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Undergraduate Courses


  • Cat. I What is development? How has international development been understood and what has been done about it? How do development scholars explain why some countries are rich while others are poor? How can students understand and incorporate development studies in the contexts of their own global engagements? This course addresses these questions by looking at theories, ideologies, and processes that have influenced and embodied development thinking and practice over the past five decades. We will examine the role of colonization, modernization, dependency, globalization, democratization, industrialization, and urbanization in processes of development in countries across the globe. The course encourages students to think critically about what development is, about how it is carried out and, most importantly of all, about what it can achieve. DEV 1200 provides excellent preparation for international projects and careers. Recommended background: No recommended background.


  • Cat. II The engineers and scientists of tomorrow have a crucial role to play in discovering and implementing solutions to daunting international challenges related to food, water, energy, sanitation and infrastructure. The urgency of such challenges grows alongside and increasingly globalized workplace, where a growing number of graduates find themselves working outside the US, and invited to engage cultures, worldviews, value systems and physical environments that are very unlike their own. This course prepares students with ‘global competency’, to enable them to more effectively and ethically tackle problems in the context of starkly different socioeconomic, political, social and physical realities. Students will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding required to consider, accommodate and effectively integrate contextual difference into engineering practice by exploring the complexity of project design, the potential for unintended consequences, and how technologies are transformed in different contexts. This course will prepare students for a broad range of international IQP and MQPs. Recommended background: none.


  • Cat. II This course provides students with a set of skills that will allow them to address complex problems and design challenges in development engineering. Students will learn to participate in and lead innovation and creativity in collaborative settings. This course includes design projects and case studies, many related to projects at WPI. Student teams will work with preliminary data to define the problem. They will then collect and analyze interview and survey data to learn about user needs. Students will explore how to understand end-user needs. Students will use a variety of tools to analyze their data, ideate potential solutions, and prototype. The teams will use their projects to develop plans for rapid improvement, scaling, continuous improvement and a rigorous impact evaluation. Recommended background: None.


  • 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 pre-requisites for the course.


  • 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.


  • This course examines the theory of international trade and the policies followed by governments with respect to trade of goods and services among nations. Theoretical considerations will include the gains from trade under classical and modern assumptions and the impact of various measures used by governments to either restrict or promote trade. Policy considerations will include U. S. trade policies and the role of the World Trade Organization. Additional topics may include trade and the environment, NAFTA, U.S.-China trade, international financial markets, and the determination of exchange rates. Recommended background: ECON 1120.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Cat. II This course investigates the effect of human activity upon the environment as well as the effect of the environment on human well-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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Cat. II This course examines the economics of government expenditure and taxation. On the expenditure side, the course will review why governments often choose to be involved in the provision of healthcare, education, national defense, a clean environment, and infrastructure such as roads and bridges. It will also delve into the rationale behind programs such as social security. Regarding taxation, the course will cover income, consumption, and corporate taxes, including the use of corrective taxes to address market failures due to externalities. Within each topic, the relevant economic theories will be presented, and then students will practice applying the theories to real-world examples. As such, there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss policy implications and debate proposed policy changes. Recommended background: Some introductory economics, such as Introductory Micro- or Macroeconomics (ECON 1110 or ECON 1120; or equivalent). Students who completed ECON 212X: Public Economics cannot receive credit for ECON 2126: Public Economics.


  • Econometrics helps governments and businesses make more informed economic decisions. This course introduces the application of statistics and economic theory to formulating, estimating, and testing models about relationships among key variables. Topics include basic data analysis, regression analysis (including estimation, inference, assumptions, violations of assumptions, corrections for violations, dummy variables), and forecasting. Students will have the opportunity to use real-world socioeconomic data to test and interpret economic theories using econometric software. Successful students should also be able to formulate, estimate, and interpret their own testable relationships in other projects or fields of study. Recommended Background: Some previous exposure to Economics, such as ECON 1110 and/or ECON 1120. Students may not get credit both for ECON 1130 and ECON 2130


  • Cat. I Behavioral economics incorporates insights from psychology and sociology into economic models of decision-making. While traditional economic theory typically assumes individuals are self-interested and have an infinite ability to analyze and understand their decision-making environment, behavioral economics relaxes these assumptions in light of evidence from the field of experimental economics. Topics in the course include social preferences, mental accounting, decision-making under uncertainty and intertemporal choice. Additional topics may include the economics of social identity, preference formation and learning. Decision-making processes will be examined using simple economic experiments conducted in class. Recommended background: ECON 1110.


