The Innovators' Practice

Harvard College/GSAS: Engineering Sciences 21
Harvard Graduate School of Design SCI-06271
Fall 2016
Dr. B. Ames Altringer
Location: Pierce Hall 301
Meeting Time: MW 9-11am, first meeting on Wednesday, 8/31
  • Link to Harvard Engineering Sciences (SEAS) Canvas site. Undergradutes usually enroll through SEAS/ES21.
  • Link to Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Canvas site. Graduate students usually enroll through SCI-06271.

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    Course Overview

    The course exposes students - through experience and timely readings - to the latest in research and practice on practical ways to approach professional multi-disciplinary creative problem solving and innovation. Students learn and apply various methods, and explore which ones work best for them.

    In the process, they gain direct experience overcoming many of the common product development and interpersonal management pitfalls that researchers have identified as leading to failure in innovation projects. A few examples of these include: deciding what is important and maintaining your motivation to make implement your ideas, managing collaborative team projects under realistic and uncertain entrepreneurial conditions, designing things that acutally solve a problem and that people want, and building a coalition of support to scale your ideas.

    Student Experience

    Research-based Feedback: The class features an extensive feedback system for personalized education. Each student receives ongoing feedback and an in-depth end-of-term analysis of their professional development as it compares to key factors that researchers have linked to successful multi-disciplinary innovation.

    Industry Interaction: The course features occasional guest speakers from industry and academia, and involves collaborating with cutting-edge companies. Linked to the course, in 2016 I will run an informal, optional monthly speaker series called AI Kitchen at Leverett House where I invite professionals to discuss how to design more desirable and inclusive technology and algorithms.

    New Developments for 2015-16