In the first year, students take all classes together as a cohort. In the second year, students will continue to work together in the year-long “Idea to Impact” course, which will be the culmination of their educational experience and propel them to career paths.
The Electives in second year will be a combination of building a deep learning in the student’s chosen theme area (Impact theme), and expanding the skill toolkit of the student as appropriate (skillset track). Click on the links to learn more about the classes.
The summer before the program commences, students may be asked to perform preparation work by taking online courses as recommended by their advisor, in order to fortify any weak areas in skills coming into the program.
The summer between first year and second year will be spent completing an internship experience related to their chosen theme and otherwise preparing them for the Design Impact course of second year.
Both first and second year students may choose to create a “Reframe” project, which will take the form of an installation or other designed experience that communicates their inspiration / passion / motivation / frustration relating to both their own life and their contribution to the Design Impact theme. This will be shared in an exhibition at the beginning of the Spring quarter.
We are in the middle of a sea change in how electricity is generated, managed, distributed, stored, and consumed. New technologies in electricity generation, such as small-scale wind turbines, wave energy, and micro-harvesting are primed to bring electricity to places on the globe without access to reliable and affordable electricity.
These new technologies bring with them opportunities in employment, healthcare, communication, and education. You may think this statement refers to the developing world only, but this description includes places within United States, places where people spend over 50% of their income on electricity costs.
On the other hand, existing affordable and reliable grid infrastructures are experiencing an in flux of renewable energy, whose peaks and troughs tax existing technology beyond designed functionality. New storage technologies and electricity uses, such as electric vehicles and battery walls, offer novel relief valves for these ailing systems, but a careful and empathic understanding of the relationship between people and electricity is needed for successful implementation.
The Empowering Power Theme brings together issues of engineering design, product and services design, user and stakeholder empathy-building, systems modeling, and business and policy implications. The design approaches to solve these challenges will be interdisciplinary and high impact by nature.
Work in this area is cutting-edge at Stanford, with resources including the Precourt Energy Institute and the Tomkat Center for Sustainable Energy. The School of Engineering has identified affordable energy as a "Futures" topic to focus research efforts (see the white paper on the topic). A wide variety of courses can be taken as electives relating to this Impact area from across the School of Engineering and beyond. Within Mechanical Engineering, John Dabiri researches in this area.
Healthcare today is experiencing a major crisis of cost and quality of care. Patients feel inadequately cared for, uninformed about procedures and costs, and unable to control their situation. Healthcare providers are increasingly spread too thin and often feel that they spend more time on paperwork than helping patients.
Empathy and perspective-building for all stakeholders is the cornerstone of our human-centered healthcare focus. Though patients and healthcare providers are often the main focus, families and communities are central to the efficacy of care. Prevention and wellness must be considered in order to keep patients healthy in the first place.
New technologies offer new opportunities to improve human-centered healthcare while keeping costs reasonable. Advances in Artificial Intelligence can enable new software platforms for connecting patients and doctors. Automation and Robotics provide new opportunities for remote healthcare and for increasing the efficiency of care. However, these technologies must be combined with empathy and understanding of users and interaction design. In addition, issues of privacy and dignity are important.
This theme will develop new products and services in the space of human-centered healthcare, drawing on experts from around Stanford’s campus. We will work with partners in MechanicalEngineering, Computer Science, Public Policy, and Medicine.