Spring 2017 Courses

The following courses and projects will be offered for the Spring 2017 semester.  Please check back frequently as we continue to update our course listing!

Foundation Courses: Spring 2017

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.

Sustainable Communities and Systems (GT 2803 SLS/GT 4803 SLS/ISyE 2803 SLS/MGT 2803 SLS/EAS 2803 SLS). Taught by Professors Cobb, Hirsch, Realff 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, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Industrial & Systems Engineering.  You can register for any one of the course numbers and you'll be in the same class!  What does sustainability look like when we take community seriously?  This course is an introduction to some fundamental approaches and frameworks to help answer that question and engage our students in creating sustainable systems and communities in their professional and civic lives.  Case studies, exercises, and a project will explore applications of these frameworks.  

Who should take this course? Even students holding "traditional" jobs or starting their own companies are finding that at some stage in their career, their work responsibilities or sphere of influence include sustainability- and community-related issues, whether it be in design, supply chain, management, engineering, ethics, marketing, community impact, or recruiting, to name a few.  Students who are aiming to have sustainability-focused jobs or public service careers will find this course particularly useful.  Questions: Contact Beril Toktay, beril.toktay@scheller.gatech.edu.

Sustainable Urban Development (CP 2233).  Taught by Professor Bill Drummond, this course introduces the challenges of sustainability as applied to the built environment and the built environment's interconnectivity with the natural environment.  It addresses a range of specific sustainability-related issues such as sprawl and smart growth, climate change, motorized and non-motorized transportation, social equity and environmental justice, green architecture, food system, and community engagement.  Students will do substantial background reading, engage in class discussion, write a series of short application papers, and apply their skills to a small-group, real-world project.  CP 2233 also serves as a gateway course to the new Sustainable Cities minor.  

Who should take this course? This course will be of special interest to at least three types of students: (1) those whose professional work may directly relate to the built environment, including majors in architecture, civil engineering, environmental engineering, public policy, and international affairs; (2) those with a special interest in sustainability and its growing importance in areas such as computing, economics, or management, and; (3) students who wish to become better citizens by developing a deeper understanding and basis for action regarding one of the most important challenges facing our country and world.

Affiliated Courses: Spring 2017

AE 4701/6701; ME 4701/6701; - Wind Engineering (Instructor: Lakshmi Sankar)- Students learn to assess wind resources, learn the physical principles behind wind tunnel operations, learn how to design wind turbines for a site to meet that community's energy needs, learn how to find the equivalent cost of energy in cents per KW-hour, and assess environmental impact (birds, noise) associated with wind turbines. (Spring 2017)

BIOL 1521- Honors Organismal Biology (Instructors: Joseph Montoya; Mirjana Brockett; Emily Weigel )- 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 Piedmont Park Conservancy, 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. (Spring 2017)

BIOL 2337/2338- Honors Ecology (Instructor: Marc Weissburg) - Honors ecology is a team based, problem based course in general ecology. There are no lectures: students are expected to identify the relevant knowledge, learn and apply it to the given problem and are mentored by faculty through this process.  Student teams examine five ecological problems ranging from single species conservation/management to watershed health assessment.  Several of these projects (changes in biological communities through time, watershed health) are focused on local communities. Others (fisheries management) examine the needs and conflicts of different stakeholders in 3rd world communities, but represent common conflicts. Students design and implement experimental (in the field and the laboratory) and analytical approaches to solve the particular problem, and present their results in oral and written products. Students are assessed specifically on problem solving, hypothesis testing, research, communication and team skills, as well as their ecological knowledge. (Spring 2017)

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 4350 - Environmental Technology in the Developing World (Instructor: Joe Brown)- CEE 4350 seeks to develop practical skills to evaluate environmental technologies in developing countries with a focus on sustainable and healthy communities. The global burden of disease is known to be dominated by a variety of environmental risk factors that include poor air quality (both indoors and outdoors), water borne diseases, and issues related to sanitation; potential solutions involve the application of promising technologies. This class will involve an interdisciplinary approach to the evaluation of and application of technologies, with emphasis on problem-based, hands-on learning. Students will become familiar with key health and environmental problems specific to developing regions; measurement techniques; social, cultural, and economic constraints that apply to design; and the planning and execution of a field project with local colleagues. (Spring 2017)

