Doctoral Research Seminar: Reading, Writing & Research

Seminar focused on helping to doctoral students to do learn how to craft an argument, a fundamental building block of independent scholarship, including using theory to frame an argument; moving from data to an argument; and writing a literature review with a critical point of view. Builds on first year paper proposal developed in 11-233, as well as data gathered over the IAP period. Class emphasizes examination of exemplary papers in a wide range of fields, and intensive peer review and workshop discussion of each other’s papers.

Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning

Focuses on the integration of land use and transportation planning, drawing from cases in both industrialized and developing countries. Reviews underlying theories, analytical techniques, and the empirical evidence of the land use-transportation relationship at the metropolitan, intra-metropolitan, and micro-scales. Also covers the various ways of measuring urban structure, form, and the "built environment." Develops students' skills to assess relevant policies, interventions and impacts.

DesignX Accelerator Workshop

Students work in entrepreneurial teams to advance innovative ideas, products, services, and firms oriented to design and the built environment. Lectures, demonstrations, and presentations are supplemented by workshop time, when teams interact individually with instructors and industry mentors, and by additional networking events and field trips. At the end of the term, teams pitch for support of their venture to outside investors, accelerators, companies, or cities.Limited to 30; preference to students in DesignX Program.

Entrepreneurial Negotiation

Combines online weekly face-to-face negotiation exercises and in-person lectures designed to empower budding entrepreneurs with negotiation techniques to protect and increase the value of their ideas, deal with ego and build trust in relationships, and navigate entrepreneurial bargaining under constraints of economic uncertainty and complex technical considerations. Students must complete scheduled weekly assignments, including feedback memos to counterpart negotiators, and meet on campus with the instructor to discuss and reflect on their experiences with the course.

Advanced Workshop in Writing for Social Sciences and Architecture (ELS)

Focuses on techniques, format, and prose used in academic and professional life. Emphasis on writing required in fields such as economics, political science, and architecture. Short assignments include business letters, memos, and proposals that lead toward a written term project. Methods designed to accommodate those whose first language is not English. Develops effective writing skills for academic and professional contexts. Models, materials, topics and assignments vary from term to term. Placement test or permission of instructor required.

Infrastructure Systems in Theory and Practice

Examines theories of infrastructure from science and technology studies, history, economics, and anthropology in order to understand the prospects for change for many new and existing infrastructure systems. Examines how these theories are then implemented within systems in the modern city, including but not limited to, energy, water, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructure. Seminar is conducted with intensive group research projects, in-class discussions and debates.

Landscape and Storm Water Management on the MIT Campus

This DUSP practicum will meet once per week for 3 hours and be taught in collaboration with the MIT Offices of Planning and Sustainability. The course will use a portion of the campus (yet to be determined) as a study site where the linked issues of storm water and vegetation management are in need of redesign in order to meet projected climate change impacts. The class will analyze the past history of the site as well as the current conditions in order to develop design scenarios that will improve its ecological functionality.

Solving for Carbon Neutrality at MIT

Solving for carbon neutrality at MIT requires a deep understanding of technology options, and human behaviors, as well as regional, state and municipal energy production and distribution systems, economic frameworks and policy.  The course will be designed for students to consider the local, state, regional and national context of solving for carbon neutrality and inform the development of the pathways they design.  The course will be designed to leverage the campus as a test bed for understanding climate mitigation and preparing for a low carbon future. 

Planning In Practice

Familiarizes students with the practice of planning, by requiring actual experience in professional internship placements. Requires students to both apply what they are learning in their classes in an actual professional setting and to reflect, using a variety of platforms, on the learning personal and professional - growing out of their internship experience. Through readings, practical experience and reflection, empirical observation, and contact with practitioners, students gain deeper general understanding of the practice of the profession.

DesignX Entrepreneurship

Students work in teams to create their own design and business narrative, technology and social strategies, and preliminary plan for moving their innovation forward. Lectures and workshops are interspersed with one-on-one critiques with instructors and outside mentors in specific areas of student interest. Students visit SA+P alumni firms to learn how principals have developed their own business, technology, design, and civic platforms. End-of-term presentation highlights important features of their venture.