Spring 2009 Undergraduate Course Offerings

Spring 2009 Undergraduate Course Offerings
Georgia Tech School of Public Policy

Below is a list of all undergraduate course offerings in Public Policy (PUBP), Philosophy (PST), and Political Science (POL) for Spring Semester 2009.  Short descriptions of each should help you choose elective courses.


POL    1101    Government of the United States           Georgia Persons

POL    1101    Government of the United States           Jeff Jones

PST    1101    Introduction to Philosophical Analysis    Jeremy Farris
Philosophy is thinking in slow motion. It unpacks, describes, and assesses moves that we ordinarily make at great speed in our beliefs and use of concepts. This class is an introduction to an array of philosophical questions – those that are unlikely to be resolved by any amount of observation or formal proof, yet which we cannot but examine. Philosophical analysis attempts to respond intelligently to those kinds of questions. The class will survey questions in ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, and the philosophy of science.

PUBP    2012    Foundations of Public Policy                 Cheryl Leggon
This course explores policy as both a product and a process. Among the issues addressed are the policy cycle, evaluation, and ethical issues and the role of public opinion in public policy. Policy principles and processes will be examined in the context of specific issues such as health care, education, employment, social security, energy and the environment.

PST    2068    Science and Values in the Policy Process              Roberta Berry
This course examines the history and theory of addressing issues of science and values in the policy process. Issues examined may concern global climate change, nanotechnology, brain-machine interface technology, somatic-cell gene therapy, genetic information, stem cell research, and genetically modified foods.

PST    3103    Modern Philosophy                   Jeremy Farris
This course examines some aspects of the history of philosophy in the early modern period.  Special attention will be given to the problems of skepticism and authority in the writings of Montaigne, Hobbes, Spinoza, Godwin, et al.

PST    3105    Ethical Theories                         Jason Borenstein
In this course, we will discuss the merits of several ethical theories, including Kant’s moral theory and Utilitarianism.  We will also examine how these theories can be applied to current ethical issues. Opposing viewpoints on a variety of subjects, including euthanasia, animal rights, and cloning, will be evaluated.

PST    3109    Ethics and Technical Professions                  Jason Borenstein
In this course, we will examine the ethical, legal, and social implications of being a professional in a technical field. A primary approach used in the course will be to analyze engineering and ethics case studies. Key viewpoints on a variety of subjects, including obligations to the environment, conflicts of interest, and risk assessment, will be presented and evaluated.

PST    3109    Ethics and Technical Professions                      Robert Kirkman
Ethical reasoning in the context of professional work in science and technology. Prepares future technical professionals to approach decisions with a coherent ethical framework.

PUBP    3110    Research Methods and Problem Solving          Aaron Levine
Conceptual and methodological issues in policy studies, including causality, explanation, models, threats to research, data collection, and assessment of applicability to policy issues. Design of research strategies.

PST    3113    Logic and Critical Thinking                 Michael Hoffmann
The main objective of this seminar is to learn some strategies for clarifying your thinking by structuring and representing arguments. This learning will be based on theoretical reflections on formal and informal logic, on different models of argumentation, and on the role of visualizing arguments for problem solving, collaborative learning, and conflict resolution. The main focus is on a new diagrammatical form of reasoning called “Logical Argument Mapping” (LAM). Argument maps will be created in Cmap, a “knowledge modeling kit” that can be used in computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments.  This course is useful for any student interested in acquiring a fundamental and versatile ability to think and argue clearly.

PST    3127    Science, Technology and Human Values              Hans Klein
PST 3127 approaches ethics through writings on the critique of consciousness and the realization of freedom. The class differs from most philosophy classes, which conceive of ethics in terms of a rational agent acting on the basis of higher principle, such as utility maximization (Mill) or universality (Kant). We consider human rationality to be incomplete but to be capable of development and improvement. We examine cognitive impediments to ethical action (“false consciousness”), various accounts of the origins of such impediments, methods for critique of consciousness, and visions of freedom. Readings will draw not only on philosophy but also on literature, the social sciences, and clinical psychology.

PUBP    3600    Sustainability, Technology and Policy                Bryan Norton
This course considers ethical, scientific, technological, economic, and political dimensions of sustainable human practices.    “Sustainability” has become both an over-used buzzword AND the name of an important new field of study.  In this class, we will take the term seriously, and explore broadly—and in some cases, deeply—the policy dimensions of the field that might be called “sustainability studies.”   Sustainability, and one’s view of it, turns out to be all tied up with one’s idea of technology and the special roles of technology in economic development and also in environmental management.  To put the question simply: Is advanced and rapidly changing technology the problem?  Or, is it the solution?  So, a central topic of the class will be to understand the potentials of technological development to respond to environmental problems.

PUBP    3610    Pre-law Seminar                     Attorney
The Pre-Law Seminar is designed for students who are seriously considering law school. The class is divided into three segments. The first segment will introduce students to the basics of legal writing, which is fundamental to success in law school and in law practice. The second segment will introduce students to some of the career paths available to an attorney. The third segment will introduce students to some of the oral advocacy skills that are essential to a career in litigation.

