Past Courses - Fall 2016

The following courses and projects were offered in the Fall 2016 semester.

Core Courses: Fall 2016

Note: Serve-Learn-Sustain intends to propose a certificate and/or minor in the future. If these plans move forward and are approved, SLS will request that these courses be included and that retroactive credit be awarded to students who have already taken them. Students are welcome to take one or both courses.

Introduction to Sustainable Systems (GT 2803 SLS/GT 4803 SLS/ISyE 2803 SLS/MGT 2803 SLS). Taught by Professors Cobb, Hirsch, Thomas and Toktay, this course has a GT designation so student in any major can count it towards free electives, and it is additionally cross-listed with Management and Industrial & Systems Engineering.  You can register for any one of the course numbers and you'll be in the same class!  In this course, we will explore sustainability from a systems perspective, including physical/resource balances, ecological/carbon cycle processes, economic/financial practices, political/policy processes and public participation as they relate to communities in Atlanta and around the world. Case studies (in climate, renewable resource management, and material/product recycling) and exercises will demonstrate how these systems interact.  We will start with sustainability and connect to community. We focus on concepts and methods for meaningful action, whether you aspire to be director of R&D at Georgia Power; an engineer with the City of Savannah's Department of Public Works; environmental and business advisor to the leading GOP candidate for governor of Georgia in 2019; sustainability chief for the city of Atlanta, tasked by the mayor with mobilizing efforts in non-affluent communities; or part of a strategic planning team at a major US auto manufacturer, a major pulp and paper company, or a leading natural gas producer. Questions: Contact Beril Toktay,

Tech and Sustainable Communities (GT 2803 SL2/GT 4803 SL2/CS 4803 SCP). Taught by Professors Zegura and Khan, this course has a GT designation so students in any major can count it towards free electives, and it is additionally cross-listed with CS.  You can register for any one of the course numbers and you'll be in the same class!  When does technology improve communities? When doesn’t it, and why? How can you improve your chance of having a positive long-term impact on communities? How is designing technology for communities different from designing technology for consumers?  This course will explore the role of technology in the development of sustainable communities, locally and internationally. Through a combination of historical perspective, case studies, community engagement methods and practice, and critical evaluation techniques, students will develop an appreciation for the strengths and limitations of technology in sustainable community development and the skills needed to approach sustainable community issues.  Contact: Ellen Zegura,


Affiliated Courses: Fall 2016

ARCH 4803 - Green Infrastructure: EPA Campus Rainwater Challenge  (Instructor: Richard Dagenhart)- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Campus Rainwater Challenge, a national student design competition, is focused on creating green infrastructure and building sustainable communities on college campuses and across America.  The first half of the course will include tutorial seminars on stormwater management, green infrastructure, and understanding the social, economic and ecological relationships among Georgia Tech, the Emerald Corridor along Proctor Creek, the Westside Alliance neighborhoods and the Chattahoochee River.  The second half will involve collaborative and interdisciplinary student teams, working with Architecture, City Planning and Environmental Engineering faculty, to design green infrastructure projects for the Georgia Tech Campus and submit them for the national design competition. (Fall 2016)

BIOL 1511 - Honors Biological Principles (Instructors: Shana Kerr/Joe Montoya) - The laboratory portions of these courses are designed as research service-learning labs that integrate relevant community service with academic coursework to enhance learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.  In partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, students conduct research that benefits learning in biology and the greater Atlanta community.  Students work in teams with the support of the entire class to brainstorm and critique ideas to design a semester-long research project exploring a question related to topics such as invasive species within Mason Mill Park.  Community partners use the data for long-term ecological monitoring and other initiatives. (Fall 2016)

CEE 4090 - Capstone Design (Instructor: Kari Watkins)- Capstone Design is an interdisciplinary civil and environmental design experience.  Students form teams of 3 – 5 people, and these teams function as “companies” that provide consulting services to a selected sponsor on a specific design project. Students begin the semester responding to an actual Request for Qualifications (RFQ) advertised from a local project sponsor as a team.  Students then select their projects among many different sub-disciplines and themes in order based on their ranking on the RFQ response. Projects are sponsored by multiple local government agencies and foundations (GDOT, Cobb Co, Gwinnett Co, Atlanta Beltline, PATH Foundation, US Army COE, etc) or consulting firms and are real-world projects that are currently being pursued or considered. Students go through the stages of problem definition, data acquisition, and evaluation of design alternatives. The course culminates in a written report and oral presentation of the final design at the sponsor’s facility. All of the projects are doing some service to the community, and understanding community context is vital to the final design.  Most projects involve some analysis of sustainable development and trade-offs between economic, social and environmental impacts.  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017; Summer 2017)

