Core Courses


Core Courses
The three core SMP courses will provide students from our three science disciplines a common base of understanding and the business, policy, and government knowledge they need to succeed in the environmental forecasting and disaster management and response arena as researchers, operations leaders or policy makers. In preparation for the design of this SMP, we gathered input from a handful of our industry, NGO, and government partners, including polling of the members of the External Advisory Board of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Common themes emerged from these inquiries concerning our graduates. All polled stated that our graduates were highly technically sophisticated and had great scientific and engineering knowledge, skills, and research capabilities. This confirmed for us that our masters programs were robust in training disciplinary research scientists. However, they also noted three areas where additional capabilities were desired: 1) Better understanding of the business world, including project and program management, conceptual understanding of finance and budgets, familiarity with intellectual property management, and the ability to recognize and communicate well to a wide range of audiences, including customers, contractors, competitors, senior management and government. 2) Better awareness of the interfaces between industry, NGOs, and government including knowledge of the interplay between policy development, regulations, technology development and deployment and operations readiness and support. 3) Improved capability to use and develop geographic information systems (GIS) to model predictions and convey information for operational action and decision-making. Accordingly to meet these identified needs all SMP students will take the following courses.

From Concept to Product, a Business Perspective
A firm's ability to introduce a steady stream of successful new products continues to be an important predictor of financial performance and shareholder value. The objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough and pragmatic understanding of how to define a firm's overall product strategy and deploy that strategy through the firm's product development process. This course will address the creation, development, launching, and management of new products. Topics covered include new product ideation, developing the market attack plan (MAP), product planning, completion of the product business plan, successfully launching new products, awareness of intellectual property issues and product life-cycle management. Using articles and cases, the course will use an interactive case study instructional approach common in graduate level business classes. Students will be required to analyze business cases and, working in interdisciplinary teams, write a business plan as part of one of the case assignments. (4 credits, offered annually in spring). Dr. Rothenberg will coordinate. Course Objectives: This course prepares students to move more seamlessly from the academic research setting into an industrial R&D setting or a policy environment such as a government procurement agency. Students will come away with a basic understanding of how to take a creative or technology concept and turn it into product with value to both their company and the end user. Students will become familiar with budgeting, business plan development, marketing, product planning, project and product management, and intellectual property and will develop communication and collaboration skills as part of the course structure.

Disaster Planning, Management and Policy
This interdisciplinary policy course will introduce students to the policymaking process, organizational theory and chain-of-command, the role of stakeholders and interest groups, the interplay of federal, state, and local decision-making with industry, and the basic dimensions of quantitative and qualitative policy analysis. It will focus on the policy domain of disaster management and the role of providing information for decision making at all levels. It will provide an overview of emergency response/disaster management. Using case studies, such as Hurricane Katrina, a regional ice storm and power outage, and the Three Mile Island meltdown, this course will provide an in-depth inquiry into issues and barriers surrounding disaster preparation and response. This course will emphasize tools stemming from decision sciences, statistics, and the rational choice method for policy analysis, Credits 4 (offered annually in fall). Dr. Folz will teach. Course Objectives: This course will provide students with an understanding of the challenges created by the intersection of public and private concerns in planning for and response to disaster. It will examine problems inherent in dealing with actors from various jurisdictions in particularly the interplay of local, state and federal governments. Students will be introduced to the policymaking process and given basic policy analysis tools that will be applied to case studies to provide an in-depth analysis of disaster management. A focus will be on the role of information and how it is disseminated and used in disaster planning and response.

Spatial Modeling and Visualization
This geographic analysis course explores the spatial and temporal modeling and visualization of natural and engineered systems and their interactions in the context of disaster management. Course topics include characterization of spatial and networked data from remote sensing platforms and sensor networks, three- and four-dimensional spatial analysis, network analysis, and approaches to predictive modeling and uncertainty analysis. Students will examine use of models and spatial data for decision support as they apply within a GIS. Students will collaborate on an in-depth, interdisciplinary, group project that will explore use of geographic analysis in real environmental or man-made disasters. Projects will be developed in collaboration with a government planning agency and/or geospatial industry partner. Credits 4 (offered annually in winter). Drs. Tomaszewski and Vodacek will teach. Course Objectives: This course prepares students to understand, analyze, manipulate, and visualize the various types of geographic data that are so critical for emergency responders and decision makers to effectively plan for and respond to disasters. The basic analysis of spatial data that is enabled by use of GIS will be extended by exposing students to a variety of tools for modeling processes in the environment. Linking of these process models to GIS will demonstrate how adding a predictive capacity enhances the power of spatial analysis. The course will introduce students to methods for determining uncertainty in spatial data and modeling outputs needed for the decision-making process. Finally, students will explore different methods for visualization of spatial data and modeling results with an eye to communicate critical information contained in complex data to decision makers.

Last Modified: 11:25pm 16 Dec 10