CEE 4803-SLS - Construction Management and Megaprojects (Instructor: Jack Wexler)- Sustainable Development of Construction Megaprojects Through Community Engagement: Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Megaprojects - Tools, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), were be introduced to the students to study the human ecology of big projects. Megaprojects were analyzed as displacements that follow a socio-natural process. Students learned the methodology to study changes in the surrounding environments of megaprojects from social, environmental, and economic standpoints.  Cultural Differences & Ethical Issues in Megaprojects - Stories of local projects from several local engineering communication experts and legal professionals were be shared with students. Best practices, tools, and programs were also shared with students to understand how cultural and ethical issues are handled in delivery of the most recent megaprojects in Metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia, across the nation, and around the globe. The significant role of professional societies and industry groups were discussed in this course module and available technical resources were provided to the students.  (Spring 2017)

CP 6233 - Sustainable Urban Development (Instructor: Catherine Ross) This course will be devoted to recent research on the impact of intense and rapid urbanization and the emergence of new planning scales to address natural resource limitations and an increasingly global economy. These efforts have resulted in an active international dialogue on megaregions and megacities. Taking cues from the European Union and several Asian countries, American planners have begun to study these large connected areas that will be home to more than seventy percent of our population by 2050. This is one of the new contexts within which sustainability goals must be formulated.   (Spring 2017)

CS 8803 TD/CS 4803 TD/INTA 8803 NK/INTA 4803 NK - Technology and Poverty: ICTs and International Development (Instructor: Neha Kumar) My course encourages students to think about how they might design technologies with a focus on global development, paying special attention to the needs of underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities across the world. (Spring 2017)   

EAS 3110 - Energy, Environment, and Society (Instructor: Kim Cobb)- The quest for a sustainable energy future involves balancing a series of oftentimes competing goals. Access to cheap energy has fueled the economic development of the richest countries, and there is widespread concern that any increases in energy prices will undermine the global and national economic recovery. At the same time, the scientific consensus on climate change is now clear: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion are altering Earth's climate. The search for affordable, low-carbon, and renewable energies to fuel 21st century economies has become a local, national, and international priority.  (Spring 2017)

EAS 4420 - Environmental Field Methods (Instructor: Martial Taillefert)- This course focuses on a single environmental project in the local area. In particular, students will implement chemical and physical measurement techniques for assessing environmental problems of their choice, and they will also learn to interpret results in a societal context. (Spring 2017)

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)

ENGL 1102-H4 - Documenting Difference: Species, Race, and Gender in Non-Fiction Film (Instructor: Sarah O'Brien)- This section of ENGL 1102 develops multimodal communication skills through the critical and creative analysis of a heterogeneous collection of documentary and not-quite documentary films: popular nature and wildlife films, ethnographic films, historical documentaries, essay films, mockumentaries or pseudo- documentaries, and interactive documentaries or i-Docs. Documentary film is commonly understood as a mode that both educates audiences about important historical events and makes arguments about current events and issues. As our selective tour of the preceding documentary traditions will show, documentaries serve these two functions and so many more. This course will focus on the ways in which documentaries represent—and, indeed, produce—differences among humans and between humans and nonhuman animals, and how these representational strategies affirm, neutralize, or challenge dominant nonfiction narratives about the imbalances of power within these groups. How do these films’ attention to issues of identify and difference—specifically in the forms of species, race, and gender—inform their larger projects of educating and convincing audiences about sites of social and environmental tension, inequity, and conflict? Is it possible to leverage documentary—a form deeply bound up with the epistemological pursuit of categorizing and maintaining boundaries—for the purpose of provoking political awareness of and action aimed at current systems of social and environmental injustices? Adopting a comparative lens, we will explore these questions through weekly viewings and short writing assignments, as well as three larger multimodal projects: a contributing essay to Zooscope: the Animals in Film Archive; a digitally annotated analytical essay on a selected documentary; and a guided audio tour for visitors to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This last project will entail learning about the important role of documentary film and photography in the Civil Rights movement, and forging connections between it and documentary practices related to current movements for social and environmental justice in the US. (Spring 2017)

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)