CEE 4090B - Capstone Design - EnvE (Instructor: John Koon)- Capstone Design-Environmental Section is an interdisciplinary environmental design experience. The course is offered in parallel with the civil engineering section of the course; CEE students may form teams with mixed CE and EnvE composition; and teams from each program may perform projects in either section. Students form teams of 3 – 5 people, and these teams function as “companies” that provide engineering services under guidance of a sponsor on design project that the team selects. Students begin the semester responding as a team to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) advertised from a local project sponsor.  Students then select their projects among many different sub-disciplines and themes in order based on their ranking on the RFQ response. Projects are sponsored by mostly local sponsors that include engineering firms, local and state government agencies and other similar groups. The projects are “real-world projects” that are currently being designed or considered by the sponsoring groups. Students work through the stages of problem definition, data acquisition, evaluation of design alternatives, selection of a preferred alternative, and design development. The primary work products for the design include preliminary engineering drawings and an accompanying professional engineering report; and an oral presentation of the final design made at the sponsor’s facility.    (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

CEE 4610 - Multimodal Transportation (Instructor: Kari Watkins)- Planning, design and operation of systems of air, rail, water and highway facilities, including those for bicycles and pedestrians. In this course, we will focus on the need, purpose and design for multimodality.  Why is a multimodal transportation system important?  How do we plan and design for multimodal transportation?  How do we measure the performance of a multimodal transportation system?  What is a complete street and what guides are available for complete streets design?  Why is it more efficient for freight to be moved via various modes and how do these modes interact? (Fall 2016)

CEE 4699 - Faculty-mentored Research with Yongsheng Chen - Urban Algae-fueled Aquaponics: The Food, Energy, Water Nexus in Atlanta (Instructor: Steven Van Ginkel)- The goal of the research is to determine how to make urban aquaponics netzero in terms of water, energy and materials such that it is affordable to the masses.  Once we get our prototype under construction, we will research clever ways to improve the efficiency of the system by using waste urban water, nutrient and heat resources as well as high-tech additions such as photovoltaics, sensors, and algae photobioreactors.  We plan to work with and empower the community to grow their own food and to improve food system resiliency. (Fall 2016)

CEE 6345 - Sustainable Engineering (Instructor: John Crittenden) - The course is intended to introduce students to the interaction between the human and natural environment, focusing on how the anthropogenic activities have altered the natural environment, and provide an overview on the emerging science of sustainability. This course will identify the impacts associated with resource consumption and environmental pollution, and present the quantitative tools necessary for assessing environmental impacts and design for sustainability. At the end of the course, the students are expected to be cognizant about the concept of sustainability, the metrics of sustainability and be able to use the principles of sustainability to further the development of sustainable communities.   In addition, this course addresses two very pertinent topics related to sustainable communities: (1) This course particularly addresses topics and concepts related to the ‘social’ aspects of sustainability, an often-overlooked aspect. However, this is a critical need in developing and/or promoting sustainable communities and this course can help. (2) This course introduces the students to analytical tools (e.g. agent-based modeling) that they can use to account for complexities in dynamic-adaptive systems, another crucial need for sustainable communities. (Fall 2016)

CS 6455/CS 4690/INTA 8803 NK - Empirical HCI Methods/Qualitative Research Methods (Instructor: Neha Kumar) My course encourages students to think about how they might study or design technologies with a focus on sustainable communities objectives, paying special attention to the needs of underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities across the world. (Fall 2016)   

EAS 2803 - Urban Forest (Instructor: Monica Halka) Students work with the non-profit organization, Trees Atlanta, as well as multiple neighborhoods in Atlanta to investigate the various effects of tree canopy on the well-being of residents. (There are two sections to this course, HP for Honors Program students only, and SLS, which is open to all non-Honors Program students) (Fall 2016)

ECE 2811/3811/4811 - Engineering for Social Innovation VIP Team (Instructor: Joy Harris)- This course is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects program, where students get credit for working on ongoing projects over multiple semesters. The Engineering for Social Innovation VIP team teaches sustainability through hands-on projects that serve the global community. We begin with the community assets and then partner with community members to design solutions that meet pressing needs. As an example, one class project will focus on designing shoes from the natural resources available in rural Kenya. Another project will focus on solar power for homes in rural Haiti. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

ECE 2811/3811/4811/4812-VPZ (VIP) - Configurable Computing and Embedded Systems (VIP) (Instructor: Lee Lerner)- This course is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects program, a program where students get credit for working on ongoing projects over multiple semesters.  This VIP course explores how embedded sensor and computing technology can be used to promote sustainability in a smart city framework.  The goal is to allow citizens to assess and monitor environmental conditions so that they are empowered to make wise decisions, effect change, and foster healthier, nurturing communities.  The course focuses on designing and deploying reconfigurable embedded sensing and computing platforms around the Atlanta area that collect and analyze environmental data.  This includes air quality, UV/visible light levels, sound levels, and weather data, as well as vehicular and pedestrian traffic density and flow.  The idea is to provide this information as a public utility that is accessible by citizens for such uses as planning safe, healthy walking, biking, or commuting routes, and promoting citizen science - for example, engaging elementary/middle school students in observing and tracking differences in air quality across the city.  Students in the course will work with the Atlanta community to explore what information is most useful to collect, and to develop real-time data analytics and visualization techniques to make it accessible. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

