Undergraduate Courses

CP 110X. PREPARING FOR CO-OPS

  • The WPI Cooperative Education Program (known as Co-op) provides an opportunity for students to alternate time in the classroom with extended periods of paid, full-time, career related work experience in industry or government agencies. This course is open to all students who are interested in participating in the Co-op program, spring or fall. Students will learn about the Co-op program, how to fit a Co-op into their schedule, how to apply to opportunities, job search skills such as resume writing, interviewing and networking, attend information panels with past Co-op participants, conduct informational interviews with employers and learn the impact Co-op has on their experience at WPI, such as financial aid and housing contracts.

FY 1100. THE GREAT PROBLEMS SEMINARS

  • Cat. I The Great Problems Seminars (GPS) are a two course sequence designed to engage Worcester Polytechnic Institute's first-year students with current events, societal problems, and human needs. Each seminar starts with an important problem and introduces some of the key disciplinary tools that could be used to attack the problem. The focus for most of the second course will be a research project related to the GPS theme. Students will present their project work in a poster session at the end of the second term. Each seminar is developed and presented by an interdisciplinary pair of faculty. To participate, students must enroll in the two course sequence. Academic credit for the GPS will depend on the theme and the faculty who develop the seminar.

FY 1101. THE GREAT PROBLEMS SEMINARS

  • Cat. I The Great Problems Seminars (GPS) are a two course sequence designed to engage Worcester Polytechnic Institute's first-year students with current events, societal problems, and human needs. Each seminar starts with an important problem and introduces some of the key disciplinary tools that could be used to attack the problem. The focus for most of the second course will be a research project related to the GPS theme. Students will present their project work in a poster session at the end of the second term. Each seminar is developed and presented by an interdisciplinary pair of faculty. To participate, students must enroll in the two course sequence. Academic credit for the GPS will depend on the theme and the faculty who develop the seminar.

FY 160X. HUMANTRN ENGIN: PAST & PRESENT

  • In FY 160X, students confront a historically particular engineering challenge through role-play. For C 2019, our scenario is 19th-century Worcester, MA. Stepping into a different historical and cultural context, students encounter a variety of perspectives within a complex social environment to understand and address a historically specific engineering challenge, such as Worcester’s 19th-century waste management problems. They learn concepts, methods and skills from a variety of disciplines (in engineering and the humanities) while developing creative confidence to identify opportunities and apply knowledge to improve people’s lives and mitigate damage to the planet.

FY 1800. DISCOVERING MAJORS AND CAREERS

  • (1/12 unit) This course is open to all students who are undecided about or are thinking about changing their academic major. Students will conduct a self assessment utilizing career assessment tools, research majors of interest and career paths, attend academic department presentations/major panels, participate in informational interviews, job shadowing and/or company tours. Students will meet individually with Peer Advisors and/or a CDC staff member at least three times throughout the course.

ID 200X. MAPPING YOUR MISSION

  • Every student that graduates from WPI has a major, but what about a mission? This course helps participants explore their personal values, strengths, and talents and the ways they can use these personal characteristics to improve the world around them. Through the course, participants will identify a personal mission and a plan to work toward achieving their mission. Participants will explore the ways their major and their mission can intersect. Suggested background: FY1800.

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.

ID 2100. DISEASE DETECTIVES: AN INTRODUCTION TO EPIDEMIOLOGY

  • Cat. II In this course, we will learn about the principles of epidemiology and the role epidemiologist play in responding to disease outbreaks and promoting public health through exploration of a series of real life cases studies. We will analyze the burden of communicable diseases today and emerging disease. We will discuss the role of current health practices and priorities as well as global organization and institutional players. Students will be introduced to the basic principles and methods used in epidemiology to study the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations and in the development of prevention and intervention strategies. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach as epidemiologist relay on many different disciplines such as biology for understanding disease processes, statistics for making efficient and appropriate use of data, social science for understanding behavior, and engineering for analysis and assessment tools. Class sessions will consist of lecture, intensive small group discussion, and case analyses.

ID 3100. TEACHING METHODS IN MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE

  • Cat. II Within the context of contemporary secondary education in mathematics and science (biology, chemistry, physics), ID 3100 introduces and demonstrates effective teaching methods as they relate to curriculum goals and current methods of assessment. These methods take into account diverse learning styles as well as various technological resources. Topics to be covered include: a brief history of education; curriculum and course guidelines (Massachusetts Education Reform and regulations 603 CMR 7.00, state curricular frameworks, national standards); legal issues; developing a course syllabus; and the issue of breadth versus depth in course planning and delivery. The course also covers practical questions of organizing, delivering and assessing a course. This course is intended primarily for students interested in completing the Massachusetts requirements for teacher licensing. This program is aimed primarily at majors in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology wishing to be licensed to teach in middle or high school in one of those disciplines. A portion of the course requires the observation of master teachers at the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science, who will work with all students in the course to assist them in beginning to acquire the appropriate skills to conduct their own classes in mathematics or science at the secondary school level. Recommended background: SS 2401, Psychology of Education. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3150. LIGHT, VISION AND UNDERSTANDING

