Associate Dean, Global School: K. J. Rissmiller
PROFESSORS: L. Elgert, S. Strauss, R. F. Vaz (Emeritus), K. Wobbe
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: S. Jiusto, K.J. Rissmiller, S. Tuler
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: T. Masvawure, W. San Martin, S. Stanlick
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS OF TEACHING: G. Burrier, C. Dehner, S. McCauley, G. Pfeifer, D. Rosbach, E.A. Stoddard
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS OF TEACHING: J. M. Davis, Z. Eddy, K. Foo, C. Kurlanska
TEACHING PROFESSORS: F. Carrera, D. Golding, I. Shockey
ASSOCIATE TEACHING PROFESSORS: M. Bakermans, M. Belz, L. Dodson, L. Higgins
ASSISTANT TEACHING PROFESSORS:, J. Doiron, L. Roberts. J. Sphar
INSTRUCTORS/LECTURERS: M. Butler, J. Chiarelli, R. Hersh
In addition to overseeing the Interactive Qualifying Project (see page 18) and the Global Projects Program (see page 19), the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD) provides the support structure for students who construct individually-designed (ID) majors which cannot readily be accommodated in traditional academic departments.
ID majors may be defined in any area of study where WPI’s academic strengths can support a program of study, and in which career goals exist. Many combinations of technical and non-technical study are possible. Do not be limited by the example given here; if you have questions about what programs at WPI are possible, please see Dean Kent Rissmiller in the FIS to discuss how WPI can assist you in reaching your goals.
Interdisciplinary (Individually Designed) Major,Bachelor of Arts/Sciences
By using material from the sciences and the humanities, this course examines the ways in which ideas of knowledge and of human nature have been fashioned. The specific topics include physical theories about light, biological and psychological theories of visual perception, and artistic theories and practices concerned with representation. The mixing of material from different academic disciplines is deliberate, and meant to counter the notion that human pursuits are “naturally” arranged in the neat packages found in the modern university. The course draws upon the physical and social sciences, and the humanities, to examine how those fields relate to one another, and how they produce knowledge and self-knowledge. Cultural as well as disciplinary factors are assessed in this process. Light, Vision and Understanding is conducted as a seminar. The diverse collection of reading materials includes a number of primary texts in different fields. In addition, the students keep a journal in which they record the results of numerous individual observations and experiments concerning light and visual perception. The course can fit into several Humanities and Arts topic areas as well as serve as a starting point for an IQP. There are no specific requirements for this course, although some knowledge of college-level physics, as well an acquaintance with the visual arts, is helpful. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
The Great Problems Seminars (GPS) are a two course sequence designed to engage Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s first-year students with current events, societal problems, and human needs. Each seminar starts with an important problem and introduces some of the key disciplinary tools that could be used to attack the problem. The focus for most of the second course will be a research project related to the GPS theme. Students will present their project work in a poster session at the end of the second term. Each seminar is developed and presented by an interdisciplinary pair of faculty. To participate, students must enroll in the two course sequence. Academic credit for the GPS will depend on the theme and the faculty who develop the seminar.
This course is open to all students who are undecided about or are thinking about changing their academic major. Students will conduct a self-assessment utilizing career assessment tools, research majors of interest and career paths, attend major panels, speak to students/faculty in majors of interest, and participate in informational interviews with alumni. Students will meet individually with Peer Advisors and/or a CDC staff member at least three times throughout the course.
Rapidly developing technologies for computing, information management and communications have been quickly adopted in schools, businesses and homes. The growth of the Internet and of e-commerce, in particular, have given rise to an entirely new set of legal issues as the courts, Congress and international bodies struggle to keep pace with changing technology. This course addresses the government’s role in the development of these technologies and the legal issues that result including questions regarding privacy rights, speech and defamation, and the application of patent and copyright law. Policy questions such as surveillance of e-mail, regulation of content, mandates on the use of filters, and the responsibilities and liability of internet service providers are also discussed. Additional policies studied include attempts to control Internet content and enforce international judgments (resulting from e-commerce or cyber-crime) by foreign states and/or international organizations. Students are expected to integrate knowledge of technology with law, politics, economics and international affairs. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Every student that graduates from WPI has a major, but what about a mission? This course helps participants explore their personal values, strengths, and talents and the ways they can use these personal characteristics to improve the world around them. Through the course, participants will identify a personal mission and a plan to work toward achieving their mission. Participants will explore the ways their major and their mission can intersect. Students may not receive credit for ID 200X and ID 2000.
This course is open to students accepted to off-campus IQP centers and programs. The course introduces students to research design, methods for social science research, and analysis. It also provides practice in specific research and field skills using the project topics students have selected in conjunction with sponsoring agencies. Students learn to develop social science hypotheses based upon literature reviews in their topic areas and apply concepts drawn from social psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics and other areas as appropriate. Students make presentations, write an organized project proposal, and develop a communication model for reporting their project findings.