ENG 1101 E2/L6/L7 - Documenting Atlanta (Instructors: Sarah O'Brien and Ruthie Yow) - This course will introduce you to the city at your doorstep: you will begin to watch Atlanta and listen to it in ways that enrich your time here and better equip you to make sense of, and perhaps even make long-lasting change in, your adoptive city. We focus on particular places and spaces in the city—from celebrated “Sweet Auburn” Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr.’s boyhood neighborhood to the lesser-known mill community of Cabbagetown—and together read the texts of these communities.  Such texts include documentary film and visual culture, as well as oral history, music, and fiction.  The course spans the city’s environs but also its history in order to explore how sustainable community is differently defined and pursued in three different moments: the height of the Civil Rights Movement; the 1996 Olympics (the race and class dramas of which unfolded right under our feet on Tech’s campus); and Atlanta’s contemporary urban “renaissance,” signaled by projects such as the Beltline, a massive redevelopment initiative which aims to connect the culturally and physically separate communities that encircle the city center. Visual culture and public history allow us to think critically about what sustainability means at both cultural and ecological registers, and to place people, communities, and their significant spaces--both those they define and those that define them-- at the center of the city’s past and its present. Guided by the instructors, a film scholar and an ethnographer/historian, this interdisciplinary course will engage three main research methodologies—oral history and ethnographic interviewing, documentary film, and digital mapping—and you will be invited to choose how you will explore one of the course units in greater depth in your multimodal course projects.  Sections L6 and L7 are taught by both instructors; the sections meet as one class, and the instructors alternate leading each class meeting. (Fall 2016)

ENGL 1102 F4/N2/HP1 - One World is Not Enough (Instructor: Caroline Young) The course will explore work of contemporary novelists who draw from both eastern and western influences, stories that dwell beyond natural laws of time and space.  The class will consider how these authors expose and influence the changing face of our global community in the twenty-first century.  These novels wrestle with issues of personal and collective memory, accountability, interconnection, and the influence of one's choices and actions on future generations.   We will take this discussion and shift into critical reflection on personal and collective accountability toward the sustenance of community, connecting individual choices and actions with local and global consequences.  The HP1 Section is an Honors Program Section for Honors Program students, by permit only.  For more information on that section, contact Nicole Leonard. (Fall 2016)

ENGL 1102 - Afterlives of Slavery (Instructor: Anna Ioanes) Students will analyze contemporary representations of the antebellum past in literature and art, and will develop critical thinking skills by researching the historical context that writers and artists respond to in the current moment. The course is structured around a few key questions: how are contemporary communities shaped by the legacy of US slavery? How do writers and artists reimagine the traumatic past in order to comment on contemporary issues of social and environmental injustice? And finally, how have communities in Atlanta framed the legacy of slavery as historians, artists, and activists? Students will develop interpretive arguments in response to these questions, and they will articulate those arguments in projects such as video essays, podcasts, collage art, and infographics. They will leave the course with a richer understanding of how slavery has shaped our social and environmental landscape. (Fall 2016)

ENGL 1102B1/ENGL 1102G1/ENGL 1102L - Un-Natural Disasters (Instructor: Melissa Sexton) - This course will examine how films, novels, and short stories represent the relationship between technology and disaster. We'll trace complicated perceptions of technology back to the Industrial Revolution, seeing how technological innovations have been portrayed as both the cause of and the solution to acute social and environmental problems. We'll then look at depictions of technology in more recent disaster narratives. With a sophisticated historical understanding of this topic, we will also be able to consider ethical questions about sustainable technological development; we will think about how past examples of disaster can help us work towards technological development that is directed towards environmental justice and general social good. Texts will range from nineteenth-century essays about industrial development to present-day dystopian films with a focus on environmental degradation and technological innovation.  As we investigate these themes, we will be focusing on developing our own critical thinking and communications skills. Specifically, in this class, we will be working on honing our WOVEN (Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal) communications skills as we produce our own essays, videos, and presentations. This class will also allow us to integrate research about historical environments and technologies into our own critical and creative work. (Fall 2016)

English for Sustainable Futures (Instructor: Melissa Aberle-Grasse) This English language course will explore and create solutions toward a Sustainable Future for cities here and around the world. Our local focus will be Atlanta, where we hear speakers, read about, and visit examples of sustainable solutions in food and energy. Then, we will work in teams to teach and demonstrate an example of sustainability to the ones most likely to carry it out: kids. We will incorporate their perspectives in our activities. Throughout, students will reflect in writing and speaking and receive support to improve academic and professional English fluency.  Note:  The fall semester course is for Language Institute students ONLY (non-matriculated, professional education students).  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