HTS 2803 HP – Semester in the City: Engaging Westside Communities (Instructor: Todd Michney) - “Semester in the City” seeks to familiarize students with nearby Westside communities that have historically faced, and continue to face serious sustainability challenges – even as they continue to develop significant strategies for positive change.  Students learn how ecological, social, and economic systems have operated in these neighborhoods and explore how policy and community mobilization approaches might be reenvisioned to improve liveability.  The course is a combination of in-class and hands-on, experiential learning, including in these neighborhoods as well as in local government and nonprofit offices, and in-town libraries and archives.  Students look at nearby areas like English Avenue and Vine City from a variety of perspectives – historical, social, political, economic, and environmental, among others.  By collaborating with organized neighborhood residents, students strengthen these communities’ ties to Georgia Tech and in the process of engagement, promote sustainability as a means to potentially transform civic life and values in the Atlanta metro area. (Spring 2017)

ID 8900 - Design in Public Health (Instructor: Sarah Melgen)- This course will explore the intersection of design and public/community health. We will be looking at the relevance of designing products and services for social impact and learning how to approach design in order to improve a population’s health, internationally and domestically. The course will be taught through case studies ranging from global organizations to projects that have been created and nurtured here at Georgia Tech. Design students can use this course to explore the growing field of design for social impact, as well as support and inform how they consider a population in their future studio and career work. (Spring 2017)

INTA/MA (TBD) - Global Development Minor Capstone Course (Instructor: Neha Kumar)- My course encourages students to think about how they might study or design technologies with a focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals objectives, paying special attention to the needs of underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities across the world. (Spring 2017)

ME 8813-TEL/ID 8900-SSD - Sustainable Systems Design (Instructor: Cassandra Telenko) - This class covers two tools for exploring and evaluating during a sustainable design or decision-making process: life cycle analysis and system dynamics. Students will apply these tools to a research topic of interest, exploring implications for understanding communities and designing systems or artifacts. This class is a graduate course but is open to seniors.  (Spring 2017)

MGT 4803 - Social Enterprise Practicum (Ideas to Serve Course) (Instructor: Dori Pap) - This course is for students who are passionate about social (and/or environmental) issues, and have identified an interest area where they want to make real change by developing an innovative solution.  The course will serve as a guide in the students' problem solving journey by exploring topics like: human-centered design, social impact assessment, customer discovery, sustainable communities, and more.  Students will connect with area experts who will serve as mentors and provide feedback throughout the semester.  Much of the course will be conducted "workshop style" with guest speakers presenting on topics that will help teams with their project's development.  There will also be plenty of opportunity for peer learning where students can share their feedback and advise with classmates.  The end goal is to have a project ready for entry in the Ideas to Serve Competition - Tech's social innovation event - to compete for up to $10K in start-up funds.  The course is also under consideration for the Leadership Minor and the Entrepreneurship Certificate.  This course is ideal for students who already have an idea for a solution to a social problem and need guidance and resources to move from idea to action.  If you do not have a specific idea already, you can team up with someone in the class who does.  Everyone with a passion for improving the human condition is welcome!  Have questions?  Email Dori Pap (Spring 2017)

MGT 8803 - Sustainable Business Consulting Practicum (Instructor: Michael Oxman) - Sustainability from a business perspective encompasses environmental and social performance that collectively drives significant corporate value.  Increasingly, the manner in which companies interact with communities (whether on environmental or social issues) determines the success or failure of company activities.  In this course, the consulting projects frequently involve important elements of community engagement as themes and potential areas of student recommendations.  In addition, course readings and discussions will address community engagement as an important theme within the sustainability umbrella.  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)

MGT 8803 - Understanding Markets with Data Science (Instructor: Chris Gu) - This course treats community as its central theme, and focuses on the use of data science to understand how individuals interact with each other, and how organizations and firms may gain insights and design policies that better serve individuals across various communities.  The class talks about community in general, but sometimes uses marketing examples to illustrate ideas.  The concepts and tools are applicable to any community, or any context where individuals are networked and interact with each other.  In particular, we will explore the nature of marketplace networks, investigate how they are formed and maintained, and study the kinds of economic behaviors that result from different network structures. Furthermore, to understand how networked individuals influence one another, we will study the conversations by which they communicate.  We will focus on the tools used by data scientists to understand consumer sentiment, demand, etc., and make informed recommendations.  In addition, the course will also include a foundational review of key modeling tools that are needed to support these goals.  The course is designed as both an introduction to key concepts and tools that data scientists need to understand social activity in a networked context. This course is suitable for policy makers interested in data-driven strategies.  After taking this course, student should be able to: investigate networked data through visualization, understand models of network formation, understand how information flows in network, measure network effects, extract useful information from textual communications, including sentiment analysis, and develop appropriate policy recommendations based on all of the above.  (Spring 2017)

