Supplemental Undergraduate Courses

    This course is designed for students interested in understanding the role of financial resources in both startup companies and internal projects in existing organizations, and in maximizing those resources. It identifies multiple sources of funding for these ventures and explores their ramifications. Priority will be given to technology-based enterprises. The course will be presented from an engineering perspective and incorporate dialog with actual investors and entrepreneurs as well as case studies. In addition to corporate contacts, students will gain hands-on experience through the application of an operating model developed at WPI to capture and understand the role of early capital in a venture and to explore changes in the capital structure and tactical decisions. Finally, the valuation of an enterprise from inception to liquidation will be explored from the vantage of both the entrepreneur and the ongoing organization.

    Recommended background: Knowledge of basic entrepreneurship concepts (ETR 1100)
    This course will introduce students to the concept of social entrepreneurship and the ways in which social entrepreneurs are addressing complex social problems with their entrepreneurial ventures. Students will be exposed to the challenges and rewards of running a social enterprise. They will learn valuable business and entrepreneurial tools that can be applied to the design of sustainable social business models. Topics include social opportunity recognition and evaluation, business models in the social sector, social impact assessment, the double-bottom line, scalability of solutions, organizational forms and structures, and social venture financing.
    This course is designed to provide an introduction to economics, an introduction to entrepreneurship, and an understanding of the linkages between economics and entrepreneurship. Students will apply these concepts to the assessment of opportunities that might arise from participation in WPI projects. Students will engage in exploring how economics and entrepreneurship can inform opportunity assessment within an ambiguous and uncertain context. These decisions are always made with incomplete information and there is typically no single correct answer but rather multiple possible answers -- each with pluses and minuses.
    In this course, students are introduced to app development within a visual integrated development environment (IDE). The focus is developing business apps that will run on Android devices, including phone, tablet, and laptop form factors. Students will learn a core set of skills in the areas of screen navigation, decision logic, data manipulation, user interface controls, and IDE capabilities. This skill base will then be extended to create and deploy a custom app as part of a group project.

    Recommended background: CS 2119 or CS 2102, or equivalent knowledge.
    Knowing how to manage and interact with customers is a key component for business success. Today, customer needs are continuously evolving as well as how products and services are purchased and consumed. Understanding consumer behavior concepts allows firms to investigate consumption habits and make better informed managerial decisions. The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to various dimensions of consumer behavior, such as the consumer decision-making process, the influence of attitude towards the product, brand, and/or firm, and the impact of culture and subculture. Students will be exposed to how these dimensions are linked to consumers as individual, consumers as a market, and consumers as decision makers.

    Recommended background: None.
    This course will be offered 2014-2015 and in alternating years thereafter.

Supplemental Graduate Courses

    This course covers mathematical optimization in greater detail beyond the foundational concepts of linear programming. A variety of optimization problem classes will be addressed, likely including integer programming, nonlinear programming, stochastic programming and global optimization. While ensuring an appropriate level of theory, the main emphasis will be the methodological and computational aspects of solving such problems arising in the operational, manufacturing, and service sectors.

    Previous course(s) in linear algebra, basic knowledge about optimization and linear programming, or consent of the instructor
    This course is intended to provide students with understanding the intra- and inter-organizational implications of environmental practices and policies.  The role of organizational operational and supply chain management functions, activities, tools and methods and their relationship to the natural environment will be introduced and discussed. At the end of the course a successful student should be able to: grasp the scope of general operations and supply chain management and environmental sustainability as they relate to the firm, be able to relate to the manners in which management may respond and collaborate/cooperate with suppliers, customers, and various other stakeholders influencing and influenced by operational and supply chain activities from practical and theoretical case studies and able to evaluate various factors and understand tradeoffs in management decisions as they pertain to environmental operations and supply chain management.