A range of courses take place in Jacobs Hall. The Jacobs Institute’s expert instructors offer interdisciplinary Design Innovation (DES INV) courses, which include both lower-division entry points to design skills and project-based capstone experiences. Jacobs Hall also hosts courses taught by faculty in a range of departments, as well as student-led DeCals that focus on design. These offerings contribute to a highly diverse, frequently evolving educational environment.
This interdisciplinary class aims to attract students from across campus. In the class, students will explore the design possibilities emerging from combining soft, flexible, and elastic materials with bespoke 3D-printed joinery. Topics will include a general introduction to bending principles in hybrid systems as they can be found in nature and technology. Students will investigate inspirational case studies of bent and folded structures from various fields of application. Together, we will conduct hands-on physical experiments and learn how to use digital simulations for the design and form-finding of flexible structures and mechanisms. In groups, students will design and build their own flexible hybrid structure and envision a practical implementation for it.
Simon Schleicher | 3 units | Class number: 11861
Students will learn lean startup methodologies and apply those learnings to tackle some of the biggest societal challenges of our time. At course completion, students will profoundly understand the problems/needs of external beneficiaries; know how to rapidly iterate technology solutions while searching for product-market fit; understand all the stakeholders, deployment issues, costs, resources, and ultimate mission value; deliver minimum viable products that match beneficiary needs in an extremely short time; and produce a repeatable model that can be used to launch other potential solutions.
Amy Herr, Steve Blank, & Steve Weinstein | 4 units
This semester-long course introduces students to bioengineering project-based learning in small teams, with a strong emphasis on need-based solutions for real medical and research problems through prototype solution selection, design, and testing. The course is designed to provide a “capstone” design experience for bioengineering seniors.
Amy Herr | 4 units | Class number: 24662
This course involves the design and prototype of large-scale technology intensive systems. Possible design projects, incorporating infrastructure systems and areas such as transportation and hydrology, include watershed sensor networks, robot networks for environmental management, mobile Internet monitoring, open societal scale systems, crowdsourced applications, traffic management and more.
Scott Moura | 3 units | Class number: 24932
This course offers an introduction to materials and methods of steel construction, including behavior and design of tension members, compression members, flexural members and beam-columns; design of welds, bolts, shear connections and moment connections; design of spread footings or other foundation elements; and design of earthquake-resistant steel structures, including concentrically braced frames and moment frames.
Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl | 3 units | Class number: 24976
This course is an introduction to Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Students will learn to prototype, evaluate, and design a user interface. They will be expected to work within a group of four or five students in this project-based course. A project topic will be proposed by each student group, and implementation will be tailored to users’ needs based on interviews with them. The focus of the course is on developing a broad set of skills needed for user-centered design. These skills include ideation, needs assessment, communication, rapid prototyping, algorithmic implementation, and evaluation.
John Tang | 4 units | 38643 (160) / 38794 (260A)
This course teaches concepts and skills required to design, prototype, and fabricate interactive devices and smart hardware products. The first half of the semester is dedicated to a survey of relevant techniques in 3D modeling and fabrication; electronics and circuit board design; sensing and actuation for interaction; embedded software development, wired and wireless communication with mobile devices, computers, and networks; and user interface programming. In the second half of the semester, students carry out a significant design project of their own choice in groups.
Bjorn Hartmann & Paul Wright | 4 units | Class number: 46121 (CS) / 39874 (ME)
This course, ideal for students who are looking for an introduction to the broad world of design, covers design careers, design fields, histories of design, and ethics in design. Students will gain language for analyzing and characterizing designs. In this course you will be learning design both from theoretical and historical perspectives, and from studio-based design exercises and projects. The weekly assignments and final projects will emphasize foundational design skills in observation, ideation, problem finding and problem solving, formgiving, communication, and critique.
James Pierce | 2 units | Class number: 42587
This introductory course aims to expose you to the mindset, skillset, and toolset associated with design. It does so through guided applications to framing and solving problems in design, business and engineering. Specifically, you will learn approaches to noticing and observing, framing and reframing, imagining and designing, and experimenting and testing as well as for critique and reflection. You will also have a chance to apply those approaches in various sectors.
Instructor TBA | 3 units | Class number: 42552
Anyone can sketch. Great communicators today should never hesitate to reach for a pen and draw. Sketching is an effective expression of thinking and problem solving. It is a form of visual communication that can be learned and is a skill that can improve with practice and a little guidance. This course will give participants practice and confidence in their ability to communicate through sketching.