FREN 4241-H - French Cinema I: Learning and Environmental Issues in Francophone Documentaries and Fictions (Instructor: Antoine Constantin Caille) This class will focus on twelve films (mostly documentaries and mostly in French) dealing with learning, sustainability and their interconnection at the local level of communities and at the global level. It will engage students in thinking, writing, and speaking (all in French) about current social and ecological issues through personal critical essays on the films studied, short readings, discussions, presentations and a final essay to be written in class. (Fall 2016)

GRMN 3030 - Crossing Borders (Instructor: Britta Kallin) - In the class, the students will learn about social issues in Germany such as different schools, groups, organizations and political parties as well as political views of groups from different socio-economic backgrounds. This will be linked to the income level and groups from different economic strata and how the homeless, the unemployed, the underemployed, employees, and entrepreneurs as well as academics see the political changes and challenges and how these groups interact and view the political climate in Germany after the influx of about a million refugees, many of whom will apply for asylum and may be able to stay in different geographical regions in Germany.   We will talk about different communities and how East Germany, West, North and South Germany have developed differently throughout history and how they are different in terms of local coalitions of a variety of political parties. The students will learn about cultural and linguistic sustainability and how that may affect changes that are likely to happen in Germany in the foreseeable future. The students will also learn about efforts to keep the economy and the agriculture as well as power production and the environment sustainable. Germany is one of the largest producers of renewable energies and has made it its goal of getting rid of nuclear power plants and reduce fossil-burning power plants. We will look at incentives the government provides to businesses and private citizens to increase the production of green energy. (Fall 2016)

GT 1000 – Section D04 (Instructors: Yelena Rivera-Vale and Kristina Chatfield) Freshmen will start their Georgia Tech experience on the right foot with this GT 1000 first-year seminar which covers topics critical to a first-year student’s success such as oral presentation skills and resume preparation. And, through activities and field trips you will also learn the fundamentals of how to shape and be part of a sustainable community. (Fall 2016)

GT 1000 SLS – Creating Sustainable Communities (Instructors: Nitra Wisdom and Samantha Lie-Tjauw) This section of GT-1000 will explore methods of incorporating sustainability, civic engagement and environmental justice into the academic experience. Students will engage in discussions and activities that will encourage them to reflect on how their academic and career goals impact and contribute to sustainability and sustainable communities. (Fall 2016)

GT 1000 – Becoming a Big Ideas Leader (Instructors: Janille Smith-Colin) What are the Big Ideas being advanced to promote sustainable communities? Where do you fit in this picture (currently)? How do you envision your role in the future? What steps will you take to intentionally develop the leadership skills and abilities needed to advance the Serve-Learn-Sustain agenda? Who will you seek to partner with and to team with to ensure that you make an impact? (Fall 2016)

ISYE 4803 - Energy and Environmental Analysis (Instructor: Valerie Thomas)ISyE 4803 Energy and Environmental Analysis addresses energy and environmental assessment from a systems perspective. Designed for students who have already taken ISyE 3025 (Engineering Economics) and Physics 2211 and 2212 (introductory physics) the course provides an introduction to energy analysis and environmental lifecycle assessment, with application to energy efficiency, renewable energy, resource availability and environmental impacts. The course is open to students from all majors, but ISyE majors have first option.  Physics 1201 and 1202 and ISyE 3025 Engineering Economics are pre-requisites. Although this is an undergraduate course, graduate students interested in energy and environmental life cycle assessment may be interested. (Fall 2016)

PUBP 3315 - Environmental Policy and Politics (Instructor: Alice Favero) - The course will focus on what constitutes effective environmental policy. First, we will analyze the evolution of environmental policy and actors in the environmental arena. Then, we will analyze why environmental policies are needed, discussing the issues of negative externalities and public goods. After that, we will discuss environmental policy instruments for addressing environmental issues at the local, regional, and global levels. Finally, we will define global and domestic issues addressed by environmental policies: climate change, local air pollution, energy, transportation, water, pollution and waste. The final section is dedicated to the topic of sustainable development. The goal of this course is to provide training in environmental policies to describe how economic, political, and social relationships develop, persist, and change. Students will have the ability to critically analyze environmental policies in the real world. They will be able to describe and analyze environmental policy tools and their implications.  (Fall 2016)

‚ÄčSPAN 4350 - Iberoamerican Cities (Instructor: Juan Carlos Rodriguez) - This course examines the role of the city as a constructed, cultural and socio-economic environment in Latin America. By studying the history of urban development in the region, students have the opportunity of exploring the Latin American city in the context of its different stages and transformations: the pre-Columbian city, the colonial city, the modern-industrial city, the post-industrial/neoliberal city, as well as other urban tendencies such as edge and border cities.  The course is divided in various units: (1) Concepts, categories and theories of urban development; (2) Housing; (3) Water; (4) Transportation; (5) Economic development; (6) Social Movements; In the final unit, students will develop a group project on the urban challenges, problems and opportunities that transform the life of Latino residents in the Buford Highway area of Atlanta.  (Fall 2016)


