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  • Innovation & Design

    In this course students will be introduced to the design thinking process and apply human-centered design techniques to implement interactive systems. The course provides opportunities to apply new ways of thinking and techniques through class exercises and a course project, enabling students to develop innovative concepts and prototypes on an assigned topic.

  • Global Challenges Addressed by Engineering and Technology

    This course will cover historical aspects and current topical areas being worked on by engineers including climate change, space exploration, medicine, energy and environment, pandemics, disasters. The class will also highlight through case studies the important fundamentals necessary, along with the interdisciplinary reach to humanities, social sciences and communication. Topics such as inclusion and diversity, and ethical issues will also be woven through the topics. This course is designed to appeal to students in engineering and other majors and will encourage a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and resolving global challenges. Students taking this course will be able to fine tune their understanding of the ways in which engineering can contribute to the greater good of humanity.

  • Computing and Digital Solutions for the Future

    The goal of this course is to provide an essential idea of computers to an audience with no prior computer science experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems and to help students, regardless of their major, feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs and access appropriate resources that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The course also exposes students to some of the latest topics in technology in different areas of engineering through case studies.

  • Design Challenges 1&2: Introduction to Design

    This course uses problem-based learning and the design process to introduce students to explore a question related to a problem on campus. Students are required to refine the assigned problem to something relatively simple and tractable, and then research and propose solutions. Students will develop skills around collaboration, problem scoping, and research. Students will engage in workshops and activities emphasizing teamwork and collaboration. 

    Students would be introduced to challenges with which are familiar and relevant to them as students on campus.

    • Defining a problem within a real-world context
    • Identifying sources of data and how they can be leveraged to generate solutions
    • Collecting data from user populations
    • Synthesizing data into a proposed solution
    • Presenting a proposal in a compelling manner
    • Critiquing proposals in a systematic way to provide constructive feedback.

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship

    Focuses on the process of identifying entrepreneurial opportunities and the operations of a small business. Topics include organization, location, financial planning, record-keeping, unit costs, merchandising, credit, and recruitment of personnel.

  • Globalization and Society

    Concepts and theories that are currently in use to understand globalization both as a process and as a structure: social aspects and narratives of globalization, and theoretical sociological models as scaffolding for understanding many of the disparate characteristics of globalization. Globalization as it spans disciplinary division and its understanding: the emergence of novel economic forms and practices as a pivotal driving force for globalization. Human migrations and their consequences on cultural identity and diffusion, and the role of the technology in the creation and consolidation the global world. New and complex structures of socioeconomic inequality at national and at transnational levels, the disproportionately important roles that women play in these new structures of inequality, and the social forces and movements that have emerged to resist globalization or to alter it in important ways.

  • Design Challenges 3&4: Empathize and Design

    This course is the second in a series of courses whereby students will employ Design Thinking methodology. More specifically, it hones in on the second and thirds steps of design thinking: developing empathy and a point of view. It provides students with skills related to understanding and defining the social and emotional components of complex problem solving. Students will “listen with their eyes” in order to identify a problem to solve and practice techniques in order to better understand the user’s state of mind and point of view (POV).

    Brief list of topics to be covered: Students work with partner organizations or individual consumers to understand an everyday consumer problem and its underlying components. For example, why do so many tables wobble? Or, why do I always guess wrong at which line to use for checkout at the grocery store? Or, how can I use my cell phone in very cold weather? Students then work through the steps above, with an emphasis on empathizing, and eventually create a low fidelity (digital or physical) prototype that would solve this consumer problem.

    • Developing observational skills
    • Problem definition
    • Problem reframing from a human centered perspective
    • Empathetic interviewing techniques (theory and practice)
    • Team work in devising effective empathy and observational skills
    • Storytelling techniques
    • Approaches to collation and presentation of observational data
    • Ideation techniques
    • Prototyping techniques

  • Prototyping

    This course covers accepted prototyping techniques introducing students to a wide variety of approaches for different kinds of user experience design problems and platforms. Students will learn to develop preliminary iterations of a solution to a design problem in order to communicate the essence of their idea without committing to a costly implementation.

