Courses

Courses offered in Engineering (E), and Scientific and Engineering Communication (SEC), are listed below. Be aware that some courses are not offered every year; see the course schedule page to check if the class is offered this year.

E | SEC

Engineering Courses

  • E 2. Frontiers in Engineering and Applied Science. 1 unit; first term. Open for credit to freshmen and sophomores. Weekly seminar by a member of the EAS faculty to discuss his or her area of engineering and group's research at an introductory level. The course can be used to learn more about different areas of study within engineering and applied science. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Umans.

  • E/VC 88. Critical Making. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. This course examines the concepts and practices of maker culture through hands-on engagement, guest workshops, lectures, reading and discussions on the relations between technology, culture and society. Classes may include digital fabrication, physical computing, and other DIY technologies as well as traditional making. Major writings and practitioners' work may be covered from the study of maker culture, DIY culture, media, critical theory, histories of science, design and art. Not offered 2019-20. Instructor: Mushkin.

  • E/H/VC 89. New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: none. This course will examine artists' work with new technology, fabrication methods and media from the late 19th Century to the present. Major artists, exhibitions, and writings of the period will be surveyed. While considering this historical and critical context, students will create their own original new media artworks using technologies and/or fabrication methods they choose. Possible approaches to projects may involve robotics, electronics, computer programming, computer graphics, mechanics and other technologies. Students will be responsible for designing and fabricating their own projects. Topics may include systems in art, the influence of industrialism, digital art, robotics, telematics, media in performance, interactive installation art, and technology in public space. Artists studied may include Eadweard Muybridge, Marcel Duchamp, Vladmir Tatlin, John Cage, Jean Tinguely, Stelarc, Survival Research Laboratories, Lynne Hershman Leeson, Edwardo Kac, Natalie Jeremenjenko, Heath Bunting, Janet Cardiff and others. Instructor: Mushkin.

  • E 100. Special Topics in Engineering Applied Science. Units to be arranged; terms to be arranged. Prerequisites: none. Content may vary from year to year, at a level suitable for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Topics will be chosen to meet the emerging needs of students. Instructor: TBD.

  • E/SEC 102. Scientific and Technology Entrepreneurship. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. This course introduces students to the conceptual frameworks, the analytical approaches, the personal understanding and skills, and the actions required to launch a successful technology-based company. Specifically, it addresses the challenges of evaluating new technologies and original business ideas for commercialization, determining how best to implement those ideas in a startup venture, attracting the resources needed for a new venture (e.g., key people, corporate partners, and funding), organizing and operating a new enterprise, structuring and negotiating important business relationships, and leading early stage companies toward "launch velocity". Instructor: TBD.

  • E/SEC 103. Management of Technology. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. A course intended for students interested in learning how rapidly evolving technologies are harnessed to produce useful products or fertile new area for research. Students will work through Harvard Business School case studies, supplemented by lectures to elucidate the key issues. There will be a term project where students predict the future evolution of an exciting technology. The course is team-based and designed for students considering choosing an exciting research area, working in companies (any size, including start-ups) or eventually going to business school. Topics include technology as a growth agent, financial fundamentals, integration into other business processes, product development pipeline and portfolio management, learning curves, risk assessment, technology trend methodologies (scenarios, projections), motivation, rewards and recognition. Industries considered will include electronics (hardware and software), aerospace, medical, biotech, etc. Students will perform both primary and secondary research and through analysis present defensible projections. E/SEC 102 and E/ME/MedE 105 are useful but not required precursors. Instructor: TBD.

  • E/ME/MedE 105 ab. Design for Freedom from Disability. 9 units (3-0-6); terms to be arranged. This Product Design class focuses on people with Disabilities and is done in collaboration with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Students visit the Center to define products based upon actual stated and observed needs. Designs and testing are done in collaboration with Rancho associates. Speakers include people with assistive needs, therapists and researchers. Classes teach normative design methodologies as adapted for this special area. Instructor: TBD.

  • E 110. Principles of University Teaching and Learning in STEM. 3 units (2-0-1); first term, second term. This graduate course examines the research on university-level STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teaching and learning, which has been used to inform a well-established body of evidence-based teaching practices. Weekly interactive meetings will provide focused overviews and guided application of key pedagogical research, such as prior knowledge and misconceptions, novice-expert differences, and cognitive development as applied to university teaching. We will explore the roles of active learning, student engagement, and inclusive teaching practices in designing classes where all students have an equal opportunity to be successful and feel a sense of belonging, both in the course and as scientists. Readings will inform in-class work and students will apply principles to a project of their choice. Instructors: Horii, Weaver.

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Scientific and Engineering Communication Courses

  • SEC 10. Technical Seminar Presentations. 3 units (3-0-0); first, second, third terms. (Seniors required to take this course are given priority in registration) The purpose of this course is to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to give effective oral presentations. The course will include a mix of formal instruction, group discussions, practice presentations, and individual feedback. Limited enrollment. May not be repeated for credit. Instructor: Javier.

  • SEC 11. Written Academic Communication in Engineering and Applied Science. 3 units (1-0-2); terms to be arranged. This class provides the opportunity for students to gain experience in academic technical writing in engineering and applied science. Students will choose a technical topic of interest, possibly based on a previous research or course project, and write a paper in an academic genre on that topic. Appropriate genres include the engineering report, review paper, or a peer-reviewed journal paper. Students will receive instruction in academic discourse in engineering and applied sciences as well as substantial feedback on their work-in-progress. This course is recommended for students who plan to attend graduate school or who wish to work toward a senior thesis or academic publication. Fulfills the Institute scientific writing requirement. Enrollment is limited to students in E&AS options and priority is given to seniors. Instructor: TBD.

