• Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
    BCB 100X. EXPLORING BIOINFORMATICS AND COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY
    Life scientists are generating huge amounts of data on many different scales, from DNA and protein sequence, to information on biological systems such as protein interaction networks, brain circuitry, and ecosystems. Analyzing these kinds of data requires quantitative knowledge and approaches using computer science and mathematics. In this project-based course, students will use case studies to learn about both important biological problems and the computational tools and algorithms used to study them. Students will study a sampling of topics in the field, including such areas as complex disease genetics, analysis of a flu epidemic, investigating antibiotic resistance, and understanding the behavior of swarms, such as schooling fish. Computational tools explored will include both freely-available web-based tools as well as guided programming using Python.

    Recommended background: High school biology. Programming experience is not required.
  • Biology & Biotechnology
    BB 100X. EXPLORING BIOINFORMATICS AND COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY
    Life scientists are generating huge amounts of data on many different scales, from DNA and protein sequence, to information on biological systems such as protein interaction networks, brain circuitry, and ecosystems. Analyzing these kinds of data requires quantitative knowledge and approaches using computer science and mathematics. In this project-based course, students will use case studies to learn about both important biological problems and the computational tools and algorithms used to study them. Students will study a sampling of topics in the field, including such areas as complex disease genetics, analysis of a flu epidemic, investigating antibiotic resistance, and understanding the behavior of swarms, such as schooling fish. Computational tools explored will include both freely-available web-based tools as well as guided programming using Python.

    Recommended background: High school biology. Programming experience is not required.

    BB 291X. PHAGE HUNTERS: THE QUEST
    Students in this course will become part of a national crowd sourcing initiative to isolate and identify novel bacteriophage. Students will design experiments to initially isolate phage (bacterial viruses) from environmental samples they have collected, then characterize and determine their DNA sequence. The DNA sequences will be used in the follow-on bioinformatics course BB 351X Phage Hunters: The Analysis. Students in this course will make significant contributions to the field of genomics while gaining skill in the process of scientific inquiry, including hypothesis generation and testing, and practice in common microbiologic techniques.

    Recommended background: A working knowledge of biotechnology or microbiology (BB 1035 or BB 2002, or equivalent).
    Students enrolled in this course in AY 2015/16 must also enroll in BB 350X.

    BB 350X. PHAGE HUNTERS: THE ANALYSIS
    In this computer lab students will work with phage genomic sequences obtained from novel bacteriophages isolated in BB291X, Phage Hunters, The Quest. The raw genome files will be finished and oriented; students will then search the sequence to identify and map existing genes and other genomic components (sequence annotation). Additional course goals are to do an initial comparative genomic analysis and post-annotation experimentation. The ultimate goal is to produce novel bacteriophage genome sequences that are ready to be submitted to GenBank, the US repository of DNA sequence information at the National Institute of Health.

    Recommended bckground: BB291X Phage Hunters: The Quest; a working knowledge of genome structure and function ( BB 2920, BB2950, or equivalent).
  • Business, School of
    ETR 280X. ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE
    This course is designed for students interested in understanding the role of financial resources in both startup companies and internal projects in existing organizations, and in maximizing those resources. It identifies multiple sources of funding for these ventures and explores their ramifications. Priority will be given to technology-based enterprises. The course will be presented from an engineering perspective and incorporate dialog with actual investors and entrepreneurs as well as case studies. In addition to corporate contacts, students will gain hands-on experience through the application of an operating model developed at WPI to capture and understand the role of early capital in a venture and to explore changes in the capital structure and tactical decisions. Finally, the valuation of an enterprise from inception to liquidation will be explored from the vantage of both the entrepreneur and the ongoing organization.