PUBP 3350 - Energy Policy Stakeholder Engagement (Instructor: Dan Matisoff) - This course cuts through myths that are pervasive in the media, in public opinion, and in statements by politicians. It will provide students with a theoretical basis from which to assess energy policy options, an understanding of how global energy markets work, and an overview of domestic and international energy policy. The course seeks to build group project skills, and students will produce a policy analysis of policy options related to an energy policy problem.  Through this course students will gain the tools to assess and analyze the market characteristics, policies, and regulations that impact the supply, demand, and impacts of energy consumption in the U.S. and abroad. This course will provide an overview of applied energy economics, energy regulation, basics of U.S. and global energy production / consumption, and policy options for promoting a sustainable energy future.  (Spring 2017)

SPAN 4251 - Hispanic Community Internship (Instructor: Kelly Comfort) - Explore the local Latino community firsthand with internships with Hispanic-serving organizations, non-profits, and businesses.  Participate in roundtable discussions with local Latino leaders to discuss issues of social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability relevant to Atlanta-area Latinos. (Spring 2017)

Study Abroad

CEE 4803 - Sustainable Transportation Abroad (Instructor: Kari Watkins) - In this course, we will focus on the planning, design, and operations of transportation systems in countries abroad that are known for a sustainable multimodal approach to transportation. This course is a study abroad course tied to the Global Engineering Leadership Minor administered in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The leadership competencies this course will focus on include cultural awareness/global competency, informal mentoring, and feedback.  The initial offering will focus on the Netherlands, a country where substantial efforts have been made to encourage cycling and transit usage by residents of all ages and cycling levels of comfort. The Dutch consider cycling more sustainable because of the reduction in space required, low emissions and noise, and health impacts. Dutch infrastructure provides good examples of protected bicycle infrastructure, traffic calming, transit network design, and transit and bicycle integration. (Summer 2017)

MGT 4191/92, MGT 4611, MGT 4803 - Leadership for Social Good Study Abroad (Instructor: Dori Pap) - The Leadership for Social Good Study Abroad in Eastern Europe takes students to Prague, Krakow, and Budapest where we take a look at the role of the nonprofit/social sector, civil society, and corporate sector in creating sustainable solutions to society's most pressing problems.  From urban farms that address the need for a locally grown and economically accessible food source while creating employment for refugees, to system level solutions to solving chronic homelessness in Atlanta, to creating meaningful employment for people with disabilities in the Czech Republic, to affecting policy at the EU level to preserve biodiversity while increasing the competitiveness of businesses in Hungary - this program addresses the importance of triple bottom line solutions, as well as the importance of identifying the unintended consequences when assessing the impact of these solutions.  The unique component of this program is the opportunity to learn hands-on about how these organizations operate during the project component of the course.  Students work with a Budapest-based nonprofit to help them create sustainable solutions to the environmental and social problems they are addressing.  Beyond solving their tasks, students immerse themselves in important topics like social justice, the link between economic development and biodiversity, what type of leadership is effective in the nonprofit sector, how can corporations model sustainability and be profitable at the same time, and what is the role of governments in supporting sustainable solutions.  The program provides 9 MGT credits that qualify for the Leadership Minor in Business, the Entrepreneurship Certificate, and satisfy various electives across campus.  For a list of nonprofit partners and past projects, visit the program website.  (Summer 2017)

ARCH 8903-JB1 – Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Faculty Advisor: Jason Brown) This independent study is dedicated to completing Georgia Tech’s entry to the US Department of Energy’s Race to Zero 2017 Student Design Competition. A team of students will ultimately produce a design for a net-zero ready home according to the DoE’s requirements and present this to industry experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado in late April 2017. This design will be documented at a level that it could be handed to a general contractor as-is for construction; this will have an emphasis on architectural detailing in addition to financial and technical analysis. With the US residential sector responsible for roughly 20% of national energy use and national carbon dioxide emissions, achieving economic and marketable net-zero housing can be expected to contribute significantly to climate change mitigation.  (Spring 2017)