  • Cat. II Experimental economics is a set of methods for testing hypotheses about behavior. Traditional economic analysis using naturally occurring data is often confounded by the complexities of the real world. Economic experiments, on the other hand, give researchers the control required for isolating behaviors of interest. As such, economic experiments can be useful tools for testing existing theories and establishing empirical regularities assisting in the development of new theories. In this course, we cover the basic principles of experimental design. We also study a number of classic experiments, on topics ranging from the efficiency of markets to decision-making under uncertainty and behavioral game theory. Students will participate in mock experiments and will begin putting their new skills into practice by designing their own experiments, which may serve as the basis for IQPs/MQPs. If time permits, we will discuss some of the basic methods for analyzing experimental data, which presents challenges somewhat different from naturally occurring data due to small sample sizes. Recommended Background: ECON 1110 . This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • During the 17th century, the Dutch became a world power, laying the foundation for much of our modern world. Despite the region’s scarce natural resources, the people of the Dutch Republic turned their country into the premier manufacturing, trading and financial center. The rich and the rising middle class became the main clients of Dutch artists and influenced a wide array of subjects that provide insight into everyday life in 17th-century Holland. We will use the visual arts to study the economic behavior of individuals, businesses, government, and other institutions and draw parallels to modern economies. We will learn, for example, about the tulip mania, the first documented speculative asset bubble, and discover that the Dutch were not that different from the exuberant traders of the modern stock market. The course will cover relevant topics in economic theory and will provide opportunities for students to conduct basic economic analysis. A major resource for the course will be the Worcester Art Museum’s rich holdings of Netherlandish art. On-campus PowerPoint presentations will be complemented by regular visits to the galleries as well as a visit to the Print Room. Recommended background: None.


  • Cat. I 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. Recommended background: None Students may not earn credits for both ECON 2910/ETR 2910 and ECON 291X/ETR 291X


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • What is a smart and sustainable city? What shapes it? How does its history influence its future? How do physical forms and institutions vary from city to city, and how are these changes meaningful? How are cities changing, and what is the future of cities? This course explores these and other questions, focusing on international cities in the late twentieth century. Two areas of focus in this seminar are the physical patterns and socio-ecological processes underpinning urban change. On the one hand, cities are characterized by spatial patterns of grey and green infrastructure from downtown and inner city to suburb and edge city; on the other, they are driven by a host of social rules and norms, as well as dynamic and increasingly unpredictable ecological processes. These questions and more are explored through lectures, readings, videos, case studies, and guest speakers. Recommended background: None.


  • Cat. II This course introduces Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a powerful mapping and analytical tool. Topics include GIS data structure, map projections, and fundamental GIS techniques for spatial analysis. Laboratory exercises concentrate on applying concepts presented in lectures and will focus on developing skills using ArcGIS. These exercises include examples of GIS applications in environmental modeling, socio-demographic change and site suitability analyses. Although the course is computer-intensive, no programming background is required. This course will be offered in 2015-16 and in alternating years thereafter. Note: Students cannot receive credit for both ENV150X and ENV1500.


  • Global environmental change, especially climate change, is already proving to be a grand challenge to societies, ecosystems, and economies. While climate change impacts vary globally, people and governments are striving to reduce exposure to environmental risks and trying to design socio-ecological responses to improve welfare. Taking climate change as a starting point, this course introduces students to a wide range of climate change conditions, human responses to those conditions, and points toward the need for deeper understanding of human-environment relationships. The course will draw from Geography, Economics, Global Environmental Change, and other cross cutting disciplines for theory and case studies. Examples of climate change risks and mitigation efforts will come from the developed and developing world and will include both urban and rural examples. Assessment techniques include small group projects, case based testing, and in class and online discussions. The course will also reinforce monitoring, evaluation, and learning techniques with students and faculty who will design desired course outcomes and procedures. At the end of this course students will be able to discuss and describe differential climate change impacts, human mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and make educated contributions to climate change mitigation policies and programs.