    Recommended background: Knowlege of basic entrepreneurship concepts (ETR 1100)

    ETR 290X. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    This course will introduce students to the concept of social entrepreneurship and the ways in which social entrepreneurs are addressing complex social problems with their entrepreneurial ventures. Students will be exposed to the challenges and rewards of running a social enterprise. They will learn valuable business and entrepreneurial tools that can be applied to the design of sustainable social business models. Topics include social opportunity recognition and evaluation, business models in the social sector, social impact assessment, the double-bottom line, scalability of solutions, organizational forms and structures, and social venture financing.

    ETR 291X/ECON 291X. ECONOMICS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    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.

    MIS 270X. APP DEVELOPMENT
    In this course, students are introduced to app development within a visual integrated development environment (IDE). The focus is developing business apps that will run on Android devices, including phone, tablet, and laptop form factors. Students will learn a core set of skills in the areas of screen navigation, decision logic, data manipulation, user interface controls, and IDE capabilities. This skill base will then be extended to create and deploy a custom app as part of a group project.

    Recommended background: CS 2119 or CS 2102, or equivalent knowledge.
  • Chemical Engineering
    CHE 372X. BIOENERGY
    The primary goal of this course is to provide students the necessary understanding and tools to evaluate biochemical and thermochemical biofuel production technologies. The secondary goals include developing understanding of 1) fuel properties, 2) biomass resources, 3) basic enzyme kinetics, 4) biochemical reactor design, 5) the corn ethanol process, 6) challenges to cellulosic ethanol, 7) biomass gasification reactions and thermochemistry, 8) gasification reactor design, and 9) techno economic concepts of biofuel processes.

    Recommended background: Knowledge of chemistry (CH 1010, 1020, and 1030 or equivalent), differential and integral calculus and differential equations (MA 1021-1024 and 2051 or equivalent), and chemical processing (CHE 2011 or equivalent).

    CHE 441X. CHEMICAL PROCESS SAFETY DESIGN
    Application of Chemical Engineering Design principles to the design of the process safety and environmental controls of a major chemical plant. Students work in groups to produce a preliminary practical flowsheet, equipment design and controls, and economic analysis, all associated with chemical process safety components within a plant. The course will also include an introduction to modeling of off-site impacts.

    Recommended background: familiarity with techniques and procedures emphasized in CHE 4403, inclusive of all recommended background for CHE 4403.
    Chemical engineering majors may not receive core credit for both CHE 4404 and CHE 441X.
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
    CE 402X. RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE
    This course is intended to provide students with understanding, knowledge, skills and tools to evaluate the risk and resilience of infrastructure components to climate change related and extreme weather events, and to conduct further studies and research on this subject. Methods to consider impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the infrastructure, understand different Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, utilize downscaled data for design of infrastructure, estimation of vulnerability, criticality, consequence, risk and resiliency, in both qualitative and quantitative way, and available adaptation frameworks and tools/software for increasing resiliency will be presented.

    Recommended background: basic knowledge of applied statistics (MA 2611 or equivalent), probability for applications (MA 2621 or equivalent), statics (CE 2000 or equivalent), structural engineering (CE 3010 or equivalent), and materials of construction (CE 3026 or equivalent).
  • Computer Science
    CS 210X. ACCELERATED OBJECT-ORIENTED DESIGN CONCEPTS
    This course covers the data structures and general program-design material from CS 2102, but assumes that students have significant prior experience in object-oriented programming. The course covers object-oriented design principles more deeply and at a faster pace than in CS 2102. Students will be expected to design, implement, test, debug, and critique programs both for correctness and adherence to good object-oriented design principles. The course is designed to strengthen the design skills of students who already have a foundation in object-oriented programming.

    Recommended background: A rigorous introduction to program design methodology, including data-driven program design and requirements-basedtesting, such as is covered in CS 1101 and CS 1102; and significant prior experience writing object-oriented programs from scratch. Ability to write recursive programs. Experience using and writing programs to traverse both lists and trees. Advanced Placement Computer Science A courses should provide sufficient background; students from AP CS Principles courses or gentler introductions to Java programming are advised to take CS 2102 instead.

