OIDD005 - GRIT LAB (Course Syllabus)
The aims of Grit Lab are two-fold: (1) equip you with generalizable knowledge about the science of passion and perseverance (2) to help you apply these insights to your own life. At the heart of this course are cutting-edge scientific discoveries about how to foster passion and perseverance for long-term goals. As in any undergraduate course, you will have an opportunity to learn from current research. But unlike most courses, Grit Lab encourages you to apply these ideas to your own life and reflect on your experience.
Other Information: There are no prerequisites to Grit Lab, and it is open to all enrolled undergraduate students. However, admittance does require completing an online, written application. Since enrollment is by application only, accepted applicants will be administratively registered. No need to submit an advance registration request. Course grade mode is Pass/Fail only.
OIDD101 - INTRODUCTION TO OIDD (Course Syllabus)
OIDD 101 explores a variety of common quantitative modeling problems that arise frequently in business settings, and discusses how they can be formally modeled and solved with a combination of business insight and computer-based tools. The key topics covered include capacity management, service operations, inventory control, structured decision making, constrained optimization and simulation. This course teaches how to model complex business situations and how to master tools to improve business performance. The goal is to provide a set of foundational skills useful for future coursework atWharton as well as providing an overview of problems and techniques that characterize disciplines that comprise Operations and Information Management.
OIDD105 - DEV TOOLS FOR DATA ANLYS (Course Syllabus)
This course provides an introduction to the construction of data analysis tools that are commonly used for business applications, especially in consulting and finance. The course builds on the spreadsheet and analytical skills developed in OPIM101, providing a much more extensive treatment of spreadsheet application development and database management. The first portion of the course will focus on programming in VBA, the embedded programming language in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. This will be supplemented with discussion of industry best practice in software development, such as specification development, interface design, documentation, and testing. The second portion of the class will emphasize data access and analysis utilizing SQL, the industry standard language for interacting with database software.
OIDD201 - TECH MGMT, INFO & D ECON (Course Syllabus)
OIDD201 introduces students to two critically important and tightly linked concepts. The first is online business model innovation, including key opportunities to exploit information-based strategies in businesses as diverse as Capital One and Uber (newly vulnerable markets) and Amazon and Airbnb (online channel conflict). The second is computer-based simulation modeling to assess the viability of an online innovation, the strategies for its launch, and its economic value.
OIDD210 - ONLINE BUSINESS MODELS (Course Syllabus)
This course provides a broad-based introduction to the management of information technology focusing on three interrelated themes: technology, organization, and strategy. The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and tools to utilize information systems to pursue a firm's strategic and organizational goals. The course has no prerequisites other than a general interest in the applications of information technology.
OIDD215 - INTRO TO ANALYT & D ECON (Course Syllabus)
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the use of technology skills and data analytic thinking to solve business problems in many domains, including finance, HR, policy, transport, and strategy. As a result, the modern "analytic leader" increasingly requires the use of technology, statistics, and data skills to facilitate business analysis. This includes knowing how to effectively frame data-driven questions and use a new generation of technology tools that are becoming available to acquire, analyze, interpret, and communicate insights derived from data. Students in this hands-on course will engage with weekly labs that introduce them to new technologies, techniques, and data-driven business challenges.
OIDD220 - INTRODUCTION TO OM (Course Syllabus)
This course introduces basic concepts of operations management and application of the same in business practice today. We will examine the theoretical foundations of operations management and how these principles or models can be employed in both tactical and strategic decision making. Topics covered in detail are forecasting techniques, planning under deterministic and uncertain demand, operations planning and scheduling, queuing theory, service operations management, newsvendor models, risk pooling strategies in firms, capacity and revenue management, and supply chain coordination. We will conclude by discussing how supply chains evolve under technological change.
OIDD222 - INTERNET LAW PRIV CYBER (Course Syllabus)
This course looks at how courts, legislatures, and regulators confront the major issues of the internet world. Billions of people are now active on social media, and firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba are among the worlds most valuable and influential. The legal interfaces between the physical world and the digital world are therefore increasingly important. In particular, exploitation of personal information online by governments, digital platforms, and bad actors is becoming a constant source of major controversies. The material in the course ranges from the foundations of cyberlaw, developed during the e-commerce bubble of the 1990s, to current leading-edge questions around the power and responsibility of digital intermediaries; data protection in the U.S. and Europe; cybercrime;blockchain; and network neutrality. No pre-existing legal or technical knowledge is required.