  • This course will examine climate change impacts through the lens of a number of emerging engineering challenges in the developing world, now and into the future. Beginning with an overview of climate change science, students will learn how rapidly changing ecological systems in turn affect a variety of human endeavors. The course will then explore case studies of human responses to these climatic changes in different countries faced with varied ecological, political, and cultural dynamics: mitigation efforts that aim to reduce the amount of future climate change; adaptation plans that anticipate high-probability future changes; and resiliency efforts that attempt to provide the ability to respond as circumstances evolve in as-yet unknown ways. At the end of this course, students will understand that they will be required to consider and incorporate climate change science ¬– and the expanding list of consequences from rapidly changing planetary conditions ¬¬– into almost every aspect of their professional lives


  • Cat. II Sustainability planning seeks to anticipate and balance environmental, social, and economic impacts of human actions. This course presents an overview of how various perspectives can contribute to frameworks for environmental land use planning and management. Students are encouraged to think critically about problems land and natural resource use pose to society. Technical principles and analysis of sustainability planning are introduced and applied to challenges that communities currently face such as food, fiber and energy production, environmental conservation, hazard mitigation and resilience, water security, economic development, and waste management. Techniques to engage a diverse set of stakeholders in a collaborative planning process are examined along with the role of technology. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • This course will help students understand and apply concepts of resilience to build the capacity of communities to withstand disruptions associated with climate change, global pandemics, energy insecurity, and other socio-ecological crises; and to nurture robust human and ecological systems for the future. The course will explore historical and contemporary case studies, including Hurricane Katrina, the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, the novel coronavirus pandemic, and climate vulnerabilities in the City of Worcester and elsewhere, to understand the breadth of factors that give rise to disaster vulnerability and adaptive capacities. It will examine policies that govern infrastructure development, public health, and energy innovation and explore pathways for their reconceptualization. It will explore models for resilient community planning, such as climate-ready cities and sustainable communities. Ultimately, it will help students understand theories underlying community resilience and potential approaches for designing resilience into our community systems


  • With global attention dominated by environmental catastrophe and despair, we will spotlight new work that has brought together scientists, environmentalists, engineers, and artists to tackle the most serious problems facing communities. We will explore the political ecology implications of control over essential resources and the positive consequences of rethinking and democratizing basic social needs for a more sustainable future. Recent exciting case studies will feature examples of simple solutions that inspire elegant, transferrable, and inexpensive applications of technological design. We will examine the role and obligation that scientists have to collaborate with interdisciplinary and public policy efforts that benefit people with sustainable approaches to architecture, food, energy, transportation, and infrastructure. Recommended background: introductory environmental studies course. Students may not receive credit for both ENV230X and ENV2310.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Cat. II Environment and development are often seen as incompatible, in part because many poor people in the developing world depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. At the same time, poor people are often seen as responsible for causing environmental degradation because they lack the knowledge, skills and resources to manage the environment effectively. The vicious circle is completed as environmental degradation exacerbates poverty. However, optimists argue that poor people can and do contribute positively to environmental o utcomes, that states and organizations can facilitate their efforts and that environmental interventions can coincide with development. This course will examine these different perspectives on environmental problems in the developing world through the insights and critiques of social science. Subjects covered include sustainable development, population, environmental risks, gender, urbanization, environmental decision making, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The goals of this course are to think critically about the various links between environment and development and the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in promoting sustainable development in the developing world. Recommended Background: ENV 1100 . This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Social media platforms are changing the world of social movements, giving rise to a new generation of social activism. Social media can enable local actors to link with others from across the globe to incite social and environmental change. Social media has enabled people to document and share injustices (e.g., violence; dumping of toxic waste) in places where freedom of the press is limited or non-existent, and it has enabled people across different social groups (race, class, etc.) to engage with one another on issues of shared concern. Social media has also allowed people to share resources (financial, expertise, and organizational) with other social actors across the globe, empowering communities in novel ways. This course introduces students to the phenomena of social and environmental movements, theories on why they succeed and fail, and how social media has changed the landscape of social mobilization. This course will draw on interdisciplinary readings, concepts, and case studies from the social sciences, with emphasis on geography, public policy, sociology, and media studies. Course work will include small group projects, analyses of current social movement cases, and a final project. The final project will consist of interviewing members of a current social movement (potentially using social media), evaluating whether particular social media applications have helped to enable social mobilization, and designing new or revised social media tools to further enhance social mobilization. Recommended background: introductory environmental studies (ENV1100 or equivalent).


  • This course examines the European City model for urban and sustainable development policies and practices. The course has both classroom and field-based components. In class we will learn about model strategies for urban development, how they are mobilized, and the causes of differentiated implementation from place to place. During the field-based component, we will travel to Europe for a one-week to 10-day field trip where we will meet policy makers and other stakeholders in several cities in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. Discussion and reflection time will take place each evening. Field trip expenses, transport and lodging, will be paid for by the University of Luxembourg. Each student is responsible for getting to Europe and paying a few nights accommodation before and after the trip. Recommended background: an interest in smart or sustainable cities and/or urban policy, planning, and practice. Students who completed this course as an ISRP cannot receive credit for ENV300X.