PUBP    4111    Internet and Public Policy                   Hans Klein
This class examines characteristics of Internet technology that render it unique in the public policy arena. Topic areas include:
—  Technology: Many policy issues are affected by features of Internet technology design, including: packet switching, routing, the domain name system (DNS), and the Internet Protocol (IP). We will survey these design features and relate them to policy issues.
—  Institutions: Institutions have arisen that perform such functions as standards-setting, management, and policy-making. We will study the patterns of interests and influence of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Society (ISOC), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
—  Governance: The Internet’s “spaceless” nature is one of its most significant characteristics. It makes all policy global and raises questions of governmental authority beyond territorial borders. We will examine issues of jurisdiction and global governance.
—  Public Policies: These include: anonymity, intellectual property, privacy, speech regulation, security, and surveillance. We will examine how these are shaped by underlying parameters of technology, institutions, and geography.

PUBP    4212    Women and Public Policy                    Cheryl Leggon
This course systematically analyzes the influences of gender, race, and ethnicity in the creation, implementation, and impact of social, economic, education, and health policies.

PUBP    4600    Senior Seminar/Thesis                        Gordon Kingsley
A capstone course usually taken in the student’s last term before graduation, the senior seminar and thesis involves writing an original paper entailing policy analysis relevant to a public or nonprofit agency.  PERMIT REQUIRED

PUBP    4609    Legal Practice                            Attorney
This course will expose students to some areas of law where many attorneys concentrate their practice. It will provide a basic introduction to some of the key concepts in Employment Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, and Patent Law.

PUBP    4652    OLA Legal Internship                                Bob Pikowsky

PUBP    4952    Legislative Internship Program                       Dene Sheheane

PUBP     4803    Special Topic: Science, Technology, & Regulation    Richard Barke
Many public policies are formulated and implemented by regulatory agencies.  Environment, health and safety, energy, and communications are examples of policy areas in which regulatory agencies play a major role.  In this course, we will examine regulatory policymaking, procedures, and politics.  Special attention will be given to topics such as the role of experts and the public, the treatment of uncertainty, and interactions with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Cases and exercises will include emerging regulations of nanotechnology, environmental impact assessment, and the regulation of research (e.g., stem cells, human subjects, conflict of interest).  The focus of this course:  understanding how regulations are made, how to analyze them, and how to affect them.

PST    4803    Special Topic: Philosophy of Anarchy                   Jeremy Farris
This course is an exploration of the political and philosophical concepts of authority, legitimacy, ownership and anarchy.  Special attention will be given to the political thought of Robert Nozick, R.P. Wolff, radical green political thought, et al.

PUBP     4803    Special Topic: Open Source Software and Policy         Doug Noonan
This applied course provides a survey of the emerging discussions about open source software (e.g. Linux, Wikipedia, Mozilla, OpenDocument, and CrossFit), open standards and practices, open ICT ecosystems, and other related issues (e.g., OSI, FLOSS), including the role of public policy in affecting/shaping the diffusion process.  The class will 1) investigate theories of open-source adoption, 2) examine the role of public policy in fostering or limiting the development of open source strategies and practices, 3) consider the business contexts/model and the rationale to participate in open source initiatives, 4) assess regulatory and industrial regimes that make open source adoption more likely, and 5) explore which countries are leading the way as early adopters.  Students will conduct research into assessing the use and proliferation of open source principles in society.  A key course objective will be for students to develop (measurable) indicators of current use or likely adoption of open source software or practices.

PUBP     4803    Special Topic: Comparative Social Policy              Georgia Persons
This course provides an introduction to social policy in comparative perspective. The course will explore similarities and differences between countries in the ways in which they define and finance social services and will examine how different countries handle variations in specific policy areas which are universally important in terms of social welfare. These include social security, health care, education, employment services, and general social services, and other critical issues which are universally impacted by the forces of modernization and globalization. The course will also review various theories which seek to explain differences in social policy and service provisions across different nations. The course will focus primarily on OECD (developed) countries but will also include some focus on poorer countries which have limited or non-existent state supported social welfare systems. This course will draw on a rich trove of comparative social welfare data and cases.

PUBP     4803    Special Topic: Information Policy and Management         Juan Rogers
The course is an introduction to the role of information and knowledge in modern private and public organizations. It covers theoretical aspects of information seeking, gathering and use in organizations as well as knowledge creation and its role in management. In includes the practical implementation of organization strategies on information using information technology. The first part of the course introduces the issues of organization strategy and its relation to information. The second part focuses on the notion of organizational learning. The third part focuses on the applications of information technology in government both in the United States and across the world. The final section focuses on the organization of information itself using contemporary information technologies, especially in the form of digital libraries. Case examples are used throughout the course to illustrate the concepts of each section. The course requires a term project applying the concepts learned in class in an “information strategy audit” in a real private or public organization.

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