OIDD224 - ANALYTICS FOR SERVICE OP (Course Syllabus)
This course considers tools and concepts that can generate operational excellence for the production and delivery of services in industries such as banking, transportation, health care, and communications. Since services typically are intangible, not storable or transportable, and often highly variable, the management of their operations is complex and involves distributed operations with a significant amount of customer contact. Therefore, the understanding and effective management of service operations requires specialized analytical tools and customer-centric focus. This course covers a mix of topics with the emphasis on quantitative methods, application of analytics and strategic frameworks. The class will introduce simple models and basic concepts that support analysis of tradeoffs in a variety of common service processes. Students also will have the opportunity to apply the ideas and analytical models developed in the course to a particular service industry. They will do so by conducting a guided, application group project which includes opportunities for in-depth analysis of a particular service process and field work.
OIDD236 - SCAL OPS IN TECH VENTURE (Course Syllabus)
This course helps students learn to make strategic scaling decisions that are grounded in operational reality. Students will study how to build and evaluate the "operation systems" of the firm to maximize value with the focus on scaling the firm's operations. This involves tailoring the firm's operational competencies, assets, and processes to a specific business strategy. The course will approach the challenge of scaling operations and operations strategy by taking a holistic view that incorporates competitive strategy, financial evaluation, and the customer experience.
OIDD245 - ANALYTICS & DIGITAL ECON (Course Syllabus)
Students who take this course will engage with the world of data science using tools such as Tableau and R that are becoming increasingly popular in industry. The first half of the course is designed for students with limited experience with data projects, and while familiarity with R, via courses such as STAT 405 or STAT 470, will be ideal preparation, students with other programming exposure can pick up the required skills via review sessions and self-instruction. The second half of the course extends students' experience to industry applications of text mining and machine learning and requires students to work with more unstructured data. Each week of the course will be devoted to analysis of a data set from a particular industry (e.g. HR, sports, fashion, real estate, music, education, politics, restaurants, non-profit work), which we will use to answer business questions by applying analytic techniques. The course is very hands-on, and students will be expected to become proficient at applying data to business decisions and at effectively analyzing large data sets to inform decisions about business problems.
OIDD255 - AI, DATA, AND SOCIETY
The progression of AI-based technologies promises to transform many aspects of business, labor, and even society. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the capabilities of modern AI technologies, with an emphasis on being able to critically assess where they can provide societal value, and where they may create new challenges. The course is not intended to provide a deep-dive into the workings of these technologies in the same way as a computer science course might. Rather, business and policy decision-makers will be confronted with a number of important issues as AI becomes integrated into the social decision-making fabric. This course is intended to provide a framework for people who may have to confront these legal, ethical, and economic challenges. In doing so, an objective is to ensure that students who complete the course are comfortable enough in the inner-workings of these technologies to think critically across many AI contexts as well as different domains ranging from public policy, to criminal justice, to health inspections, HR, and marketing. The 0.5 CU course is oriented around hands-on critical written assessments, labs, exams, and a presentation. Broadly, data rich firms in finance, tech, management, marketing, and other industries are increasingly adopting AI as a tool to accelerate and improve decision-making. It is important for modern managers to understand the opportunities and challenges introduced by data and AI so that they can credibly communicate about these issues with others. We will cover many of these issues, so that you will be able to think about the opportunities and challenges that arise when firms try to use AI to solve business problems. Labs will reinforce your learning of how AI works, and how it is being used to solve business problems. During labs, we will focus on gaining experience with introductory machine learning concepts. Students will spend time inside and outside of the classroom combining data and code to provide a foundation for understanding the deep challenges that this will bring to organizations.
OIDD261 - RISK ANALY & ENV MGMT (Course Syllabus)
This course is designed to introduce students to the role of risk assessment, risk perception and risk management in dealing with uncertain health, safety and environmental risks including the threat of terrorism. It explores the role of decision analysis as well as the use of scenarios for dealing with these problems. The course will evaluate the role of policy tools such as risk communication, economic incentives, insurance, regulation and private-public partnerships in developing strategies for managing these risks. A project will enable students to apply the concepts discussed in the course to a concrete problem.