BIOL 2336 - Ecology Lab (Instructor: Emily Weigel)- Ecology Lab covers basic ecological phenomenon using urban ecological settings as the backdrop. As a class, we visit areas in the metro-Atlanta community to understand human-environment interactions within our ecosystem. We immerse ourselves in these communities to understand the short- and long-term consequences of environmental change and what ecologically can be done to keep ecosystems-- and related neighborhoods-- thriving. (Fall 2016)

CHEM 1212K - Chemical Principles II Laboratory (Laboratory Coordinator: Michael Evans)- This laboratory will help you develop an understanding of the molecular basis of system behaviors and interactions.  Molecular-level understanding enables chemists to shape, control, and quantify systems with great precision.  In this foundational course, you will learn to apply the fundamental principles of chemistry to problems relevant to communities, such as food and water quality, energy storage, and sustainable manufacturing and synthesis. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

CHEM 1212K HP - Chemical Principles II (Instructor: Jake Soper)- This Honors Program section of Chemical Principles II differs from traditional large lectures in two key areas: First, core chemical concepts are introduced by considering "big questions" in chemistry, typically pertaining to the challenge of powering the planet with clean energy. For instance, how do catalytic converters mitigating transportation emissions, and what are the impacts on pricing and availability of precious metals? Second, extensive class time is devoted to exploring the intersections of chemistry and policy through in-class discussions, debates, and games/exercises. For example, what are the origins and impacts of the EPA Clean Air Act, and how can cap-and-trade be used as a mechanism to mitigate global CO2 emissions? Together these activities link fundamental chemistry education to real-world challenges in sustainability while providing an enhanced appreciation of the policy-derived mechanisms commonly employed to drive large-scale changes in these areas. Honors Program Section for Honors Program students, by permit only.  For more information, contact Nicole Leonard. (Fall 2016)

EAS 1600 - Introduction to Environmental Science (Instructors: Nicole Lopanik - Summer; Greg Huey - general section Fall; Ken Farrier, Honors and EAS only - Fall; Jennifer Glass - Spring)- Understanding our planet’s environment requires understanding how the whole Earth functions as an interconnected system. This course investigates the four components of the Earth system in detail: the atmosphere, the oceans, the solid Earth, and the biosphere to understand how these processes interact, and then how we, as humans, impact our planet. (Summer 2016; Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

EAS 1601 - Habitable Planet (Instructors: Chris Reinhard - Fall; Brittany Schmidt - Spring)- The search for life beyond the Earth is reaching new heights. So what are we looking for, and how will we know when we find it? This course will explore the history of the solar system and the Earth as the one example of a habitable planet—one that can support living organisms—that we know now. We will consider how the planets formed, the important planetary processes that brought about the Earth as it was when life arose and the planet we live on today.  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

EAS 2750 - Physics of Weather (Instructor: James Belanger)- Understanding the weather – day to day forecasting, seasonal changes, the power of storms, the future of our climate.  This course looks at basic physical laws that define weather phenomena and understanding its impact on us.  (Fall 2016)

EAS 4220/4221 - Environmental Geochemistry and Environmental Geochemistry Lab (optional) (Instructor: Jennifer Glass)- Geochemical processes are central to a variety of environmental issues, including the distribution of CO2 on Earth, water quality and the transformation and storage of inorganic and organic contaminants from human activity.   (Fall 2016)

EAS 4410 - Climate and Global Change (Instructor: Jean Lynch-Steiglitz)- The question is not is global warming happening, but rather what drives the climate?  What defines our current climate and how did these factors impact past climate?  And, of course, what are the factors that might impact our future climate?  (Fall 2016)

ECE 2811/3811/3812/4811/4812-VV4 - Vertically Integrated Projects: Bee Snap (Instructor: Jennifer Leavey)- This course is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects program, where students get credit for working on ongoing projects over multiple semesters.  As part of the Bee-SNAP team, students will design devices and computational approaches to study bees in urban habitats.  Predictions and models developed using these approaches will be validated with biological field studies.  Bees are important pollinators and efficient pollination is critical to our food supply.  Should bees become threatened in urban areas, food security could be at risk. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

ECE 3025 - Electromagneticus for the Rest of Us! (Instructor: Benjamin Yang)- ECE 3025 introduces electromagnetics to electrical engineering students. Students will learn how electromagnetics plays an integral role in solving biomedical challenges, enabling high-speed communications, and understanding concepts in other disciplines (such as fluidics). Students who do not specialize in electromagnetics will understand how the topics affect their chosen field of study, be it computer architecture or technology policy. Portions of this course will explore aspects of societal impact of electromagnetics and its application. (Fall 2016)

