Undergraduate

Shanghai and China's Modernization

Considers the history and function of Shanghai, from 1840 to the present, and its rise from provincial backwater to international metropolis. Examines its role as a primary point of economic, political, and social contact between China and the world, and the strong grip Shanghai holds on both the Chinese and foreign imagination. Students discuss the major events and figures of Shanghai, critique the classic historiography, and complete an independent project on Shanghai history.

City to City: Comparing, Researching and Writing about Cities

Introduces client-oriented research and the use of urban planning tools. Students work directly with government and community agencies to find solutions to real world problems; interview planners and other field experts, and write and present findings to client and community audiences. Opportunity to travel for research. Limited to 14; preference to Course 11 majors. Enrollment limited to 14.

American Urban History I

Seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. Focuses on readings and discussions.

The City in Film

Over the past 150 years, the world has moved from one characterized by rural settlement patterns and provincial lifestyles to one dominated by urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and globalization. Interestingly, the history of this transformation overlaps nearly perfectly with the development of motion pictures, which have served as silent---and then talking---witnesses to our changing lifestyles, changing cities, and changing attitudes about the increasingly urban world we live in.

Introduction to International Development

This course introduces undergraduates to the political economy of international economic development planning, using an applied, quantitative approach. Why has development taken place in some countries but not in others? We will move through the major theories and models of development and underdevelopment, providing tools to understand the mechanisms and processes behind economic growth and broader notions of “progress.” The course offers an alternative view of development, focusing on the persistence of dichotomies in current theory and practice.

Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory

An introduction to the research and empirical analysis of urban planning issues using geographic information systems. Extensive hands-on exercises provide experience with various techniques in spatial analysis and querying databases. Includes a small project on an urban planning problem involving the selection of appropriate methods, the use of primary and secondary data, computer-based modeling, and spatial analysis. Requires some computing experience. Content similar to 11.520. 

Geography of the Global Economy: Energy Systems in Transition

An required alternate subject for the energy minor emphasis, this class introduces students to basic concepts and methods of analysis used across the social sciences, with a special emphasis on the geography of energy resources, to understand how the production, distribution and consumption of energy are determined and experienced across global economic contexts.

Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education

Explores how we learn from computer games and simulations, and delve into the process of building and testing their own simulations. First, students investigate the design and use of games and simulations in the classroom, and the research and development issues associated with desktop computer-based, handheld computer based and non-computer based media. Students then develop their own simulations and games, study what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), and how games and simulations can be implemented in educational settings.

Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education

One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include student misconceptions, formative assessment, standards and standardized testing, multiple intelligences, and educational technology. Students gain practical experience through weekly visits to schools, classroom discussions, selected readings, and activities to develop a critical and broad understanding of past and current forces that shape the goals and processes of education, and explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching.

Big Plans

This undergraduate course is designed around four modules that highlight the origins of visionary ideas and the political complexity of developing and implementing Big Plans, their implications for social equity and the environment, and the time and spatial scales by which to evaluate their impact. Lectures by the instructors, faculty, and practitioners present U.S. and international cases, with an emphasis on Boston.

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