    Students cannot receive credit for both CS 210x and CS 2102.
    Students earning credit for CS 210x may not receive subsequent credit for CS 2119.
  • Engineering Science
    ES 200X. HUMANITARIAN ENGINEERING: PAST AND PRESENT
    This ES200X course will focus on understanding the engineering and humanitarian challenges connected to designing a sanitation system in the developing world or in an under-resourced part of the developed world. Students will study social and stakeholder considerations as well as treatment and transport, which will inform the design of a prototype system using appropriate locally available resources. This is a project-based, hands-on research and solution-based course in which students will be divided into teams of 3 or 4 persons each. Each team will have weekly objectives/assignments that will be presented to the whole class via oral presentations. Discussion, criticism, suggestions, etc. will follow each team's in-class presentation. The purpose of these peer evaluations is to drive the development of the final physical model of the solution, and the building of the final poster for presentation.

    Some students in this class will have taken FY160X-C16-C01: Humanitarian Engineering: Past & Present, where they engaged in a role-playing experience that explored the complex historical question of sewage, sanitation and industrial waste in 19th century Worcester, Massachusetts. FY160X is not a prerequisite for ES200X.

    Recommended background: CH1010 Molecularity or General Chemistry and PH1110 General Physics - Mechanics.
  • Humanities & Arts
    AB210X. INTERMEDIATE ARABIC I
    This course will build on advanced beginning Arabic conversational patterns. Class time will focus on dialogue and mastery of grammatical constructions with increased emphasis on writing and reading. Conversational drills, audio recordings, video, and group interaction will enhance classroom learning. Not open to native or heritage speakers without written permission of instructor.

    Recommended background: AB 1533 Beginning Arabic III

    AB220X. INTERMEDIATE ARABIC II
    This course will build on advanced beginning and intermediate Arabic conversational patterns. Class time will focus on dialogue and mastery of grammatical constructions, with increased emphasis on reading and writing. Conversational drills, audio recordings, video, and group interaction will enhance classroom learning. Not open to native or heritage speakers without written permission of instructor.

    Recommended background: AB 210X Intermediate Arabic I

    AB230X. INTERMEDIATE ARABIC III
    This course continues to build on students’ advanced beginning Arabic conversational skills with a focus on dialogue and mastery of grammatical constructions. Increasing emphasis on reading and writing will supplement classroom activities. Conversational drills, audio recordings, video, and group interaction will enhance classroom learning. Not open to native or heritage speakers without written permission of instructor.

    Recommended background: AB 220X Intermediate Arabic II

    CN 354X. ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE CHINESE II
    This course builds on advanced intermediate Chinese skills, focusing on both conversational patterns and reading/writing. Class time will focus on dialogue and mastery of increasingly complex grammatical constructions, with emphasis on character recognition and production for reading and writing. Forms of business communication will be covered, including emails and memos, as well as essays. Not open to native or heritage speakers without written permission of instructor.

    Recommended background: CN 3541 Advanced Intermediate Chinese I or equivalent.

    CN 355X. ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE CHINESE III
    This course continues to build on students’ advanced intermediate Chinese skills with increasing emphasis on reading and writing. Writing assignments will be geared towards expressing more complex topics in Chinese. Not open to native or heritage speakers without written permission of instructor.

    Recommended background: CN 354X Advanced Intermediate Chinese II or equivalent.

    HU 333X
    This course explores cultural and historical issues related to modern East Asia (instructor will choose area of focus) through analysis of various media, including film, novels, essays, music, and images. Students will learn to recognize and analyze images and symbols used to produce national, cultural, and group identity and to understand the socio-political contexts that produce them. All sources will be in English translation.

    Recommended background: General knowledge of East Asian cultures (HU 1412 or HU 2340, or equivalent)

    WR 430X. ACADEMIC SCIENCE WRITING
    This course focuses on effective communication within a scientific or technical community. Students will analyze a number of genres, such as academic articles, research reports, grants, lab reports, and conference proceedings in order to codify the conventions. Students will then switch from analysis to production, writing and revising disciplinary writing for academic and specialized audiences.