BIOL 4410/6410; EAS 8803JK – Microbial Ecology (Instructor: Joel Kostka) Most people think of microorganisms or microbes as harmful, causing disease or just stinking up the refrigerator.  However, the reality is that the vast majority of microbes keep humans alive and healthy on Earth.  Microbes are responsible directly or indirectly for producing the air we breathe, the food we eat, clean water that we drink, and diseases that make us sick.  In other words, microbes provide many services to humans in Earth’s ecosystems and enable the sustainable production of food and energy as well as the recycling of wastes.  However, most of the microbial world remains to be discovered and explored. The intent of the course is to introduce students to the many facets of microbial life on this planet and to show you that Earth’s ecosystems and microbes are closely intertwined.  Most people think of microorganisms or microbes as harmful, causing disease or just stinking up the refrigerator.  However, the reality is that the vast majority of microbes keep humans alive and healthy on Earth.  Microbes are responsible directly or indirectly for producing the air we breathe, the food we eat, clean water that we drink, and diseases that make us sick.  In other words, microbes provide many services to humans in Earth’s ecosystems and enable the sustainable production of food and energy as well as the recycling of wastes.  However, most of the microbial world remains to be discovered and explored. The intent of the course is to introduce students to the many facets of microbial life on this planet and to show you that Earth’s ecosystems and microbes are closely intertwined.  (Spring 2017)

CEE 4395 - Environmental Systems Design (Instructor: John Koon)- CEE4395 is a project-oriented course that also includes instruction complementary to the design of environmental systems. Instruction in the course includes the development of schematic drawings and documents required to transmit engineering designs to project stakeholders; use of AutoCAD software; sustainable design concepts; energy efficient design; cost estimating; and working with project stakeholders to achieve design objectives. Student groups produce preliminary design deliverables for two projects in a manner to meet identified design objectives. A course option permits students to become credentialed Envision® professionals. (Spring 2017)

CEE 4620 – Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment (Instructor: Randall Guensler) - The course emphasizes the regulatory aspects of environmental analysis as well as analytical techniques employed in environmental impact assessment. The course materials, policy readings, and environmental impact modeling discussions are presented in sufficient detail for students to apply the concepts to a variety of major engineering projects. Because successful civil engineering in today's world depends largely upon mitigating environmental impacts, the course emphasizes the incorporation of environmental considerations into the engineering process. (Spring 2017)

CHBE 4803 - Chemical Engineering of Energy Systems (Instructor: Matthew Realff)- The course addresses the engineering of energy systems from a process engineering perspective and therefore requires energy equity literacy and design solution skills.  Energy is one of the key drivers of social and economic development.  The inequitable access of communities across the globe to energy is reflected in their relative well being.  Showing how to develop designs of systems as different scales and with different technological mixes is a key sustainability enabler. (Spring 2017)

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 4833/8833; ChBE 4803/8803 - Fundamentals and Challenges for a Sustainable Chemical Enterprise (Instructor: Elsa Reichmanis)- In the chemical enterprise (industry, government, and academia), chemists and chemical engineers are involved in, and responsible for, the development of new products, materials, and manufacturing processes.  These activities include developing manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendlier, safer for workers and society, and economically more sustainable.  They participate in and contribute to all segments of the supply chain, from cradle to grave (nature back to nature).  In the industrial sector, they work hand in hand with other engineering professionals, and professionals from business, intellectual property, and environmental safety and health.  Thus, it is critical for chemists and chemical engineering students to better understand the grand challenges of industry and to be better prepared to contribute to the long term sustainability of the enterprise.  This course provides an introduction to these issues.  As the modern chemical enterprise typically employs multidisciplinary teams to collaboratively solve complex problems, this course makes use of team based collaborative projects.  (Spring 2017)

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 4740/CHEM 4740 - Atmospheric Chemistry (Instructor: Sally Ng)- It is what you breathe – Air.  This course looks at understanding our atmosphere, its life sustaining ability, and its changing chemistry with the input from natural and human activities.  (Spring 2017)

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)