ECON 3300 – International Energy Markets (Instructor: Erik Johnson) - Energy is the backbone of industrial economies. However, energy production and consumption has extensive social costs associated with it, from the emission of carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants to national security implications due to the uneven distribution of fossil fuel resources around the globe. Balancing the benefits and costs of energy use today over a long time horizon is one of most important challenges facing the world today. This course is designed to give you an understanding of how primary energy and electricity markets operate. We will examine the economic determinants of industry structure, the associated public policy challenges associated with these structures, and economically appropriate forms of government intervention in a market. We will also examine how policy can and has responded to the external costs of energy production and how the recent trend toward distributed electricity generation affects the electricity industry and consumers as well as the distributional consequences of distributed electricity generation. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

ME 1770B – Introduction to Engineering Graphics (Instructor: Raghu Pucha) - Learn graphics and CAD tools through project-based learning with Motivational Designs for Food, Water, and Energy Sustainability (MoDes for FEWS) (Fall 2016)

PUBP 3600 – Sustainability, Technology, and Policy (Instructor: Emanuele Massetti) The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Sustainability is a broad and somehow necessarily vague concept that can be interpreted in many different ways. Unfortunately, sustainability risks to become one of the many buzzwords. The goal of this class is to provide tools to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability. Students from all backgrounds will learn how to read the specialized literature and to actively engage in the promotion of sustainability.  We will start by critically reviewing the most influential definitions of sustainability, using a broad range of cultural and philosophical perspectives. We will then learn how to test if a development pathway is sustainable or not using real-world cases. Intra- and inter-generational conflicts on the use of resources will be discussed. Technology is both part of the problem – technological progress has so far increased our use of natural resources – and part of the solution – technological progress can reduce the trade-off between development and ecological degradation. We will review case studies of sustainable development strategies – from global climate change to sustainable business strategies – and we will learn about their strengths and weaknesses. Technological progress alone does not guarantee a sustainable future. The final part of the course will review policies that have potential to enhance technologies and societal transformation to ensure sustainability. (Fall 2016)

BC 8803 FW – Design Build Women's Shelter Project - SLS (Instructor: Frank Wickstead) - The School of Building Construction is partnering with CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and PADV (Partnership Against Domestic Violence, a non-profit that operates shelters for battered women and their children).  Student teams will analyze all facets of the current midtown Atlanta shelter, to determine whether PADV should remain in the current Atlanta location and renovate, or sell this location and move to a new site, remaining in Fulton County.  The student group will make its recommendations in a final presentation to the PADV Board in late 2016.  Throughout the fall semester, Georgia Tech students will work with their professor, as well as members of CREW, which will give them exposure to many Atlanta professions in every arm of the design and construction industry.  The Georgia Tech group will primarily focus on the programming, design, construction, and potential sustainability certification (LEED) aspects of the analysis.  Due to the mature nature of the project, this course is limited to graduate students or senior undergrads. (Fall 2016)

BMED 2250 – Problems in Biomedical Engineering (Instructor: Barbara Burks Fasse) BMED 2250 employs a Problem/Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach to confront a problem from the real world of health and/or medicine within a societal context. During the semester, students focus on a community health issue for which they propose an innovation as a preventative measure or remedy using engineering analysis and fundamentals to justify design decisions, then testing it using mathematical modeling and experiments with a physical model representing an aspect or principle of the innovation or intervention strategy. Students are encouraged to recognize that their innovation will be adopted or used by a culture with rules and expectations and to take this into account by being conscious of the end-user, cultural milieu, and belief systems, as well as to consider environmental impact and social consciousness. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

CS 3750/PSY 3750 – Introduction to User Interface Design (Instructor: Rosa Arriaga) In this course we work through the entire User Centered Design Cycle: requirements gathering, designing alternatives, prototyping and evaluation. We work on a project that matters to our community partners. In the past this has included: Community Engagement and Art on the Beltline, Community Engagement and Safety on the Beltline, Supporting Veterans with Goal Setting and Achievement. This course provides an opportunity for reciprocal teaching and learning. The students learn about real world problems and the community members are exposed to novel ways of understanding the problem and novel approaches/designs to “solving” the problems. (Fall 2016)

CS 4150/CS 6150 – Computing for Social Good (Instructor: Ellen Zegura) - Students work in teams on projects that come from external partners. These partner organizations generally work on pressing social problems and provide services to communities and individuals in need. Examples of problem domains from past offerings include homelessness, mental illness, autism, migrant farm worker health, childhood blindness, food security. The course requires substantial computer science background as prerequisite. (Fall 2016)

HTS 2813 – Near Peer Mentoring: An Urban Education Experience (Instructor: Chris Burke) This course challenges you to engage in near-peer mentoring while examining how race, poverty, and other socioeconomic dynamics have shaped the educational opportunitites available in historically segregated and economically distressed urban communities.  We will work with students at BEST Academy, an all-boys public high school in Atlanta's Westside.  Each Georgia Tech student will be paired with one BEST student.  The pairs will meet at least once a week and spend the semester working towards goals that help the BEST student prepare for college.  In addition to mentoring, you will study the socioeconomic issues that affect urban education through readings, classwork, and projects, and apply these insights to bring a more informed perspective to your mentoring work.  Through direct service and intentional relationships with high school students, you will share your experiences with the students as they prepare for going to college while expanding your own understanding through exposure to experiences with education that are likely differnet in some ways from your own. Note: This course is an Honors Program section for Honors Program students, by permit only.  For more information, contact Nicole Leonard ( (Fall 2016)