Rob Hennigar | 3 units | Class number: 42555
This course teaches concepts, skills and methods required to design, prototype, and fabricate
physical objects. Each week relevant techniques in 2D and 3D modeling and fabrication are
presented, along with basic electronics and circuit design. Topics include a range of prototyping and fabrication techniques including laser-cutting, 3D modeling and 3D printing, soldering, basic circuits, and interface mockups.
Chris Myers | 3 units | Class number: 42560
E 27 is a hands-on introduction to manufacturing and tolerancing that is a required lower-division course for Mechanical Engineering majors and is open to students from across campus. Students work in teams of 4-7 on a series of practical assignments in which they reverse-engineer manufactured products, study the dimensional variability of manufactured components, and undertake a mechanical design project.
Sara McMains | 2 units | Class number: 39313
This class serves as an attractive and easy introduction to electronic product design elements for freshmen and sophomores. It is intended to expose students at a very early stage to interesting and surprising design features inside electronic device products.
Jeffrey Bokor | 2 units | Class number: 42196
The Social Innovator OnRamp is a hands-on course introducing students to case work, best practices, and the tools necessary to transform your ideas into viable products and services. Throughout the class, students further shape, evaluate, and grow their own early-stage projects with support from the teaching team and invited experts. All disciplines and levels (UG/grad) are welcome to come develop their own social ideas into reality!
Too often, enamored in our brilliant ideas, we skip the most important part: building products consumers will want and use. Precious time and effort are wasted on engineering perfect products only to launch to no users. This course teaches product management skills such as reducing risk while accelerating time to market, product life cycle, and stakeholder management.
Ken Sandy | 3 units | Class number: 39422
The Management of Technology Innovation program is aimed at graduate students and postdocs. It provides a business framework to transform students’ research to fundable companies or make it more relevant in the business world.
Naeem Zafar | 3 units | Class number: 39395
The course provides project-based learning experience in understanding product design, with a focus on the human body as a mechanical machine. Students will learn the design of external devices used to aid or protect the body.
Grace O’Connell | 3 units | Class number: 46374
This class aims to introduce students to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), from a feedback controls perspective. In addition to the theoretical component, the class will have a substantial laboratory focus. Students will learn the theory necessary to model, understand, and design a controller for a UAV. Topics covered in the lecture will include: modeling of a three-dimensional rigid object; descriptions of orientation; mass moments of inertia; important forces and moments acting on a UAV; aerodynamics of a thin aerofoil; aerodynamics of a propeller; and typical control strategies.
Mark Mueller | 3 units | Class number: 45011
This graduate elective surveys sub-micrometer pattern-transfer techniques and methods of handling nanoscale materials. We introduce the optical and mechanical principles underlying a spectrum of candidate lithography techniques, and show extensive examples of industrial applications. Class material also covers techniques for handling and assembling structures from zero-, one- and two-dimensional nanomaterials including nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanowires, and single- and few-atomic-layer sheets of van der Waals solids such as graphene and molybdenite. The course culminates in team projects, for which students are invited to propose a new lithography process and build a prototype apparatus, with an emphasis on extremely low-capital-cost, scalable techniques.
Hayden Taylor | 3 units | Class number: 44976
This course provides hands-on experience in the development of innovative and realistic customer-driven engineered products, services, or systems. Design methods and tools are introduced, and the student’s design ability is developed in a capstone design project or equivalent. Students will be expected to use tools and methods of professional practice and use these tools to consider the social, economic and environmental implications of their projects. There is an emphasis on hands-on innovative thinking, teamwork, and effective communication.
Alice Agogino | 3 units | Class number: 46314
Critical Practices is a hands-on studio design course where students work at the intersection of technological innovation and socially engaged art. Students will integrate a suite of digital fabrication tools with social design methods to create work that engages in cultural critique. Working with innovative technologies and radical, new art practices, this course will explore: hybrid art forms, critical design for community engagement, interventions in public spaces, tactical media and disobedient objects. These new making strategies will reframe our notions of people, places and participation.
Jill Miller | 4 units | Class number: 42248 (190) / 42247 (290)
This course provides a space for the Fung Fellowship cohort’s continued teamwork and project-based learning in the third semester of a four-semester series focused on on developing digital wellness products targeted for underserved populations. The course is designed around a venture-lab style of learning in which teams of Fellows will utilize the design process and co-design techniques to bring a new product from ideation to market within one of three populations: youth, veterans, and older adults.
Jaspal Sandhu | 3 units