In this course, we will learn about the principles of epidemiology and the role epidemiologist play in responding to disease outbreaks and promoting public health through exploration of a series of real life cases studies. We will analyze the burden of communicable diseases today and emerging disease. We will discuss the role of current health practices and priorities as well as global organization and institutional players. Students will be introduced to the basic principles and methods used in epidemiology to study the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations and in the development of prevention and intervention strategies. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach as epidemiologist relay on many different disciplines such as biology for understanding disease processes, statistics for making efficient and appropriate use of data, social science for understanding behavior, and engineering for analysis and assessment tools. Class sessions will consist of lecture, intensive small group discussion, and case analyses. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Within the context of contemporary secondary education in mathematics and science (biology, chemistry, physics), ID 3100 introduces and demonstrates effective teaching methods as they relate to curriculum goals and current methods of assessment. These methods take into account diverse learning styles as well as various technological resources. Topics to be covered include: a brief history of education; curriculum and course guidelines (Massachusetts Education Reform and regulations 603 CMR 7.00, state curricular frameworks, national standards); legal issues; developing a course syllabus; and the issue of breadth versus depth in course planning and delivery. The course also covers practical questions of organizing, delivering and assessing a course. This course is intended primarily for students interested in completing the Massachusetts requirements for teacher licensing. This program is aimed primarily at majors in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and certain engineering fields wishing to be licensed to teach in middle or high school in one of those disciplines. A portion of the course requires students to complete field work in a local classroom to assist them in beginning to acquire the appropriate skills to conduct their own classes in mathematics, science, or engineering at the secondary school level. Note, this course is typically held off campus at Doherty High School (approximately 1 mile from campus) so please plan for travel time when signing up.
Principals of educational psychology including: understanding student characteristics, the learning process, motivation to learn, student diversity; evaluating student learning (PSY 2401)
This course is to prepare undergraduates looking to become future Commonwealth teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively shelter their content instruction, so that the growing population of English language learners (ELLs) can access curriculum, achieve academic success, and contribute their multilingual and multicultural resources as participants and future leaders in the 21st century global economy.
Teaching Methods or equivalent.
Through Latin American and Caribbean films, and other media sources, this course studies images, topics, and cultural and historical issues related to modern Latin American and the Caribbean. Within the context and influence of the New Latin American Cinema and/or within the context of the World Wide Web, radio, newspapers, and television the course teaches students to recognize cinematographic or media strategies of persuasion, and to understand the images and symbols utilized in the development of a national/regional identity. Among the topics to be studied are: immigration, gender issues, national identity, political issues, and cultural hegemonies. Taught in advanced level Spanish. May be used toward foreign language Minor, or Major. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter. This course satisfies the Inquiry Practicum requirement.
SP 2521 and SP 2522, and SP 3523.
The basis of this course is a comparative study and analysis of specific Latin American and Caribbean business practices and environments, and the customs informing those practices. ID 3526/SP 3526 focuses on countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. The course’s main objective is to study communication strategies, business protocol, and negotiation practices in the countries mentioned above. Through oral presentations and written essays, students will have the opportunity to explore other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Taught in advanced level Spanish. May be used toward foreign language Minor, or Major. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter. This course satisfies the Inquiry Practicum requirement.
SP 2521 and SP 2522.
The course focuses on the linguistic concepts, terminology, and grammar involved in business and technical Spanish. Students will be required to produce and edit business documents such as letters, job applications, formal oral and written reports, etc. The objective of this course is to help students develop the basic written and oral communication skills to function in a business environment in Latin America and the Caribbean. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
SP 2521 and SP 2522.
A survey of Caribbean literature and arts that takes a multimedia approach to examining the different voices that resonate from the Spanish Caribbean and what appears to be a constant search for identity. By studying the works of major authors, films, music and the plastic arts, we will examine the socio-cultural context and traditions of this region in constant search for self-definition. Special attention will be given to the influential role ethnicity, colonialism, gender and socio-economic development play in the interpretation of works from Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Venezuela as well as those of the Caribbean diaspora. This course is taught in Spanish. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
SP3521 (Advanced Spanish I) and SP 3522 (Advanced Spanish II) or equivalent.
Through Spanish films, and other media sources, this course studies images, topics, and cultural and historical issues that have had an impact in the creation of a modern Spanish nation. This course focuses on current political and ideo-logical issues (after 1936), the importance of Spanish Civil War, gender identity, and class, cultural and power relationships. This course is taught in Spanish. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter. This course satisfies the Inquiry Practicum requirement.
This course introduces students to the field of Latino studies, paying particular attention to the cultural productions of U.S. Latinos in film, theater, music, fiction writing and cultural criticism. At the same time that this course reflects upon a transnational framework for understanding the continuum between U.S. Latinos and Latin American/Caribbean communities, we closely examine more U.S. based arguments supporting and contesting the use of Latino as an ethnic-racial term uniting all U.S. Latino communities. We examine the ways in which U.S. Latinos have manufactured identities within dominant as well as counter cultural registers. In this course, special attention is given to the aesthetics of autobiography and to how Latino writers experiment with this genre in order to address changing constructions of immigration, language, exile, and identity. This course is taught in English. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter. This course satisfies the Inquiry Practicum requirement.
This course provides teacher candidates with guidance, support, and best practices to successfully complete the Massachusetts state requirements for initial licensure in a STEM field of their choice. The seminar accompanies the student-teaching experience in a local school and may not be repeated. It is an essential element in the process of completing the seven (7) essential core competencies of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) portfolio.
Teaching Methods ID3100 or equivalent, Sheltered English Immersion ID3200 or equivalent, PSY2401 Psychology of Education, completion of pre- practicum fieldwork experiences 1 and 2.