HTS 3823 – Health Inequalities (Instructor: Jennifer Singh) This course is designed to investigate social conditions such as poverty, social isolation, and segregation, as well as ascribed characteristics of gender and race that are predictive of a battery of contemporary chronic diseases and causes of premature death. The course will be designed and instructed around student community engagement with local non-profit organizations that serve social needs directly and indirectly related to health.  (Fall 2016)

LMC 2720-N – Principles of Visual Design (Instructor: Feraz Peer) - Principle of Visual Design is a studio course in which students will be trained to visually organize and present ideas.  The course will be taught in the form of lectures, projects, in-class activities, and discussions that will cover topics such as color theory, typography, competition, and layout.  You will learn the basics of visual design that are required to clearly and effectively communicate your ideas.  We will be aligning the final two projects with the needs of two of our community partners, the Washington Cluster Advocacy Group and Box of Chocolates Media.  Based on the SLS Big Idea of "doing good in your neighborhood", this course hopes to create long-term relationships with neighboring community organizations and students at Tech.  (Fall 2016)

LMC 3314 – Technologies of Representation (Instructor: Lauren Klein) - This is a course about why people keep things, how people keep things, and the things that, try as they might, people cannot keep at all. From archives of documents to archives of junk, we will explore the concept of “the archive” and how it is transformed in the digital age. We will examine theoretical formulations of– and challenges to– the archive through the lens of literary and artistic representations of archives, as well as examples of archives, both print and digital, from Georgia Tech Archives and the greater Atlanta area. We will interrogate the meaning of the archive in the context of a range of media forms, as well as the issues of materiality that those forms engage. We will explore the social and political forces that underlie archives’ construction. We will also explore current issues and concerns with respect to digital archival design. As a final project, we will work together as a class to create and then re-envision a digital archive of science fiction fanzines from the Bud Foote Science Fiction Collection here at Georgia Tech. The course will partner with Murmur Media and the Atlanta Zine Library.  (Fall 2016)

PSYC 6023 – Research Methods for Human Computer Interaction (Instructor: Carrie Bruce) How do you know what a user wants to see on a wearable display, whether an app feature is being used, whether a clickable button is better than a swipe, or whether a person who is blind can use your physical product? Research methods for HCI allow you to investigate such questions and develop evidence to inform design decisions. In this course, you will learn about common methods employed in user-centered and evidence-based design. You will also learn how to choose methods, plan studies, and perform research that is inclusive of users with a range of abilities. The objective of this course is to train you to use the appropriate methods, tools, metrics, and analyses for generating evidence to inform and reflect on design decisions . This course is different from traditional research methods because you will be expected to increase your awareness, understanding, and application of inclusive research practices towards enabling and enhancing social sustainability in communities. (Fall 2016)

Affiliated Projects: Fall 2016

Focus: Sustainable Communities

ESW Hydroponics/Urban Farming Project (Contact: Nicole Kennard) - The Hydroponics/Urban Farming Project experiments with different ways to grow produce in urban areas using limited space and water resources. We investigate both soil-based and hydroponic methods of growing in order to find the most efficient, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable way to grow produce in Atlanta. These ideas are then shared with the community of urban farmers in Atlanta in hopes to strengthen the local food movement and to provide more healthy and nutritious food to those in need, especially to the food desert areas of Atlanta.  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

Greenovation (Contact: Ben Ibach) - Greenovation is a funding initiative hosted by Georgia Tech’s SGA Sustainability Committee, enabling the timely implementation of student-led projects that offer feasible, innovative ideas for improving Georgia Tech’s sustainability efforts. Upon submitting proposals, students will receive feedback from a screening committee prior to evaluation by a judging panel at the Greenovation Proposal Showcase. Located in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, the Proposal Showcase will engage the student body through a “student-choice” vote and incorporation with Homecoming Week. Feasible and innovative student proposals will be allocated funding and an advisor, working with the Office of Campus Sustainability to implement a pilot program within the upcoming year.  (Fall 2016)

Know Your Water Project (Contact: Neha Kumar) - This project will allow students to be part of a large, crowd-sourced study – at little cost to themselves – to contribute to a knowledge bank of how different communities treat and track their water quality. If you are interested in participating in this study, please let us know. All you will need to do is give us an address - anywhere in the world - where we can mail you the device, find a water source where you can use the device (it will take just a minute or two), and let us interview you for less than 30 minutes about your experience.  (Fall 2016)

Focus: Community

Epic Intentions (Contact: Yeji Lee) - Epic Intentions connects an interdisciplinary team of students with a local nonprofit to apply technical skills for social and civic good to help make the nonprofits make a greater impact in the community. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