ENGL 1102 (Sections L3 and M) - Dune (Instructor: Andrea Krafft)- Before Star Wars captivated audiences with the conflict between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire and long before Game of Thrones envisioned the clashes between the Lannisters, Baratheons, Starks, and countless others, Frank Herbert published Dune, an epic text which arguably paved the way for these later works. In this course, we will explore the science fictional universe of Dune, a novel so complex that it comes with multiple appendices, a map, and a dictionary. Although Dune deals with alien worlds and has a language of its own, its themes are familiar. We will think about how this novel relates to issues such as empire and colonization, ecology, astrobiology, religion, gender roles, drugs, and many other topics. The theme of sustainability is central to the novel, as the world of Arrakis emerged from Herbert's very real concerns about the ecological impact of sand dunes in Oregon. We will also consider how Dune has evolved in the popular imagination through adaptations such as David Lynch’s 1984 film and Jodorowsky’s Dune, a 2013 documentary chronicling a failed attempt to capture the novel on screen. While Dune provides the thematic focus for this course, we will also explore multimodal or WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal) communication. Prospective projects for this course include an online encyclopedia to accompany the text, a documentary envisioning how you would adapt Dune for modern audiences, and an in-depth research project exploring the historical and technological issues that shaped the novel. (Spring 2017)

ME 3322 - Thermodynamics (Instructor: Marta Hatzell)- In this course, students will learn about energy production and transfer, focusing on the differences between various forms of distributed and centralized energy production plants.  Students will being to understand the complexity of the decision making process when considering the switch between one outdated technology to another, taking into consideration not only the bottom-line economic factors, but also the roles of environment and society.  The course will incorporate speakers from different energy companies, assignments applied to real problems which touch on sustainability and community, and a final project focusing on evaluation of energy demands and water demands on campus, using podcasts and/or youtube videos to demonstrate holistic evaluation of these systems both from an energetic and sustainability approach. (Spring 2017)

ME 4823 - Renewable Energy Systems (Instructor: Allison Mahvi)- The goal of the Renewable Energy Systems technical elective (ME 4823) is to understand and design renewable systems that can meet the energy and societal needs of the 21st century. The course will introduce students to a more holistic view of energy by integrating the Serve-Learn-Sustain theme addressing the nexus of food, energy and water systems. This will be accomplished in the classroom, and in a term project where students will investigate the technical, economic and societal implications of an application of renewable energy systems, potentially including solar driven water desalination, systems to reduce water consumption in power plants, or technical solutions to food waste. At the end of the course, students will be able to design renewable systems that meet the needs of a particular community. (Spring 2017)

PUBP 4813 - Climate Policy (Instructor: Alice Favero)- This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.  Students will also work directly on the GT Climate Action Plan through different steps: (i) Assessing the current state of the plan; (ii) Developing possible mitigation strategies for meeting emissions reduction targets and assessing the feasibility, mitigation contribution, and costs; (iii) Estimating GT policy cost and overall contribution to the global climate issue. (Spring 2017)


Focus: Community

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)

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)

ENGL 1102 N1/F5– If Not Us Then Who?: Student Activism 1960 - Present (Instructor: Ruthie Yow) In the course, we take a compelling ride through the major student movements of the post-war period, beginning in 1960 and making our way up to the present day. From the fearless nonviolent student activists of the Civil Rights era who endured beatings and bus-burnings to the bold youth of the 1999 “Battle in Seattle” who faced tear gas and riot police, American students of the modern era have a great deal to teach us. We look closely at the role of the relationship between student activism and community mobilization and examine the questions: What does "community" mean? What shapes inclusion and exclusion of particular groups and values? How has the "digital age" affected community organizing? Finally, how do activists call on pre-existing community identities and catalyze the formation of new ones in pursuit of social change? The price of the ticket is your commitment to honing, diversifying, and strengthening your own communication strategies. Other course aims include engagement with local, student-led social justice campaigns; cogent analysis of the relationship between democracy and public schooling; cultivation of a long, analytical view of student activism across time; and development of your awareness of yourself as an agent of change on campus, in Atlanta, and in the world.  Students in this course will be partnering with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in creating self-guided tours for visitors interested in environmental justice and related issues. (Spring 2017)

ID 3320 – Design Methods: User Centered Research (Instructor: Wayne Li) - This course deals with the various methods that designers utilize in fundamentally understanding users and their interaction with products, experiences, or services as a constituent within a community. Methods such as stakeholder identification and analysis, needfinding, social ethnography, videography, as well as introductions in the behavioral and social sciences (i.e., psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc) will all be introduced, but magnified through a design lens. One of the main deliverables for our course are examples of ethnographic film. While not a primary focus, graphic design is a subsidiary skillset. (Spring 2017)

