Undergraduate

Innovative Budgeting and Finance for the Public Sector

Examines how to adequately and effectively attend to public sector responsibilities for basic services with limited financial and human resources, particularly in the context of rapid population growth as well as shrinkage. Provides an introductory framework for understanding methods and processes of budgeting, accounting, and financial mobilization in the public sector. Uses case studies and practice exercises to explore revenue strategies via taxation, capital markets.

Project Appraisal in Developing Countries

Policy makers and analysts around the world are facing difficult policy decisions everyday.  For instance, should informal settlements in a city center be relocated to the urban fringe?  If not, what are the alternatives?  If so, would the relocation project make sense financially, socioeconomically, and politically?  Similarly, should municipalities charge user fees instead of raising the property tax to finance a road improvement project?  What are the financial and socioeconomic benefits as well as costs of these two financing schemes?

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

Explores economic globalization in the early 21st Century and the reality of a planet Earth (Geos) being interconnected in ways and on levels never before seen. Incorporates explicit and extensively-developed analyses of the economics and geography of globalization, its implications for communities and regions, international business and economic development, and its usefulness for understanding contemporary debates around the forms and norms of globalization.

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 & Mega-Urban Landscapes

Explores the physical, ecological, technological, political, economic and cultural implications of big plans and mega-urban landscapes in a global context. Uses local and international case studies to understand the process of making major changes to urban landscape and city fabric, and to regional landscape systems. Includes lectures by leading practitioners. Assignments consider planning and design strategies across multiple scales and time frames.

The Once and Future City

Examines the evolving structure of cities, the dynamic processes that shape them, and the significance of a city's history for its future development. Develops the ability to read urban form as an interplay of natural processes and human purposes over time. Field assignments in Boston provide the opportunity to use, develop, and refine these concepts. Enrollment limited.

The Art and Science of Negotiation

Introduction to negotiation theory and practice. Applications in government, business, and nonprofit settings are examined. Combines a "hands-on" personal skill-building orientation with a look at pertinent theory. Strategy, communications, ethics, and institutional influences are examined as they shape the ability of actors to analyze problems, negotiate agreements, and resolve disputes in social, organizational, and political circumstances characterized by interdependent interests.

Pages