This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course ESD.864 Modeling and Assessment for Policy as it was taught by Prof. Noelle Selin in Spring 2013.

Modeling and Assessment for Policy is a graduate course that introduces students to tools and strategies for technically-focused policy analysis. The course is cross-listed with the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and draws examples from modeling of earth and environmental systems.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • Understand and apply tools and techniques used for technically-focused policy analysis
  • Identify best practices and limitations in using quantitative models for policy
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of scientific and technical advice in policy-making processes
  • Describe and analyze strategies to manage scientific and technical advice processes
  • Communicate technical results to policy audiences

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

  • Ongoing research in areas of modeling e.g. science, engineering, economics
  • Careers in interpreting scientific results for decision-making
 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

ESD.10 Introduction to Technology and Policy or permission of the instructor

Requirements Satisfied

ESD.864 is a core course for both the Technology and Policy Program and the Graduate Certificate Program in Science, Technology, and Policy. The course can be applied toward a graduate degree in the Engineering Systems Division or the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, but is not required.

Offered

Every spring semester

The Classroom

  • A large, modern classroom with faceted tiered seating, blackboards, and a projector.

    Lecture

    A large classroom with tiered seating, multiple blackboards, and a projector was used for this course.

 

Student Information

On average, about 26 students take this course each year.

Breakdown by Year

Graduate students, including Master’s and PhD candidates

Breakdown by Major

  • Half graduate students in Engineering Systems Division
  • Half graduate students in other departments, include Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, MIT’s Technology and Policy Program, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Writing and Humanistic Studies, and Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School

Typical Student Background

An interest in technically-focused policy analysis

 
 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 9 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

Lecture

3 hours per week
  • Two class sessions per week, each lasting an hour and a half; 27 sessions total.
  • Attendance is mandatory and is reflected in the “Participation” portion of the grading scheme.
 

Out of Class

6 hours per week

Activities such as:

 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No classes throughout MIT.
2 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled; quiz due date. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
3 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session. No session scheduled; quiz due date. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
4 No session scheduled. Guest lecture. No session scheduled. Guest lecture; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. Guest lecture. No session scheduled; quiz due date. Guest lecture. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. Class case study session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
7 No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Class case study session. No session scheduled.
8 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
9 No session scheduled. Class case study session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. Class case study session; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Class case study session. No classes throughout MIT.
12 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Class case study session. No session scheduled.
14 No session scheduled. Policy memo roundtable session. No session scheduled. Policy memo roundtable session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. Policy memo roundtable session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lecture sessions are held. Lecture session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class case study sessions are held. Class case study
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when assignments are due. Assignment due date
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when guest lectures are held. Guest lecture
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when policy memo rountable sessions are held. Policy memo roundtable
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when quizzes are held. Quiz due date
 

Course Team Roles

Lead Instructor (Prof. Noelle Selin)

Structure and run the course, deliver lectures, design the group activities, work with students and teaching assistants, and provide feedback

Teaching Assistants (Two graduate students)

Support the lead instructor during class sessions; grade the problem sets; interact with students in class, via email and on the class forum; and maintain the course website.