LMC 3258– Documentary Film (Instructor: John Thornton) - Documentaries help shed light on significant topics, and challenge their audiences to act on relevant issues of the day.  The objectives of this course are to introduce students to the art of documentary filmmaking, and to explore the ways in which documentary filmmaking can serve as a catalyst for articulating social justice issues that prompt audiences to take action.  Working in small, collaborative teams, students will learn to write and produce short documentary videos on social justice issues that are specifically related to the Georgia Tech Community, the City of Atlanta, and/or the State of Georgia.  The course will conclude with screenings of student work that will be open to members of the public, partner organizations, and subjects of films. Pre-requisite: LMC 2500.  (Spring 2017)

LMC 3403 - A/G/J – Technical Communication (Instructor: Rebekah Greene) - Students will be learning about effectively engaging with information using strategies and practices that allow them to successfully communicate with a variety of stakeholders. Students will learn rhetorical strategies, develop competencies in analysis and citation, and engage in reflection. Students will also be extending problem-solving skills as they work on a range of assignments designed to help expose them to workplace genres. These genres enable students to think more about individual and collaborative strategies. Throughout the semester, students will develop a range of multimodal artifacts that highlight strategies using evidence and demonstrating an awareness of audience, argument, language, persuasion, and design. The Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative here at Georgia Tech encourages all of us to work together to create sustainable communities. The class this semester will be participating in this venture and is thus organized around the theme of water systems. As researchers at the US Geological Survey note, water is “important and basic to life.” Recent news coverage has highlighted drought conditions, reduced water reservoirs, and contamination issues in major cities and in rural communities such as Flint, Providence, and Standing Rock. What may not have been apparent is the fact that many scientists, researchers, engineers, educators, and community members (including right here at Georgia Tech as part of the Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative and in the greater Atlanta metropole) are working to develop ways to grapple with a potential shortage of clean drinking water. As individuals, students will be working on a variety of technical communications (including infographics and presentations) that will help them theorize ways the knowledge that they have gained through their majors and hobbies can aid this ongoing research effort. Throughout the semester, students will also be working with a small team of peers and a locally-based community partner organization interested in issues relating to water. The opportunity to work on these projects and to reflect on what they’ve learned along the way will aid students in considering both the ethical implications of technical communications themselves and the important social responsibilities that technical communicators must account for in their daily work. The technical communication classroom is not just a laboratory space for professional training; it is also a laboratory space for developing the necessary skills to become a responsible citizen (Blake Scott 294). This semester’s experiences should transform students into effective communicators who are more aware of the ways that technical communication can be used in both the workplace and the community as a whole.  (Spring 2017)

MGT 3101 – Organizational Behavior (Instructor: Dana Harari Hamam) Organizational behavior is a field of study that seeks to understand, explain, and improve human behavior in organizations. The goal of this course is to enhance students’ managerial and organizational skills by developing an understanding of evidence-based organizational behavior (OB). The course surveys various topics in OB and uses a variety of instructional techniques, balancing conceptual knowledge with practical application. Topics include: individual personality, job attitudes, motivation, leadership, performance, and team dynamics. In this class, ideas from community engagement will be integrated into organizational behavior and management principles. (Spring 2017)

Affiliated Projects: Spring 2017

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)

Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project (Contact: Jennifer Leavey) - The Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee project provides a framework for Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff to investigate the role that bees play in pollinating urban landscapes. Volunteers with the program help with conservation projects, educational outreach to the community, and get hands-on experience keeping bees. Faculty and students can leverage the resources and expertise of the project to incorporate bee-related content or projects into their courses or research. The project works closely with urban agriculture organizations in West Atlanta to provide pollination services and beekeeper training.  (Fall 2016; Spring 2017; Summer 2017)

Well-Being Advocates  (Contact: Suzy Harrington) - Well-Being Advocates are GT Health &Well-Being (HWB) ambassadors, champions, or concierges, with a charge to relay information, motivate individuals, and enhance a culture of health, well being, and caring amongst fellow students, family members, and friends in a fun and positive spirit.  They will serve as well-being role models to others within their respective student organizations, in turn, inspiring those looking to flourish physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally, socially, and personally,  and within our communities where we live, learn, work, and play.  The goal is to have one in every student organization.  We are looking for students who want to become advocates and/or help us develop this project.  To learn more, contact Dr. Suzanne Harrington, Executive Director, Health & Well-Being. (Fall 2016; Spring 2017; Summer 2017)

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)


Related Courses: Spring 2017

Check back soon for Related Courses.