The program provides students a focus on technology (Information Technology or Energy) and society. An introductory gateway course provides exposure to a broad set of issues at the intersection of technology and society. Following the introductory course, students study both the technological and societal aspects, which is critical to acquiring a good understanding of the disciplinary aspects of both sides of the issues that come up at this intersection. On the technology side, there is a rich set of courses in IT and Energy areas that have been designed to be accessible to all students on campus and that place the technical material in a broader application context. Similarly, on the societal side, technology issues are part of important courses in several departments such as Sociology and the Woodrow Wilson School. Finally, students need to conduct research on a specific issue through a one-semester project with a subsequent written component (junior paper/thesis component) as well as a presentation at a program symposium.
The following requirements need to be satisfied to earn the program certificate: one core course, two technology courses, two societal courses, one breadth course, one-semester independent research project, and present project/thesis to the program students and faculty at an annual symposium.
EGR/HIS/SOC 277 Technology and Society. This course provides students with the intellectual tools needed to approach the rest of the program–a “set of lenses” that will help them view the issues being addressed in their work. Ideally, this course will be taken before the other required courses.
TECHNOLOGY (INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OR ENERGY) AND SOCIETAL COURSES
This course requirement is intended to provide an understanding of the technology and societal aspects through a discipline-based study of both sides. Students must select either the Information Technology track or the Energy track and take the technology and societal courses from the respective list of courses.
TECHNOLOGY COURSES - 2 COURSES REQUIRED
Each student is required to take two technology courses from the following lists: Information Technology track technology courses and Energy track technology courses. These courses are mostly drawn from a set that includes courses specifically designed for a wider campus audience (no prerequisites). An advanced/one-time-only course may be used to replace one or both of these courses with the permission of the program adviser.
SOCIETAL COURSES - 2 COURSES REQUIRED
BREADTH COURSE - 1 COURSE REQUIRED
In addition to the technology and societal courses, each student is required to take one course that combines technology and society in an area outside their chosen track. For engineering/science students this should be based in the societal disciplines, and for humanities and social science students this should be based in the science/technology disciplines. Students must select either the Information Technology track or the Energy track and take the technology and societal courses from the respective list of courses: Information Technology track breadth courses and Energy track breadth courses.
All students are required to undertake a one-semester independent research project in Energy or IT and society. For A.B. students, this includes a junior paper. This may be substituted by a significant component in their senior thesis (at least a chapter). The project/theses component requires preapproval of the student’s program advisor.
Students are required to present their projects/theses to the program students and faculty at an annual symposium. This provides a mechanism for shared learning as well as for developing the common themes across the program.