  • This course will take students on an adventure, both in the class and in the field. Students will examine the history of sustainable development, its antecedents, the factors that have influenced its evolution, and how the sustainable city came into existence. Students will be invited on a number of virtual field trips to sustainable cities from around the world. The goal will be to explore the underlying factors of sustainable urbanism, why it looks the way it does in different places, and how students can exercise their own agency in developing alternatives. Students will also develop their own field trips for publication on the course website. Suggested background: introduction to environmental studies and a passion for urban exploration.


  • Cat. I 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Cat. II This course will begin by examining privacy in different societies, starting with Eastern Europe during the Cold War and moving west. We will look first at privacy and the threats to it from government, then privacy and the threats posed by business. We will consider various technologies (including online social networks, communication devices, the Internet), and different regimes for protecting privacy (including law, regulation, and technology). The course is designed to develop critical thinking about the interactions between technology, policy, and the law as well as learning about the privacy tradeoffs one makes in using modern technologies. Recommended background: GOV 1310 0r GOV 2310. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • Cat. II The topic of healthcare and health insurance is featured in the media daily and is on the policy table at the local, state, national, and global levels. Many students encounter healthcare issues in their course work or IQPs. In this course, students will gain an introduction to healthcare policy in the United States, which will be compared with health policies across the globe. Utilizing a healthcare disparities and social justice framework, the course explores mental and physical health care policy, history, the present and the future of U.S. health care policy, and how to advocate for policies that address healthcare disparities. The impact of health policy upon individuals, groups, families, and communities is addressed as well. The role of the various levels of government in the provision of healthcare services is covered, as is the role that technology can play in the advancement of healthcare. Students shall not receive credit for both GOV 234X and GOV 2318. Recommended background: Basic background in public policy, such as GOV 1303


  • Cat. II It is apparent that environmental problems have outgrown national policy frameworks. Thus, institutions have emerged at the international and transnational levels to coordinate collective problem solving. But governance involves more than just the practicality of problem solving; it also involves uncertainty, controversy, power and politics. This course will examine the ways in which global environmental governance has been conceived: from establishing international institutions and agreements, to less tangible ways of interacting. We will examine themes such as scales of governance (from the United Nations to communities), policy networks, the role of NGOs, think tanks and special interests and the role of knowledge in global environmental debates. Students will then use this conceptual and theoretical basis to analyze major global environmental issues including: deforestation; biodiversity; endangered species; and climate change. The goals of this course are to gain an understanding of the main positions in global environmental debates; critically analyze these positions; and gain insight into the politics of global environmental policy and governance. Recommended Background: GOV 1303 or GOV 1320 . This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • This course offers students an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective advocates for social action and policy change. Policy advocates work to influence and change social policies in communities, organizations, or legislative bodies. This course will especially focus on developing methods of persuasion and how to address social problems, increase social justice, and assure access to resources, especially among individuals and groups who lack relative power in our society. Finally, the course will introduce students to and help them build the skills necessary for analyzing, developing, implementing, and assessing policy at the local, state, and national levels.


  • This course investigates the causes and effects of human movement from a political perspective. It explores many questions related to the movement of people across international borders such as: Why do people move across borders and how should local communities, national government, and international organization respond? Should countries have borders and, if so, how should they decide who is allowed entry and who should be denied entry? What types of obligations should a host country have towards immigrants and what responsibility should an immigrant have to the receiving society? Should citizenship be earned or automatic? How are women and children impacted by migration? How has immigration become a security issue in international relations? How has climate change impacted human migration? By the end of the term, students should gain critical insight into the language that fuels policy debates about migration. Recommended background: Students are encouraged to take this course to broaden their understanding of public policies as it relates to the movement of people across international borders. This course assumes that students have a general knowledge of political science and/or public policy concepts, such as can be found in GOV 1320 Topics in International Politics; however, no specific prerequisites are required to take this course.


  • This  course  will  explore  the  socioeconomic,  historical,  and  political  status  of  women. Among the topics we will cover are the history of women’s rights, women’s participation in elections and specific issues concerning women such as reproductive rights, body image, the #metoo movement, women in political office and other issues concerning race, gender, class and sexuality. We will look at the relationship between men and women in politics as well as the role of family. We will ask: what is women’s equality and difference, what solutions are best for women and what constitutes a feminist approach to politics? This course is designed to introduce students to the study of gender, politics, and social justice issues in the United States and beyond. Recommended   background: This   course   assumes   that   students   have   a   general knowledge  of  political  science  concepts,  such  as  can  be  found  in  GOV  1301  U.S. Government  and  1303  American  Public  Policy,  however,  no specific  prerequisites  are required to take this course.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. Suggested background: PSY 1400.