    Recommended background: WR 1011 Writing About Science & Technology, WR 2211 Rhetoric of Visual Design, WR 3210 Technical Writing, WR 3214 Writing About Disease and Public Health, or equivalent
  • Interactive Media & Game Development
    IMGD 240X. WRITING FOR GAMES 1: CHARACTERS
    This course will present concepts and skills necessary to create compelling characters in games. Topics covered may include the 3 dimensions of character, growth and development of the player-character and non-player characters, dialogue, character relationships and evoking emotion.

    Recommended background: Previous investigation in the field of interactive storytelling and its basic building blocks (IMGD 1001, IMGD 1002, or equivalent).

    IMGD 340X. WRITING FOR GAMES II: NARRATIVE
    This course will present concepts and skills necessary to write and implement narrative in games. Topics covered may include theme and style, different types of games and platforms, systemic storytelling, linear vs. non-linear narratives, editing and collaboration with other members of a development team.

    Recommended background: Previous experience in writing for games.

    IMGD 480X. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, INTERACTIVE MEDIA, AND GAMES
    This course examines interactive media and games’ intersections with contemporary social movements. How are games well suited to shift worldviews and influence popular opinions? How are theories of social change in alignment with creative media making? Students will examine interdisciplinary art forms ranging from games to speculative fiction to art installations in order to understand art’s role in contemporary social movements. Students will also read and examine critical race theory, feminist theory, queer theory, and postcolonial literature in order to understand how and why social movements take place.

    Recommended background: knowledge of social issues of media (IMGD 2000, IMGD 2001 or equivalent).
  • Mathematical Sciences
    MA 422X. TOP NUMERICAL ALGORITHMS OF THE CENTURY
    This course will highlight top algorithms that have tremendous impact on the development and practice of modern science and engineering. Class discussions will focus on introducing students to the mathematical theory behind the algorithms, and their applications. In particular, the course will address issues of computational efficiency, implementation, and error analysis. Algorithms to be considered may include the Fast Multipole Method, Metropolis Algorithm for the Monte Carlo Method, Fast Fourier Transform, Kalman filters and Singular Value Decomposition. Students will be expected to apply these algorithms to real-world problems. For example, we will look at image processing and audio compression (Fast Fourier Transform), recommendation systems (Singular Value Decomposition), and the tracking and prediction of an object’s position (Kalman Filters). In addition to studying these algorithms, students will learn about high performance computing and will have access to a machine with parallel and gpu capabilities to run code for applications with large data sets.

    Recommended background: MA2071 (Linear Algebra), MA2621 or MA2631 (Probability), MA3257 (Numerical Methods for Calculus and Differential Equations), MA3457 (Numerical Methods for Linear and NonLinear Systems), at least one course in Computer Science. The ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.

    MA 463X. DATA ANALYTICS AND STATISTICAL LEARNING
    The focus of this class will be on statistical learning – the intersection of applied statistics and modeling techniques used to analyze and to make predictions and inferences from complex real-world data. Topics covered include: regression; classification/clustering; sampling methods (bootstrap and cross validation); and decision tree learning.

    Recommended background: Linear Algebra (MA2071 or equivalent), Applied Statistics II (MA2612 or equivalent), Probability (MA2631 or MA2621 or equivalent). The ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.
  • Mechanical Engineering
    ME 442X. RADIATION HEAT TRANSFER APPLICATION AND DESIGN
    Radiation Heat Transfer Applications will develop the student’s knowledge of radiation and multi-mode heat transfer. Fundamentals of radiation will be covered: radiative properties of surfaces; view factors; exchange between black and grey surfaces; emission and absorption of gases; and flame radiation. Use of numerical methods will be emphasized as appropriate for solution of applications: the select numerical methods (numerical integration, matrix methods, ODE solutions) can be learned during the course. The course will conclude with a design exercise to be completed by each student. Each exercise will highlight radiation in a realistic scenario that requires multi-mode heat transfer and fluid mechanics analysis to develop the design solution. Exercise topics will come from subjects such as: solar power plants, solar effects on buildings, furnaces, fire safety in the built environment, etc.

