Spring 2019 2 Tuesdays – 497-200: Guiding the Development of Solutions to Global Warming with User-Centered Design Methods

Meeting Day/Time
Tuesdays from 1:50 to 4:30 pm
Eric Deaton (Undergraduate Education with expertise in data science and technology-based innovation and strategy) (ericldeaton@gmail.com) and Marilee Bowles-Carey (Undergraduate Education with expertise in user-centered design) (marilee1@comcast.net)
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome.

Global warming is possibly the most serious problem facing mankind. While climate science is incomplete and not all of the details of the complex mechanisms that are driving global warming are well-understood, it is clear that it is very real. No single solution has been identified that could arrest and reverse this process. But a large number of partial solutions have been proposed and are being tested / deployed on a limited scale around the world. Some of these may succeed and some may fail. Some combination of these partial solutions might be able to arrest and even reverse the process.

This IPRO project will focus initially on the partial solutions identified by Project Drawdown as most promising. These solutions address a wide variety of opportunities related to Food, Energy, Land Use, Transportation, and Materials,

It is easy to imagine that by applying user design methods we would be able to improve the performance and user-acceptance of any number of these solutions to the global warming problem. As a result, students in this IPRO project will organize in teams to learn and apply a variety of user-centered design tools to evaluate and improve these solutions.

It is also easy to imagine that any of a number of emerging technologies could be leveraged to improve many of these solutions to the global warming problem. This includes energy storage, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, cloud technology, the mobile internet, renewable energy and advanced genomics. IPRO teams in this class will examine how these disruptive technologies might be brought to bear as we develop specific solutions to the global warming problem.

The purpose of this IPRO section is to develop new concepts that can slow or reverse global warming. Success will require students to learn to align the design of new products and services with user needs and to leverage new technologies appropriately. Success will also require students to learn how work as diverse, interdisciplinary teams, effectively capitalizing on the strengths of all individual members working toward a common goal.

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