work to system dynamics practice.
Pre-requisites: SD 550 and SD 551

SD 555. Psychological Foundations of System Dynamics Modeling.


This course examines the cognitive and social processes underlying the theory and practice of system dynamics. The errors and biases in dynamic decision making that provide the primary rationale for the use of system dynamics modeling will be traced to their root causes in cognitive limitations on perception, attention, and memory. Group processes that influence the outcome of modeler-client interactions and appropriate psychological techniques for eliciting and using mental data to support model building will also be addressed. Additional topics will include the reliability of alternate data sources for modeling, techniques for quantifying soft variables, design issues in group model building, the relative advantages of qualitative and quantitative modeling, and client attitudes toward modeling.
Pre-requisites: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity or permission of the instructor

SD 560. Strategy Dynamics.


This course provides a rigorous set of frameworks for designing a practical path to improve performance, both in business and non-commercial organisations. The method builds on existing strategy concepts, but moves substantially beyond them, by using the system dynamics method to understand and direct performance through time. Topics covered include: Strategy, performance and resources; Resources and accumulation; The 'Strategic Architecture'; Resource Development; Rivalry and the Dynamics of Competition; Strategy, Policy and Information Feedback; Resource Attributes; Intangible Resources; Strategy, Capabilities and Organization; Industry Dynamics and Scenarios. Case studies and models are assigned to students for analysis.
Pre-requisites: SD 550 or permission of the instructor

SD 561. Environmental Dynamics.


Environmental Dynamics introduces the system dynamics students to the application in environmental systems. The course materials include the book Modeling the Environment, a supporting website, lectures and the corresponding power point files. Students learn system dynamics with examples implemented with the Stella software. The course includes a variety of small models and case applications to water shed management, salmon restoration, and incentives for electric vehicles to reduce urban air pollution The students conclude the course with a class project to improve one of the models from the book Modeling the Environment. The improvements may be implemented with either the Stella or the Vensim software. Pre-requisites: SD 550

SD 562. Project Dynamics.


This course will introduce students to the fundamental dynamics that drive project performance, including the rework cycle, feedback effects, and interphase "knock-on" effects. Topics covered include dynamic project problems and their causes: the rework cycle and feedback effects, knock-on effects between project phases; Modeling the dynamics: feedback effects, schedule pressure and staffing, schedule changes, inter-phase dependencies and precedence; Strategic Project management: Project Planning, Project Preparation, Risk management, Project adaptation and execution Cross project learning; Multi-project issues. A simple project model will be created, and used in assignments to illustrate the principles of "strategic project management." Case examples of different applications will be discussed. Pre-requisites: SD 550

SD 565. Macroeconomic Dynamics.


There are three parts to this course. The first acquaints a student with dynamic macroeconomic data and the stylized facts seen in most macroeconomic systems. Characteristics of the data related to economic growth, economic cycles, and the interactions between economic growth and economic cycles that are seen as particularly important when viewed through the lens of system dynamics, will be emphasized. The second acquaints a student with the basics of macroeconomic growth and business cycle theory. This is accomplished by presenting well-known models of economic growth and instability, from both the orthodox and heterodox perspectives, via system dynamics. The third part attempts to enhance a student's ability to build and critique dynamic macroeconomic models by addressing such topics as the translation of difference and differential equation models into their equivalent system dynamics representation, fitting system dynamics models to macroeconomic data, and evaluating (formally and informally) a model's validity for the purpose of theory selection. Pre-requisites: SD 550

SS 590. Special Topics in System Dynamics.


(credit as specified)
Individual or group studies on any topic relating to social science and policy studies selected by the student and approved by the faculty member who supervises the work.

 
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