Excel Current Events (Contact: Ashley Bidlack) - Excel Current Events is a participation (not for credit) course for degree-seeking students who are interested in developing their communication skills in conversations with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Excel is a certificate program through professional education that is offered to college-aged adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These students attend classes with degree-seeking students as well as classes that are specifically designed to enhance skills in areas that are most meaningful for them. This course will introduce students to the variety of methods used to obtain and report the news. In addition, we will investigate the events that make news and discuss the social and community implications in order to bridge the communication gap in a group with a variety of cognitive functioning levels. During this course we will hear from local leaders in the community to consider their viewpoints as well. Students will work in teams to follow a news story as it develops throughout the semester and reflect on the impact it had on our lives through a final capstone presentation. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

Excel Peer Support Network (Contact: Marnie Williams) - Excel is a four-year, dual certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Peer Support Network is designed to provide the individualized support necessary for Excel students to thrive at Georgia Tech.  Peer Coaches and Supports work with students in Excel to achieve academic success, develop a social network, and establish healthy and independent lifestyles. Join us as we engage in conversations and experiences related to creating inclusive communities where all members have the opportunity to thrive. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

Shakespeare in Prison Project (Contact: Sarah Higinbotham) - As the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, Georgia Tech students will travel to a high-security men’s prison outside Atlanta to discuss Shakespeare with incarcerated students. While the United States represents only about 5% of the world's population, we incarcerate 25% of the world's inmates — more than any other country in the world. With a recidivism rate of nearly 60%, and eight black and Hispanic males incarcerated for every one white male, mass incarceration is exorbitantly expensive, socially deteriorating, racially unjust, and insufficient to deter crime or to fully satisfy victims. But college-in-prison programs intersect with incarceration’s empirical failures by restoring dignity and humanity to prisoners. And Shakespeare remains a creative force in our society because he taps into what makes us human, making him a perfect magnet to draw two different groups of students together. Students who visit the prison report that it’s a profoundly meaningful experience, and the prisoners say that academic discussions with visiting students “make them feel human again." While the prison trips are currently full for the fall semester, please contact Dr. Higinbotham ( if you’d like to be added to the waiting list or to learn more about college and incarceration. (Fall 2016)

Related Courses: Fall 2016

ENG 1101 – The Power of Truthiness: Thinking and Writing Empirically in a Post-Fact World (Instructor: Owen Cantrell) - In nearly every hour of every day, we are bombarded with arguments and statements meant to persuade us.  Whether on television, social media, websites, or directly from media figures and politicians, persuasive arguments based in "truth" are the coinage of the world we live in.  This English 1101 course focuses on the ways in which the "truthiness" of arguments often trumps their verifiable, empirical reality.  This epistemological dilemma will be explored in psychological and neuroscientific literature that presents the cognitive make up of our minds as one of the problems to our understanding of complex issues.  Additionally, we will discuss the ways in which "truthiness" has infected our social and political discourse, as well as the often dramatic results that come from the allegiance to "truthiness" over empirical fact.  Topics will include metacognition, anti-intellectualism, political and social issues, and the tradition of anti-rationalism.  Class discussions will focus on a mix of evaluation of class readings, applications of concepts from class to contemporary debates, and student presentations utilizing "truthiness" as it relates to the issues of the day.  This course addresses sustainability by pointing out the intellectual and political unsustainability of "truthiness" as a mode of living and as a mode of discourse.  Students will learn how to evaluate and create arguments interested in having political and intellectual debate based on creating a better world.  (Fall 2016)

LMC 2200 – Introduction to Gender Studies (Instructor: Carol Colatrella) - Introduction to Gender Studies surveys significant issues in gender studies, looking at issues of equity, justice, and diversity.  Our discussions of texts explicating specific historical and cultural circumstances that influence and are influenced by cultural ideas of gender will help students develop and refine their understanding of sustainable communities. Individual and team assignments provide opportunities for students to develop leadership and teamwork skills. (Fall 2016)

LMC 6743/PUBP 6743/HTS 6743 – Science, Technology & Society: Core Seminar (Instructor: Anne Pollock) Science, Technology and Society (STS) - also called Science and Technology Studies - is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to understand how science and technology shape society and culture and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology.  These are fundamental issues that underlie questions of sustainability and community especially when developing technology solutions that depend on knowledge of social and environmental context.  This course explores key topics, debates, and theoretical perspectives ion STS.  Featuring guest lectures by faculty from across Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, the seminar introduces students both to a wide range of STS topics and approaches, and to faculty who do research in this area.  It is also the core course required for the Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology & Society. (Fall 2016)

MGT 3102 – Managing Human Resources in a Regulated Environment (Instructor: Laurens Steed) During this course, we discuss important concepts such as the legal aspects of HR, training, selection recruitment, turnover, and performance among other topics. In addition, this course covers important emerging HR trends, including how organizations manage sustainability initiatives and corporate social responsibility. (Fall 2016)