Dr. William A. Wulf, University Professor, Dept. of Computer Science University of Virginia, and President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering gave the speech at the 2008 Engineer's Week dinner. One of the items he discussed is a seminar he presents to liberal arts freshmen titled "Responsible Citizenship in a Technological Democracy".
In this seminar, Dr. Wulf introduces public policy issues for discussion and then provides a written handout that describes a few science/engineering concepts that they need to really understand the public policy issue. In the following session, they review the material from the handout, discuss how it applies to the policy issue, and then start another public policy issue.
The Engineer's Week audience was encouraged to reach out to the community with similar concepts to help create more responsible citizens. As this is a work in progress, Dr. Wulf would like feedback from readers on the two areas mentioned below. You may contact him via e-mail with your comments and suggestions.
These are some of the discussion topics in the course with the related handouts:
|Electric cars, hydrogen economy, & paper cups||Systems|
|Review electric cars, etc., as part of a system|
|Electric cars, etc., and efficiency||Energy|
|Review electric cars, etc., and thermodynamics|
|Public policy issues involving risk||Risk|
|Review risk, risk analysis and risk perception|
|Public policy issues involving safety and reliability||Safety, Reliability, & Testing|
|Review safety, reliability and testing|
|Public policy issues involving the S&E methods||Scientific and Engineering Methods|
|Review Scientific & Engineering methods|
|Public policy issues involving precision and accuracy||Precision vs. Accuracy|
|Review Precision vs accuracy|
|Public Policy Issues involving data and statistics||Statistics|
|Public policy issues involving control & feedback||Control and Feedback|
|Review Control and feedback|
|Public policy issues involving complex systems||Complex Systems|
|Review Complex systems|
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