  • This course surveys human development from conception to death, with an emphasis on the scientific analysis of developmental patterns. The course will cover the biological, cognitive, emotional, social, personality, linguistic, and moral development of the individual at all stages. Students may not receive credit for PSY140X and PSY 1404. Recommended background: An introductory background in psychological science or experimental methods (PSY 1400). Students may not receive credit for both PSY 140X and PSY 1404


  • This course will introduce the wide variety of psychological disorders that exist in society (personality, anxiety, mood, psychotic, etc.). For each disorder discussed, possible causes, symptoms, preventions, and treatments will be examined. The course will cover psychopathologies throughout the entire spectrum of the lifespan (infancy to adulthood). Empirical research on understanding, diagnosing, and treating the different disorders will be emphasized. Suggested background: Introductory psychology (PSY 1400 or equivalent). Students may not receive credit for both PSY 1412 and PSY 141X.


  • 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.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • 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 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • In health psychology, we will review global and domestic health-related problems to discuss the links between health and psychology and discuss potential interventions. Health psychology is interdisciplinary in nature and relevant to students interested in health-related topics whether from a psychological, biological, biomedical, global, or preventative measures. Major health problems will be discussed: for example, AIDS is the number one cause of death worldwide; obesity (in children and adults) is a growing epidemic; the aging U.S. population will cause unprecedented health needs. Finally, stress infiltrates chronic health outcomes such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We will also review what ‘positive health’ means including nutrition, exercise, social support, managing stress, and habits for maintaining good health. Students will engage in research-based learning when considering psychological, cultural, and biological interventions for real world health crises. Recommended background: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 1400) and/or Social Psychology (PSY 1402).


  • School psychology focuses on understanding children and adolescents’ mental health, behavioral health and learning needs in order to work with educators and parents to help students succeed academically and socially. This course will provide an overview of the field of school psychology, drawing from educational, developmental, and cognitive research. Students will critically examine the theoretical, methodological, and practical approaches to understanding how in and out of school interventions and contexts influence the academic, social, and emotional development of children. Topics will include school readiness and transitions, behavioral and self-regulatory skills, socio-cultural diversity and skill gaps, assessment tools and classification, teacher-child interactions, and school- based interventions that promote positive development. This course differs from PSY 2401: They Psychology of Education in that it focuses on school systems rather than education more broadly. Students planning IQPs in educational settings will find this course particularly useful. Recommended background: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 1400), Cognitive Psychology (PSY 1401), and/or The Psychology of Education (PSY 2401), or an approved equivalent.


  • How are we able to distinguish instruments, timbres and rhythms from the intertwined sonic stream presented by the world? How do we organize these elements in time to create rhythms, melodies, phrases and pieces? How do perception and memory interact to allow us navigate a musical work? We will explore these questions by considering the cognitive and perceptual processes that shape our musical experience. Topics will include event distinction, temporal perception, hierarchical organization, perceptual grouping, expertise, memory and categorization. We will illustrate these ideas in musical contexts by listening to a variety of musical works. We will consider how psychological principles are applied to music technologies, such as compression algorithms, mixing methodologies and the field of music information retrieval. We will consider experiments that focus on some of these topics to further our understanding about how we experience music. Recommended background: Fundamentals of Music I and/or Fundamentals of Music II Note: Students that received credit for MU202x cannot receive credit for PSY 2501. Students cannot receive credit for both MU2501 and PSY 2501. This course can count for either the HUA or the SSPS requirement, but it cannot double count for both the HUA and SSPS graduation requirements.


  • “Mind-Body” connection may be an overused term, but in social science research, there is a growing use of physiological measures to infer psychological states, that is, to “get under the skin.” Sophisticated physiological measures are now commonly used to examine psychological processes. We will review the biological measures (e.g., sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, facial electromyography, and neuroendocrine monitoring) that can provide insight into emotional, cognitive, attitudinal, and motivational responses to psychological events, such as social rejection or helping others. The primary focus of the course is to investigate how psychophysiology can be applied to the study of social psychological phenomena, specifically (e.g., how can prejudice or related biases in attitudes be measured ‘under the skin’, social evaluation, lie detection, emotion regulation, stress of conformity, the benefits of prosocial behavior). Recommended background: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 1400), Social Psychology (PSY 1402), and/or Experimental Design and Analysis (PSY 3500).