  • Cat. II By using material from the sciences and the humanities this course examines the ways in which ideas of knowledge and of human nature have been fashioned. The specific topics include physical theories about light, biological and psychological theories of visual perception, and artistic theories and practices concerned with representation. The mixing of material from different academic disciplines is deliberate, and meant to counter the notion that human pursuits are "naturally" arranged in the neat packages found in the modern university. The course draws upon the physical and social sciences, and the humanities, to examine how those fields relate to one another, and how they produce knowledge and self-knowledge. Cultural as well as disciplinary factors are assessed in this process. Light, Vision and Understanding is conducted as a seminar. The diverse collection of reading materials includes a number of primary texts in different fields. In addition, the students keep a journal in which they record the results of numerous individual observations and experiments concerning light and visual perception. The course can fit into several Sufficiency areas as well as serve as a starting point for an IQP. There are no specific requirements for this course, although some knowledge of college-level physics, as well an acquaintance with the visual arts, is helpful. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3526. COMPARATIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS

  • Cat. II The basis of this course is a comparative study and analysis of specific Latin American and Caribbean business practices and environments, and the customs informing those practices. ID/SP 3526 focuses on countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. The course’s main objective is to study communication strategies, business protocol, and negotiation practices in the countries mentioned above. Through oral presentations and written essays, students will have the opportunity to explore other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Taught in advanced level Spanish. May be used toward foreign language Minor, or Major. Recommended Background: SP 2521 and SP 2522. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3527. TECHNICAL AND BUSINESS SPANISH

  • Cat. II The course focuses on the linguistic concepts, terminology, and grammar involved in business and technical Spanish. Students will be required to produce and edit business documents such as letters, job applications, formal oral and written reports, etc. The objective of this course is to help students develop the basic written and oral communication skills to function in a business environment in Latin America and the Caribbean. Recommended background: SP 2521 and SP 2522. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3529. CARIBBEANNESS: VOICES OF THE SPANISH CARIBBEAN

  • Cat. II A survey of Caribbean literature and arts that takes a multimedia approach to examining the different voices that resonate from the Spanish Caribbean and what appears to be a constant search for identity. By studying the works of major authors, films, music and the plastic arts, we will examine the socio-cultural context and traditions of this region in constant search for self-definition. Special attention will be given to the influential role ethnicity, colonialism, gender and socio-economic development play in the interpretation of works from Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Venezuela as well as those of the Caribbean diaspora. This course is taught in Spanish. Recommended background: SP 3521 (Advanced Spanish I) and SP 3522 (Advanced Spanish II) or equivalent. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3530. SPANISH FILM/MEDIA: CULTURAL ISSUES

  • Cat. II Through Spanish films, and other media sources, this course studies images, topics, and cultural and historical issues that have had an impact in the creation of a modern Spanish nation. This course focuses on current political and ideological issues (after 1936), the importance of Spanish Civil war, gender identity, and class, cultural and power relationships. This course is taught in Spanish. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

ID 3531. CONTEMPORARY US LATINO LITERATURE & CULTURE

  • Cat. II This course introduces students to the field of Latino studies, paying particular attention to the cultural productions of U.S. Latinos in film, theater, music, fiction writing and cultural criticism. At the same time that this course reflects upon a transnational framework for understanding the continuum between U.S. Latinos and Latin American/Caribbean communities, we closely examine more U.S. based arguments supporting and contesting the use of Latino as an ethnic racial term uniting all U.S. Latino communities. We examine the ways in which U.S. Latinos have manufactured identities within dominant as well as counter cultural registers. In this course, special attention is given to the aesthetics of autobiography and to how Latino writers experiment with this genre in order to address changing constructions of immigration, language, exile, and identity. This course is taught in English. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

Graduate Courses

ID 500. RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH

  • The purpose of this zero credit course is to familiarize pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees with basic ethical issues in research confronting scientists and engineers. The course includes five lectures and five student-led discussion sessions on topics such as experimental design best practices, research involving animal subjects, authorship, and research misconduct. Student learning will be assessed through in-class formative assessments as well as small group presentations during the discussion sessions. The course is recommended for all graduate students and postdocs who are engaged in research and will be offered in 2018 and each year thereafter.

ID 527. FUNDAMENTALS OF SCIENTIFIC TEACHING AND PEDAGOGY

  • The purpose of this zero credit course is to bolster teaching proficiency for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees through in depth and interactive sessions on the science behind student learning, scientific teaching, assessments and rubrics, active learning, project based learning, inclusive learning environments, teaching philosophies, technology in the classroom, and course design. Participants will learn through both lecture and practicum sessions each week, and will work in small groups to develop a short teachable unit incorporating the techniques learned throughout the course, which they will ultimately present at the conclusion of the series. The course is recommended for all graduate students and postdocs who are pursuing careers that will entail teaching in higher education as well as those interested in learning the fundamentals of pedagogy and effective teaching strategies.