Our society is confronted with both challenges and opportunities in diverse fields like Energy, Health, Learning and Robotics. We are in the middle of an energy transition; technology enables us to monitor and act on our health status in real time; learning is not bounded to location or time anymore; and robotics is entering our daily lives. These challenges require us to learn how to design solutions, and utilize knowledge and research methods from not a single, but multiple scientific domains. To be successful, robotic solutions in healthcare for example have to be approached from a technical, psychological but also an ethical, business and philosophical standpoint.
We need to learn to be creative, and apply available expertise in radical new ways, while at the same time work in a structured and agile manner.
In the 20 week Science 2 Society minor you will do just that. You and your team will come up with a scientifically and practically grounded solution to a societal challenge. A mission impossible? Not at all. You will be amazed at what your team is capable of.
During the first 10 weeks (Module 1: from Idea to Prototype) you and your team will be introduced to the foundations of different scientific disciplines and skills to assure you and your colleagues can share a common language. Next, you delve into the state-of-the-art of the science behind your theme of choice and look for novel ways of applying your knowledge in a closely guided yet agile design process. You and your team will walk the path from a general idea to one or more scientifically and practically grounded prototype(s) for the challenge at hand.
"Science 2 Society" does not end with “prototype". It ends with “2 society”. We are not looking for a concept, we are looking for a solution*. During the second 10 week module of the Science 2 Society minor (from Prototype to Solution) you and your team will focus on realizing your concept, grinding, grounding and researching issues surrounding the implementation and use of your prototype. In the process, your prototype is enriched with a business model addressing its feasibility. In the second module you get the job done!
Your team will have access to state-of-the-art domain knowledge, workshops and process management tools. There will be close interaction with problem owners from the world of business, government or science. A tutor will coach your group, both in managing your project and in acquiring any further knowledge and skills you will need for a successful design.
Setting: UT DesignLab
The stage for the Science 2 Society minor is the UT DesignLab and the “Classroom of the Future"; a creative ecosystem where faculty and students from all fields work together with companies and governments on societal design challenges of our times, inspired by the newest scientific insights.
Why should you choose this minor
If you are not afraid of real-life challenges, are open to different scientific viewpoints and believe that the multidisciplinary whole is more than the sum of its parts this minor is the one for you.
*If you choose to only follow the second module your team will be provided with a prototype.