  • Do women have less sexual arousal than men? How do religion, laws, and public policies influence perceptions of sex? What effects does pornography have on sexual attitudes and behaviors? How widespread is sexual and domestic violence? In this class, we will explore questions relating to our sexuality. Human sexuality is the study of the biological, evolutionary, social, cultural, and political perspectives relating to sex and the meaning behind “masculinity”, “femininity”, and “asexual” or “genderqueer”. We will discuss topics such as: gender roles, transgender, sexual orientation, the anatomy and physiology of the act of sex, relationships, sexual aggression, pornography, contraception, pregnancy, abortion, sexuality and aging, and the role of religion, law, policies, and cultural. We will think about how our sexuality influences how we think and act in the world around us. We will examine sexuality within the United States and throughout the world. This course is designed to increase awareness and sensitivity to sexuality and issues relating to it. Discussions in class will be candid and on sensitive and controversial topics. Recommended background: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 1400), Social Psychology (PSY 1402), and/or Psychology of Gender (PSY 2407).


  • This course provides an opportunity for students with some background and interest in psychological science to learn about a special topic within Psychological Science. Recommended background: An introductory background in psychological science (PSY 1400, PSY1401, PSY 1402, or equivalent). This course may be repeated for different topics.


  • How does the courtroom work and where does psychology come into play? Is it really “innocent until proven guilty”? Do people confess to crimes they never committed? How accurate are eyewitnesses? In this course, we will discuss and examine questions like these and many more. This course examines empirical research in the interface of psychology and law. We will learn about standard practices in the criminal justice system and empirical psychological research devoted to understanding these practices. As a discussion-based course, we will tackle topics such as: courtroom procedures, confessions, death penalty, deception, decision making, deliberations, eyewitnesses, expert testimony, jury selection, memory, police, and pretrial publicity. We will also explore how and when psychologists can impact legal guidelines and policies. Recommended background: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 1400), Social Psychology (PSY 1402) and/or Cognitive Psychology (PSY 1401). Courses in Government and Policy Studies will also be beneficial.


  • Cat. II Surveys are everywhere. But good surveys based on sound social science are rare. Conducting a successful survey requires familiarity with the methods and techniques developed by psychologists and other social scientists through long experience to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and validity of survey data. This course will focus on the common mistakes of first time survey researchers and ways to avoid them. Topics covered will include alternatives to survey research, sampling, response rates, questionnaire design and implementation, question wording, pretesting, ethical issues in survey research, and communicating survey results. Special attention will be given to issues related to the use of on-line survey platforms. During the course students will be guided through the development, implementation, and analysis of a survey on a topic of their own choosing. This course is an appropriate methodology course for psychology and other social science majors and can also be taken by students of all majors as preparation for a survey-based IQP or MQP. Recommended background: background in psychological science such as social or cognitive. Students who completed PSY340X cannot receive credit for PSY3400.


  • Surveys are everywhere. But good surveys based on sound social science are rare. Conducting a successful survey requires familiarity with the methods and techniques developed by psychologists and other social scientists through long experience to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and validity of survey data. This course will focus on the common mistakes of first time survey researchers and ways to avoid them. Topics covered will include alternatives to survey research, sampling, response rates, questionnaire design and implementation, question wording, pretesting, ethical issues in survey research, and communicating survey results. Special attention will be given to issues related to the use of on-line survey platforms. During the course students will be guided through the development, implementation, and analysis of a survey on a topic of their own choosing. This course is an appropriate methodology course for psychology and other social science majors and can also be taken by students of all majors as preparation for a survey-based IQP. Recommended background: Social Psychology (PSY1402) or Introduction to Sociology and Diversity (SOC1202) or equivalent.


  • Cat. II In this course, students will learn about different processes used when designing experiments. In addition, they will learn about different analyses that can be used based on different experimental designs. Students will design and run a simple experiment in the course. In addition, students will analyze the data and present their findings. Topics covered in the course include experimental design, experimental methods, ethical issues related to human participants research, use of statistical analyses and programs to analyze data, and hypothesis testing. Recommended background: Familiarity with the fundamentals of psychological science and cognitive or social psychology (PSY 1400 and PSY 1401 or PSY 1402, or equivalent). Students may not receive credit for both SS2400 and PSY 3500. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.