  • SEC 12. Written Professional Communication in Engineering and Applied Sciences. 3 units (1-0-2); Terms to be arranged. Prerequisites: none. This class introduces students to common workplace genres of writing in professional (non-academic) fields in engineering and the applied sciences. Students will compose professional technical writing in multiple genres and consider the varied audiences and goals of writing in various engineering and applied sciences industries. Genres covered may include specifications; proposals; progress reports; recommendation reports; code documentation; contracts, patents, and trademarks; user manuals or instructions; formal memos; business emails; or instant message communication. This course is recommended for students who plan to seek jobs in industry. Fulfills the Institute scientific writing requirement. Enrollment is limited to students in E&AS options and priority is given to seniors. Instructor: TBD.

  • SEC 13. Written Communication about Engineering and Applied Sciences to Non-Experts. 3 units (1-0-2); Terms to be arranged. Prerequisites: none. Engineers and applied scientists often work on highly technical, specialized projects. However, their work often is of interest to readers with varied levels of area and technical expertise-including investors, community stakeholders, government regulators, consumers, voters, students, and enthusiasts. This course introduces students to diverse types of writing about technical engineering and applied science topics intended for these "non-expert" readers who lack some or all of the technical knowledge the author has. Students will compose multiple texts written for different purposes and to different types of non-expert readers. This course is recommended for students who may plan entrepreneurial, non-profit, or government careers, where communication to non-experts is crucial to success. It may also interest students who enjoy public advocacy or creative writing about technical topics. Fulfills the Institute scientific writing requirement. Enrollment is limited to students in E&AS options and priority is given to seniors. Instructor: TBD.

  • SEC 100. Special Topics in Scientific and Engineering Communication. Units to be arranged; terms to be arranged in consultation with the instructor. Content may vary from year to year, at a level suitable for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Topics will be chosen to meet the emerging needs of students. Instructor: Javier.

  • E/SEC 102. Scientific and Technology Entrepreneurship. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. This course introduces students to the conceptual frameworks, the analytical approaches, the personal understanding and skills, and the actions required to launch a successful technology-based company. Specifically, it addresses the challenges of evaluating new technologies and original business ideas for commercialization, determining how best to implement those ideas in a startup venture, attracting the resources needed for a new venture (e.g., key people, corporate partners, and funding), organizing and operating a new enterprise, structuring and negotiating important business relationships, and leading early stage companies toward "launch velocity". Instructor: TBD.

  • E/SEC 103. Management of Technology. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. A course intended for students interested in learning how rapidly evolving technologies are harnessed to produce useful products or fertile new area for research. Students will work through Harvard Business School case studies, supplemented by lectures to elucidate the key issues. There will be a term project where students predict the future evolution of an exciting technology. The course is team-based and designed for students considering choosing an exciting research area, working in companies (any size, including start-ups) or eventually going to business school. Topics include technology as a growth agent, financial fundamentals, integration into other business processes, product development pipeline and portfolio management, learning curves, risk assessment, technology trend methodologies (scenarios, projections), motivation, rewards and recognition. Industries considered will include electronics (hardware and software), aerospace, medical, biotech, etc. Students will perform both primary and secondary research and through analysis present defensible projections. E/SEC 102 and E/ME/MedE 105 are useful but not required precursors. Instructor: TBD.

  • SEC 111. Effective Communication Strategies for Engineers and Scientists. 6 units (3-0-3); third term. Prerequisites: none. This graduate course offers instruction and practice in written and oral communication for scientists and engineers. The course is designed to increase students' effectiveness in communicating complex technical information to diverse audiences and to deepen their understanding of communication tools and techniques. Students will explore scientific storytelling through multiple communication genres, including research manuscripts and presentations, visual narratives, and traditional and social media channels. In-class workshops will provide students with the opportunity to revise their work and consider feedback from instructors and peers. (Registration by application only, and EAS graduate students are given priority.) Instructor: Javier.

  • SEC 120. Data Visualization Projects. 6 units (2-0-4); third term. This course will provide students with a forum for discussing and working through challenges of visualizing students' data using techniques and principles from graphic design, user experience design, and visual practices in science and engineering. Working together, we will help create and edit students' graphics and other visual forms of data to improve understanding. We will consider the strengths and weaknesses of communicating information visually in drawing, design and diagramming forms such as flow charts, brainstorming maps, graphs, illustrations, movies, animation, as well as public presentation materials, depending on the needs of students' projects. Our approach will be derived from design principles outlined by Edward Tufte and others. The course is targeted towards students across disciplines using visual display and exploration in research. There is no pre-requisite, but students should be competent in acquiring and processing data. Instructor: to be determined.

  • SEC 130. Science Activation: Bringing Science to Society. 6 units (3-0-3); second term. Prerequisites: none. Working with policy makers is more than science communication. It requires a bilateral approach to exploring complex problems and solutions that encompass societal objectives as well as physical requirements. An intellectual understanding of the differences communication norms in the research and policy realms can help scientists make better decisions about how to communicate about their work and engage with policy makers to get it used. This course combines analysis of the differences in communication norms with practical experience in communicating and developing relationships with elected officials and their staffs. Instructor: Lucy Jones and John Bwarie.

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