BME 4550: Medical Product Design and Innovation [3]

Timothy Allen, Associate Professor
David Chen, Coulter Project Director

The proposed “Medical Product Design and Innovation” J-Term course will provide a needs-immersive experience for students seeking to learn more about the client/needs identification in the clinic.  The course will include discussions led by the instructors, clinicians, and external experts in the field, with a focus on understanding health economic and business models, new paradigms in medical device innovation, new models of medical care, problem identification, market analysis and segmentation, current treatment landscape, and needs-finding.  Students are expected to record at least eight hours in the clinic as a requirement of their course work.  The remainder of the contact time will entail interactive workshops, guest lectures, brainstorming sessions, and discussions about students’ clinical rotations, problems, and observed unmet needs.  The outcomes of the course will be a final paper with the product proposal that will include the clinical need identified and rationale for the new product.  Furthermore, students will make a final presentation to their clinical sponsor, a panel of medical device industry experts, faculty, and investors.

ECE 3501: Dataflow Programming for Embedded Systems [3]

Harry C. Powell, Jr., Director of Instructional Laboratories

We will develop algorithmic concepts using dataflow programming as the basis. The course will be taught in a studio format with combined lecture and laboratory components. Although the concepts that are taught will be focused towards those of embedded computing, the material will be sufficiently general in nature to be of benefit for students broadly interested in algorithms as well as dateflow concepts.

STS 2140/EVSC 2070: Earth Systems Technology and Management

Michael Gorman, Professor

Earth Systems Engineering Management (ESEM) is a comprehensive perspective that combines engineering, environmental science and psychology to explore how human beings can take care of the ecosystem. Students will listen to lectures and discuss background readings from a variety of perspectives related to ESEM. Then they will apply what they have read to a practical problem: identifying and managing national parks and other national entities like monuments, battlefields, etc. Why should these places be set aside? Are they, as Ken Burns suggest, "America's best idea?" What other countries have national park strategies?

Students will go on two field trips, one to the Shenandoah National Park to listen to park scientist Jim Schaberl and others discuss park management issues. Jim has been a regular speaker and facilitator in the class. The other will be to the section of the Chancellorsville battlefield that has been preserved by the Civil War Preservation Trust, because the Parks do not have funds to purchase or interpret battlefield sites. Mary Koik from the CWPT has taken us on two tours of the sections of the battlefield preservced by the SWPT. This year, we plan on making this an exploratory exercise instead of an outdoor lecture and walk. Students will also visit the McCormick observatory one clear night, to learn about light pollution and see its effects.

Additional nonrefundable $150 fee required.

STS 2500 (1): Science Fiction, and the New Reproductive Technologies

Rosalyn Berne, Associate Professor

Human reproduction has long been the curiosity of technologists, the womb representing a mystery to both behold and control. Early in history physicians saw it as a source of evil and darkness, contrary to the existence of a brain. Now, it is the subject of sophisticated technological intervention. Related medical  "problems" as they are defined, have also been addressed by science itself, and the application of ‘technological fixes'. Human reproduction has also long been the subject of science fiction. Mary Shelly explored the urge to create life through the passions of Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The Handmaid's Tale portrays a collective, social controlling of female fertility.

This course begins with a discussion of birth, the body of woman and her biological capacity to bring forth new life. It then moves to the quandary of infertility, the reconstruction of parentage, and alternatives to conventional fertilization and gestation. Questions of how technology is used to address these matters, including the moral limits and unintended consequences of manipulating the reproduction process, are studied and explored through a variety of scholarly readings and documentary film. Science fiction is used to engage the moral imagination.

STS 2500(2): Technology and Race in the United States [3]

Patricia Click, Associate Professor Emeritus

Prerequisite: STS1500 or equivalent

This course will focus on the history of African-American science and technology with the intended goal of simultaneously exploring the history of race. Students will study the social and cultural context of African Americans' contributions to science and technology, as well as the impact of thee contributions on American society and culture. In Addition, students will study the impact, in general, of science and technology on race.

The approach will be both historical and topical. The class will explore the ways that socially constructed ideas of race influenced the development and applications of science and technology and vice versa. Likewise, the course will help students explore the various ways that African Americans used invention and technology in creative ways to counter the socially constructed ideas of race that were often expressed in technological artifacts.