  • This course provides an opportunity for students with a strong background and interest in psychological science to learn about a special topic within Psychological Science. Recommended background: two 2000 and/or 3000 level Psychological Science courses. This course may be repeated for different topics.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Cat. II The purpose of this course is to prepare students to construct original system dynamics computer simulation models of economic and social systems from real world situations. They are coached to experiment with these models to understand unintended consequences of policy and to design effective policy interventions. Such a modeling process can be used to examine the possible impacts of policy changes and technological innovations on socioeconomic systems. The curriculum in this course covers a detailed examination of the steps of the system dynamics modeling process: problem identification (including data collection and analysis), feedback structure conceptualization, model formulation, model testing and analysis, model documentation and presentation, and policy implementation, illustrated by examples from business, economy and social systems. This course together with either SS1505 or SD1510 can provide the basic background for the students to use system dynamics in their IQP/MQP projects. Students will not be granted credit for both SD1520 and SD2520. Recommended background: Fundamental systems thinking concepts as presented in SS1505, SD1510, or permission of the instructor.


  • 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.


  • This course encourages students to explore how a sociological toolkit may be used to examine the impetus for social and historical changes and the effect such changes have on how individuals live, work, and find their place in this world. It operates from the premise that individual lives are not just personal but social—as humans we are shaped by the societies in which we live and the social forces at work within them. Major theoretical perspectives and concepts will be discussed over the course of the semester with primary emphasis on the roles that culture, dimensions of inequality and social change play in shaping individual lives. Students will also explore the influence that social institutions such as the family, religion, education, healthcare, government, economy, and environment have on how humans function within society.


  • Cat. I This course addresses the theory and practice of developing solutions to complex social and environmental problems through interaction with roleplaying games and computer simulations designed to promote learning and improve decision-making. By interacting with a selection of games and case studies, students will learn to recognize the systemic causes of complex social and environmental problems and gain experience developing and using simulations to test policies for creating sustainable futures. Special attention will be given to appropriate modeling practices and the design of simulation experiments. The course is run in a laboratory format in which students work in groups to play games, develop simulation models and present them to the class for feedback before they revise and refine their work iteratively for final evaluation. Recommended background: None Students who completed SS150X cannot receive credit for SS1505.


  • Cat. I The focus of global health research and practice is improving the overall health and health equity of all people worldwide. In this course, we will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore the major biological, social, political, environmental and economic determinants of health. We will analyze the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable disease facing the world’s populations including study of current health systems, global health practices and priorities as well as major organization and institutional players. Class sessions will consist of lecture, intensive small group discussion, and global health case analyses. After successful completion of this course, students will be able to explain the basic principles of public health; discuss the determinants of health; describe how globalization has changed the patterns of the spread of disease and the methods needed to control disease; evaluate the complex, multi-faceted links between health, social and economic factors; and identify critical issues in the delivery of health care services, with a particular emphasis on challenges faced with regard to different cultural and economic settings.


  • Cat. II The course is designed to integrate each student’s educational experience and interests in Global Public Health, (e.g., core global public health courses, specializations, and experience). 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 global public health and anticipates how their courses and experiences will translate into their future personal and professional. The course is especially designed as the capstone seminar for Global Public Health minors, but is also open to non-minors. Recommended background: previous courses in global public health, and completion or concurrent registration with a global public health-related MQP, IQP or ISP.

Graduate Courses


  • This course covers readings that represent the foundation of the learning sciences, including: Foundations (Constructivism, Cognitive Apprenticeship, & Situated Learning); Approaches (Project-based Learning, Model-based reasoning, Cognitive Tutors); and Scaling up educational interventions. The goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of the foundations and approaches to the Learning Sciences so that they can both critically read current literature, as well as build on it in their own research. (Prerequisites: None)


  • In this class, students will read and review both classic and critical current journal articles about learning technologies developed in the Learning Sciences. This course is designed to educate students on current technological approaches to curricular design, implementation, and research in the Learning Sciences. (Prerequisites: None)


  • This course covers research methods used in the Learning Sciences. Students will gain expertise and understanding of think-aloud studies, cognitive task analysis, quantitative and qualitative field observations, log file analysis, psychometric, cognitive, and machine-learning based modeling, the automated administration of measures by computer, and issues of validity, reliability, and statistical inference specific to these methods. Students will learn how and when to apply a variety of methods relevant to formative, performance, and summative assessment in both laboratory and field settings. Readings will be drawn primarily from original source materials (e.g. journal articles and academic book chapters), in combination with relevant textbook chapters. (Prerequisites: SS 2400, Methods, Modeling, and Analysis in Social Science, comparable course, or instructor discretion.)