  • Systems Analysis and Design

    This course introduces the techniques of systems analysis and design. Systems include social systems, socio-technical systems, deterministic and probabilistic systems, adaptive systems, information systems. Students will learn to identify and analyze systems–their components, interdependencies, and interactions–and to understand futuristic trends in evolution of these systems. Topics include computational and algorithmic thinking, systems analysis of complex systems, networks and network effects, data design.

  • Entrepreneurship: Creating New Ventures

    The purpose of this course is to expose students to the entrepreneurial process starting from opportunity identification to ideation and prototyping for a solution, to building a business model to monetize the solution. The course reinforces concepts taught in prior courses on creativity and design thinking. The main topics covered are:

    1. Identifying, shaping and evaluating an opportunity
    2. developing a value proposition
    3. building the business model and developing the strategy
    4. the nuances of platform business models
    5. using the business model canvas as a tool.

  • Ethics, Equity, and Responsibility

    Students will learn how to use digital tools, novel technologies, and machines to benefit society while taking full-responsibility for their appropriate use and recognizing potential misuses of communications and other technologies. During the course, students will learn to recognize different contextual settings; the same technologies are not available to everyone because of differences in economic, social, political, and cultural factors. The course introduces mechanisms to ensure that we do not widen inequalities through digital technologies. During class exercises students will discuss different viewpoints, understand complexities in technology transfer from one society to another, and consider the societal consequences of intended and unintended unethical uses of technology by various entities.

  • Design Challenge 5&6: Ideate and Prototype

    This course focuses on the Ideate and Prototyping stages of the design thinking process. For Design Challenge 5, students are challenged to support arts and culture organizations in developing solutions to their most pressing problems, while employing ideation techniques inspired by creative industries. For design challenge 6, students will engage with a private sector organization or civic partner who is working to develop prototype solutions that address an issue related to environmental sustainability.

    Students will engage with a private sector organization or civic partner who is working to develop prototype solutions that address an issue related to environmental sustainability.

    Formulating questions to facilitate ideation

    • Using brainstorming to generate ideas
    • Generating concepts based defined insights and design principles
    • Making decisions on which options to pursue
    • Using storyboarding, rapid prototyping, paper prototyping to evaluate concepts
    • Prototyping based on information provided by the company or organization
    • Developing minimally viable digital prototypes

  • Creativity, the Creative Process, and Innovation

    We are all born creative. However, sometimes we misplace our crayons. The ability to tap into one’s creative source enhances our ability to communicate, collaborate, and innovate. This course introduces students to theoretical frameworks and different approaches to creativity and the creative process. Building on what students learned in their primary design thinking course [around the innovation process - describe what that course focused on], this course cultivates best creativity practices and builds skills and confidence in using creativity and innovative thought in students’ concurrent and upcoming design challenges, capstone projects, and future professional and personal life. 

  • Design Challenges 7&8: Test and Synthesis

    For the final two design challenges before the Capstone project, students are tasked with focusing on improving their skills within the Test and Synthesis phases of the design thinking process. The first half of the semester is dedicated to a design challenge in which students gain practice in testing their design solutions with users. The second half will be focused on synthesizing student learnings from all past projects to deliver a project on social inequality which demonstrates knowledge in all stages of the design thinking process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, synthesize).

    Brief list of topics to be covered

    • The test phase of the design process; Setting up the test environment; Developing the test plan and test materials
    • Identifying appropriate evaluation techniques
    • Recruiting participants
    • Gathering and analyzing user feedback using quantitative and qualitative methods
    • Conducting the test and analyzing results
    • Collaborating with the team to validate a design solution informed by the test results
    • Approved Innovation, Technology & Design Elective
    • General Education Courses:
    • Arts & Humanities Cognate Course
    • People & Society Cognate Course
    • Summer (6 credit hours)
    • Summer Practicum II

  • Design Challenge Capstone

    This course is the culminating experience for students in the B.S. in Innovation, Technology, and Design. Students bring together all of the skills they have acquired over the preceding courses to identify a problem, task, or research project to pursue independently or collaboratively. Students must develop a learning plan and then complete the project. All students must complete an academic write-up of their project, in addition to any deliverables (e.g. a prototype, a process, a business model) they might develop. 

    Students will be supervised by a faculty member over both semesters who will advise and evaluate their Capstone. Students are encouraged but not required to partner with private or public sector organizations in the pursuit of their Capstone projects.