Course materials will include primary documents and scholarly essays, as well as some primary audio or video materials. Course assignments will include a copious amount of readings, a daily journal, three short papers, and participation as a member of a research team. The culminating experience for the course will be team research projects (substantial team-written research papers and team presentations) on topics related to technology, race, and diversity in the twenty-first century.

STS 2500(3): American Health Care: Challenges and Opportunities

Robert Powers, Professor

This course offers an opportunity to learn about the structure and function of the health care system in the United States.  Lectures and classroom sessions will cover the history and current status of the education and delivery systems, and examine the challenges that face providers, patients,  policy makers, and engineers as health care becomes more effective and more expensive.  Issues related to manpower, financing, access, disparities, and developing technology will be examined, with discussion of approaches to understanding and addressing significant problems, challenges, and opportunities.

STS 2500(4): A Sense of Place: Perceptions of Coastal Ecosystems and the Written Word (3)

Arthur Schwarzschild, Research Assistant Professor
Hannah Rogers, Lecturer

Poets, short story writers, novelists, and essayists have all been inspired by the environment. This class will utilize lectures and field trips to introduce students to the environmental issues impacting the coastal ecosystems of Virginia. Students will be inspired by the environment and history of the Eastern Shore and use these experiences to create written works ranging from poems about the experience of observing a particular organism to essays on the impression a landscape leaves on the viewer. The course will introduce a variety of writers, past and present, who have worked on environmental topics and consider the careful observations writers have made about the natural world. Different contexts have called for different kinds of nature writing, and our survey will include the poetry of William Wordsworth and Mary Oliver, folktales about the environment from Native American cultures the essays of Thomas Cole, Henry David Thoreau and Wendell Berry. Our class will then be prepared to consider what nature themed writing can tell us about the environment and the way society perceives and values the natural world. The course will conclude with the creation of a webzine and a small printed publication.

Additional nonrefundable $350 fee required.

STS 2500(5): Wine in Virginia: Culture, Agriculture, and Commerce [3]

Kathryn A. Neeley, Associate Professor

Prerequisite: STS1010 or STS1500

From prehistory to the present, wine has played a complicated and important role in human experience in domains ranging from technical innovations, scientific discovery, economics, and politics to social relations, spirituality, aesthetics, and health. Using an analytical framework that conceives of sociotechnical systems as integrating three interrelated but distinguishable elements (technical, organizational, and cultural), we will consider all aspects of the human activity of cultivating grapes; making, selling, regulating, and consuming wine; and defining wine's role and meaning in human experience. To render the subject manageable, we will focus on the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially the role of wine as a motivation for colonizing North America and an important actor in American culture, agriculture, and commerce.

Additional nonrefundable $65 fee required.

STS 2500(6)/EVSC 1050: Ethics, Protocols, and Practice of International Research

Robert Swap, Research Professor

Through an intense combination of readings, discussions, guest presentations, and group projects students will address scientific research in an international context. The class provides opportunities for the active participation of scholars and practitioners from southern, eastern, and central Africa, as well as Asia and South America.

Additional nonrefundable $100 fee required.

SYS 3502: A Systems Approach to International Development[3]

Garrick E. Louis, Associate Professor

This course will help students understand the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the personal relevance of these goals to their interest in global development and community service.  The course will cover the history of the MDG, examine each goal and associated targets, analyze progress and challenges in achieving each goal, and explore the role of key stakeholders in accomplishing the MDG. As it becomes clear that several of the goals will not be met by the target date of 2015 the course will examine appropriate steps to continue working toward the goals in the worst affected communities. Emphasis will be given to the role of NGOs and community-level projects, which have become very popular among student groups. The course will consist of a set of assigned readings, daily written briefs on the readings, case studies on each MDG, daily small group presentations on the assigned material, and facilitated lectures and discussions by the instructor and invited guests. Students will also complete a small-group course project report and presentation on a related topic, and compile a daily log of their thinking about the class and MDG for evaluation at the end of the course. Students completing the course will appreciate the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing challenges like the MDG, their role in development projects, and their own professional development.