  • This course covers three key types of constructs that significantly impact learning and performance in real-world settings, including but not limited to educational settings. Students will gain an understanding of the main theoretical frameworks, and major empirical results, that relate individuals’ meta-cognition, motivation, and affect to real-world outcomes, both in educational settings and other areas of life. Students will learn how theories and findings in these domains can be concretely used to improve instruction and performance, and complete final projects that require applying research in these areas to real-world problems. Students will do critical readings on research on this topic. (Prerequisites: None)


  • Why do some businesses grow while others stagnate or decline? What causes oscillation and amplification – the so called “bull whip” – 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.


  • 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 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity.)


  • 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. (Prerequisites: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity and SD 551 Modeling and Experimental Analysis of Complex Problems.)


  • 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 through 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. (Prerequisites: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity and SD 551 Modeling and Experimental Analysis of Complex Problems, or permission of the instructor.)


  • The performance of firms and industries over time rarely unfolds in the way management teams expect or intend. The purpose of strategic modeling and business dynamics is to investigate dynamic complexity by better understanding how the parts of an enterprise operate, fit together and interact. By modeling and simulating the relationships among the parts we can anticipate potential problems, avoid strategic pitfalls and take steps to improve performance. We study a variety of business applications covering topics such as cyclicality in manufacturing, market growth and capital investment. The models are deliberately small and concise so their structure and formulations can be presented in full and used to illustrate principles of model conceptualization, equation formulation and simulation analysis. We also review some larger models that arose from real-world applications including airlines, the oil industry, the chemicals industry and fast moving consumer goods. Students work with selected business policy problems based on generic structures discussed in the lessons. Pre-requisite: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity.


  • This course addresses policy resilience and unintended consequences arising out of actions that are not cognizant of the latent structure causing the problem. An attempt is made to identify the generic systems describing such latent structures. The latent structures discussed include a selection from capacity constraining and capacity enabling systems, resource allocation, and economic cycles of various periodicities. Problems discussed in lessons include pests, gang violence, terrorism, political instability, professional competence in organizations, urban decay, and economic growth and recessions. Students work with selected public policy problems relevant to the generic latent structures discussed in the course. Pre-requisites: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity, SD 551 Modeling and Experimental Analysis of Complex Problems.


  • The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the field of agent-based computer simulation modeling in the social sciences. The course begins with an outline of the history of the field, as well as of the similarities and differences between agent-based computer simulation modeling and system dynamics computer simulation modeling. An important goal of the course is to provide students with guidelines for deciding when it is preferable to apply agent-based modeling, and when it is preferable to apply system dynamics modeling, to a particular problem. Through a series of example models and homework exercises students are introduced to the software that is used in the course. Generally speaking, as the course progresses students will be introduced to increasingly complicated agent-based models and exercises so that their modeling skills will grow. The goal is to increase students’ modeling skills so that they will eventually be able to create their own agent-based models from scratch. The remainder of the course is devoted to examining models of socioeconomic phenomena that reside within two broad categories of agent-based models: cellular automata models and multi-agent models. Along the way the cross-category, cross-disciplinary, principles of agent-based modeling (micro-level agents following simple rules leading to macro-level complexity, adaptation, evolving structure, emergence, non-ergodicity) are emphasized.


  • 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.


  • This course helps students develop understanding and proficiency in system dynamics simulation of energy and environmental problems. The majority of the content is devoted to case studies that focus on energy, water and environmental problems. Major business applications deal with boom and bust in power plant construction and a similar pattern of boom and bust in real-­‐estate construction. The text used is: Ford, Andrew. 2009. Modeling the Environment, 2nd Edition. Island Press. The book’s website ( ) provides model files, background on the case studies and a wide variety of extra exercises. For example, Students interested in water resource management can simulate the complex tradeoffs in the management of large river basins; students interested in water quality can experiment with models of accelerated eutrophication of fresh water lakes. A highlight of SD 561 is a class project. One option is to select one of the more challenging sets of exercises from the book (or the book’s website). Such a project is often the best way to conclude SD561 for students who are new to system dynamics. The other option is to improve one of the models from the book or the website. This option is usually best for students with previous course work in system dynamics. Their project report will explain why their simulations are an improvement on the published simulations. And they will explain whether the conclusions from their modeling reinforce or contradict the conclusions from the book. Prerequisites: SD550 or permission of the instructor.


  • This course will introduce students to the fundamental dynamics that drive project performance, including the rework cycle, feedback effects, and inter-phase “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-requisite: SD 550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity.)


  • 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 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity.)