Other Information: Crosslisted with OIDD 761, BEPP 261, 761, 961, and ESE 567. See description under OIDD 761.
OIDD263 - ENVIRON. & ENERGY ECON (Course Syllabus)
This course examines environmental and energy issues from an economist's perspective. Over the last several decades, energy markets have become some of the most dynamic markets of the world economy, as they experienced a shift from heavy regulation to market-driven incentives. First, we look at scarcity pricing and market power in electricity and gasoline markets. We then study oil and gas markets, with an emphasis on optimal extraction and pricing, and geopolitical risks that investors in hydrocarbon resources face. We then shift gears to the sources of environmental problems, and how policy makers can intervene to solve some of these problems. We talk about the economic rationale for a broad range of possible policies: environmental taxes, subsidies, performance standards and cap-and-trade. In doing so, we discuss fundamental concepts in environmental economics, such as externalities, valuation of the environment and the challenge of designing international agreements. At the end of the course, there will be special attention for the economics and finance of renewable energy and policies to foster its growth. Finally, we discuss the transportation sector, and analyze heavily debated policies such as fuel-economy standards and subsidies for green vehicles. Prerequisites: An introductory microeconomics course (ECON1, or another course approved by the instructor) will be sufficient in most cases; BEPP 250 or an equivalent intermediate microeconomics course is recommended.
OIDD290 - DECISION PROCESSES (Course Syllabus)
This course is an intensive introduction to various scientific perspectives on the processes through which people make decisions. Perspectives covered include cognitive psychology of human problem-solving, judgment and choice, theories of rational judgment and decision, and the mathematical theory of games. Much of the material is technically rigorous. Prior or current enrollment in STAT 101 or the equivalent, although not required, is strongly recommended.
Prerequisites: STAT 101
OIDD291 - NEGOTIATIONS (Course Syllabus)
This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills.
OIDD292 - ADVANCED NEGOTIATION
This course is designed to teach negotiation principles and to enable students to develop their negotiation skills. This course assumes familiarity with the basic negotiation concepts covered in the prerequisite for this course: Negotiations. In this course, we extend the study and practice of negotiations and we develop a deeper understanding for how specific aspects of the negotiation process (e.g., emotions, deadlines, trust violations) impact outcomes. Through course lectures, readings, and case exercises, students will develop a rich framework for thinking about the negotiation process and acquire tools for guiding the negotiation process.
Prerequisites: LGST 206 OR OIDD 291 OR MGMT 291
OIDD299 - JUDG & DEC MAKING RES IM
This class provides a high-level introduction to the field of judgment and decision making (JDM) and in-depth exposure to the process of doing research in this area. Throughout the semester you will gain hands-on experience with several different JDM research projects. You will be paired with a PhD student or faculty mentor who is working on a variety of different research studies. Each week you will be given assignments that are central to one or more of these studies, and you will be given detailed descriptions of the research projects you are contributing to and how your assignments relate to the successful completion of these projects. To complement your hands-on research experience, throughout the semester you will be assigned readings from the book Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein, which summarizes key recent ideas in the JDM literature. You will also meet as a group for an hour once every three weeks with the class's faculty supervisor and all of his or her PhD students to discuss the projects you are working on, to discuss the class readings, and to discuss your own research ideas stimulated by getting involved in various projects. Date and time to be mutually agreed upon by supervising faculty and students. the 1CU version of this course will involve approx. 10 hours of research immersion per week and a 10-page paper. The 0.5 CU version of this course will involve approx 5 hours of research immersion per week and a 5-page final paper. Please contact Maurice Schweitzer if you are interested in enrolling in the course: email@example.com
Other Information: Instructor permission required to enroll.
OIDD311 - BUSINESS COMP LANGUAGES (Course Syllabus)
This course is taught with the more descriptive title of "Scripting for Business Analytics." "Business Analytics" refers to modeling and analysis undertaken for purposes of management and supporting decision making. The varieties of techniques and methods are numerous and growing, including simple equational models, constrained optimization models, probabilistic models, visualization, data analysis, and much more. Elementary modeling of this sort can be undertaken in Excel and other spreadsheet programs, but "industrial strength" applications typically use more sophisticated tools, based on scripting languages. Scripting languages are programming languages that are designed to be learned easily and to be used for special purposes, rather than for large-scale application programming. This course focuses on the special purposes associated with business analytics and teaches MATLAB and Python in this context. MATLAB and Python are widely used in practice (both in management and in engineering), as are the business analytic methods covered in the course. Prior programming experience is useful, but not required or presumed for this course.