    Recommended background: differential and integral calculus, and ordinary differential equations (MA 2051 or equivalent), and thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer (ES 3001, 3003, 3004 or equivalents).
  • Physics
    PH 350X. OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF SOLIDS
    The course will cover the optical physics of solid state materials, including the classical description of optical propagation and reflectivity, quantum treatment of absorption and luminescence, and excitonic effects. The phenomena will be illustrated by discussing the optical properties of insulators, semiconductors, metals, as well as their nanostructures. The course will conclude with a brief introduction to nonlinear optics.

    Recommended background: A basic understanding of electricity and magnetism (PH1121 or equivalent), and introduction to quantum mechanics (at level of a modern physics course, PH1130) is recommended.

    PH 370X. INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS
    Cat.I
    This course will provide an exposure to modeling and computational approaches to problems in a wide range of areas in physics including classical, quantum, statistical and biological physics. While a variety of numerical methods of interest to physicists will be covered, the emphasis is on the physics that can be done with these methods. Some of the topics will include radioactive decay, realistic projectile motion, chaotic systems, waves, spectral methods and normal modes, random walks and Brownian motion, physics of traffic flow, percolation and forest fires, random processes and the Monte Carlo method, phase transitions and the Ising Model, molecular dynamics, the Schrodinger equation, and simple models of protein folding. This course is appropriate to anyone interested in developing their computational and modeling skills with applications to physical problems.

    Recommended background: Basic understanding of mechanics, electricity and magnetism (PH1111, PH1121 or equivalent), and introduction to modern physics (PH1130 or equivalent), introduction to differential equations (MA 2051 or equivalent), introduction to programming (CS 1004 or equivalent).
    Suggested background: Introduction to oscillation and waves (at level of PH1140), introduction to linear algebra (MA 2071 or equivalent), introduction to object oriented programming (CS 2102, CS 2119 or equivalent).
  • Social Science & Policy Studies
    ECON 110X. EVERYDAY ECONOMICS
    In its simplest form, economics is about how people respond to incentives. Every day, we all make many decisions in which we choose among the options available to us by responding to the relevant incentives. People wake up and decide whether to go to school or work, or enjoy a day of leisure. They choose what to do with the money that they earn. Though people typically do not understand the complex cost/benefit analysis associated with the decisions that they make, they for the most part make decisions suggesting that they do. In this course, we will study the economics of real world situations like those from the books Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics. We will cover the economic theory necessary for understanding the topics of the course, but the focus is the real-world applications of basic economic principles. The course involves a project and presentations.

    Recommended background: None

    ECON 212X. PUBLIC ECONOMICS
    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: ECON 1110 or ECON 1120

    ECON 291X. ECONOMICS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    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.

    GOV 200X. THE POLITICS OF PLAGUE
    Black Death. Cholera. Smallpox. Spanish flu. AIDS. Swine flu. Ebola. Humans have been the victims of infectious diseases across history, geography, and cultures. But what elevates an outbreak to the level of an epidemic or a pandemic? And when should the state step in? This class explores how states respond to epidemics. The course will be split into four modules for advanced analysis. The first section will focus on understanding disease in the context of public policy and international relations studies. Then, students will perform in-depth studies of three major outbreaks. Through readings, lectures, class activities, and research, students will learn the historical basis of state response to epidemics. They will apply international relations theories and concepts to the three case studies, in addition to developing analytic and research skills to engage effectively with the debates in contemporary scholarship on public health issues and risk assessment and management strategies in public policy. Students will explore the role of government in addressing public health threats, as well as how public health is a crucial component of national security.

    Recommended background: GOV1303 or GOV1320 and an understanding of basic public policy, both in the US and on an international scale.

    PSY 340X. SURVEY DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
    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.