Technical Seminar Presentations
(Seniors required to take this course are given priority in registration.) The purpose of this course is to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to give effective oral presentations. The course will include a mix of formal instruction, group discussions, practice presentations, and individual feedback. Limited enrollment. May not be repeated for credit.
Written Academic Communication in Engineering and Applied Science
Written Professional Communication in Engineering and Applied Science
Written Communication about Engineering and Applied Science to Non-Specialists
Special Topics in Scientific and Engineering Communication
Content may vary from year to year, at a level suitable for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Topics will be chosen to meet the emerging needs of students.
Scientific and Technology Entrepreneurship
This course introduces students to the conceptual frameworks, the analytical approaches, the personal understanding and skills, and the actions required to launch a successful technology-based company. Specifically, it addresses the challenges of evaluating new technologies and original business ideas for commercialization, determining how best to implement those ideas in a startup venture, attracting the resources needed for a new venture (e.g., key people, corporate partners, and funding), organizing and operating a new enterprise, structuring and negotiating important business relationships, and leading early stage companies toward "launch velocity".
Management of Technology
A course intended for students interested in learning how rapidly evolving technologies are harnessed to produce useful products or fertile new area for research. Students will work through Harvard Business School case studies, supplemented by lectures to elucidate the key issues. There will be a term project where students predict the future evolution of an exciting technology. The course is team-based and designed for students considering choosing an exciting research area, working in companies (any size, including start-ups) or eventually going to business school. Topics include technology as a growth agent, financial fundamentals, integration into other business processes, product development pipeline and portfolio management, learning curves, risk assessment, technology trend methodologies (scenarios, projections), motivation, rewards and recognition. Industries considered will include electronics (hardware and software), aerospace, medical, biotech, etc. Students will perform both primary and secondary research and through analysis present defensible projections. E/SEC 102 and E/ME/MedE 105 are useful but not required precursors.
Social Media for Scientists
An introduction to the use of social media for scientific communication. Social media platforms are discussed in the context of their use to professionally engage scientific communities and general audiences. Topics will include ethics, privacy, reputation management, ownership and the law, and will focus on the use and impact of social media for personal and professional career development. Lectures will include presentations by invited experts in various specialties, a number of whom will have worldwide recognition. Not offered 2023-24.
Technical Seminar Presentations
The purpose of this graduate-level course is to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to give effective oral presentations. The course will include a mix of formal instruction, group discussions, practice presentations, and individual feedback.
Effective Communication Strategies for Engineers and Scientists
This graduate course is designed to increase students' effectiveness in communicating complex technical information to diverse audiences and to deepen their understanding of key tools and techniques. Students will explore scientific storytelling through multiple genres, including oral presentations, written articles, and visual narratives. In-class workshops will provide students with the opportunity to revise their work and consider feedback from others. Each student will complete the class with a portfolio of projects highlighting various aspects of their communication skills. (Registration by application only, and EAS graduate students are given priority.)
Data Visualization Projects
This course will provide students with a forum for discussing and working through challenges of visualizing students' data using techniques and principles from graphic design, user experience design, and visual practices in science and engineering. Working together, we will help create and edit students' graphics and other visual forms of data to improve understanding. We will consider the strengths and weaknesses of communicating information visually in drawing, design and diagramming forms such as flow charts, brainstorming maps, graphs, illustrations, movies, animation, as well as public presentation materials, depending on the needs of students' projects. Our approach will be derived from design principles outlined by Edward Tufte and others. The course is targeted towards students across disciplines using visual display and exploration in research. There is no pre-requisite, but students should be competent in acquiring and processing data.
Science Activation: Bringing Science to Society
Working with policy makers is more than science communication. It requires a bilateral approach to exploring complex problems and solutions that encompass societal objectives as well as physical requirements. An intellectual understanding of the differences communication norms in the research and policy realms can help scientists make better decisions about how to communicate about their work and engage with policy makers to get it used. This course combines analysis of the differences in communication norms with practical experience in communicating and developing relationships with elected officials and their staffs. Not offered 2022-23.
Advancing Inclusion in College Teaching
In this weekly, discussion-based course, participants will explore concrete practices to advance inclusion and anti-racism as college-level STEM instructors, and discuss how they might implement these steps in their own teaching practice both at Caltech and beyond. Topics for discussion include establishing an inclusive learning environment, designing equity into syllabi and student assessments, and building anti-racist curricular materials, with additional topics to be guided by participant interests. This course aims to bring together an active community of teaching and learning practitioners for ongoing work and dialogue. There is a cap of 12 students for this course.