OIDD314 - ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES (Course Syllabus)
Conducting business in a networked economy invariably involves interplay with technology. The purpose of this course is to improve understanding of technology (what it can or cannot enable), the business drivers of technology-related decisions in firms, and to stimulate thought on new applications for commerce (including disruptive technologies). The class provides a comprehensive overview of various emerging technology enablers and culminates in discussion of potential business impact of these technologies in the near future. No prior technical background is assumed and hence every effort is made to build most of the lectures from the basics. However, the Fall semester class will assume basic understanding of statistics and will focus more on big data analytics. Some assignments in the fall will involve data analytics using Python or R.
OIDD319 - ADVANCED DECISION SYS (Course Syllabus)
This course is taught with the more descriptive title of "Agents, Games, and Evolution." It explores applications and fundamentals of strategic behavior. Strategic, or game-theoretic, topics arise throughout the social sciences. The topics include--and we discuss--trust, cooperation, market-related phenomena (including price equilibria and distribution of wealth), norms, conventions, commitment, coalition formation, and negotiation. They also include such applied matters as design of logistics systems, auctions, and markets generally (for example, markets for electric power generation). In addressing these topics we focus on the practical problem of finding effective strategies for agents in strategic situations (or games). Our method of exploration will be experimental: we review and discuss experiments, principally computational experiments, on the behavior of boundedly rational agents in strategic (or game-theoretic) situations. Course work includes readings, discussions in class (organized as a seminar), examinations, and a course project on a topic chosen by the participants.
OIDD321 - INTRO TO MGMT SCIENCE (Course Syllabus)
Understanding how to use data and business analytics can be the key differential for a company's success or failure. This course is designed to introduce fundamental quantitative decision-making tools for a broad range of managerial decision problems. Topics covered include linear, nonlinear, and discrete optimization, dynamic programming, and simulation. Students will apply these quantitative models in applications of portfolio management, electricity auctions, revenue management for airlines, manufacturing, advertising budget allocation, and healthcare scheduling operations. Emphasis in this course is placed on mathematical modeling of real world problems and implementation of decision making tools.
OIDD325 - COMP SIMULATION MODELS (Course Syllabus)
This course focuses on agent-based computational models in the social sciences, especially in economic, in commercial and in strategic (game-theoretic) contexts. This relatively recent and now rapidly-developing form of computer simulation seeks to explain and predict complex social phenomena "from the ground up", through interactions of comparatively simple agents. The course reviews experimental and theoretical results, and exposes the students to modern development environments for this form of simulation. Students have the opportunity to design and implement agent-based simulations. Programming, however, is not required. This course aims to integrate various topics in agent-based simulation, while developing an appreciation of the problems that are particularly characteristic of this form of simulation so that students will understand its promise and potential.
OIDD353 - MATH MDLNG APPL IN FNCE (Course Syllabus)
Quantitative methods have become fundamental tools in the analysis and planningof financial operations. There are many reasons for this development: the emergence of a whole range of new complex financial instruments, innovations in securitization, the increased globalization of the financial markets, the proliferation of information technology and the rise of high-frequency traders, etc. In this course, models for hedging, asset allocation, and multi-period portfolio planning are developed, implemented, and tested. In addition, pricing models for options, bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and other derivatives are studied. The models typically require the tools of statistics, optimization, and/or simulation, and they are implemented in spreadsheets or a high-level modeling environment, MATLAB. This course is quantitative and will require extensive computer use. The course is intended for students who have strong interest in finance. The objective is to provide students the necessary practical tools they will require should they choose to join the financial services industry, particularly in roles such as: derivatives, quantitative trading, portfolio management, structuring, financial engineering, risk management, etc. Prospective students should be comfortable with quantitative methods such as basic statistics and the methodologies (mathematical programming and simulation) in OIDD612 BusinessAnalytics and OIDD321 Management Science (or equivalent). Students should seek permission from the instructor if the background requirements are not met.
Prerequisites: OIDD 321
OIDD380 - OPS STRATEGY PRACTICUM (Course Syllabus)
This course focuses on the management of operations at manufacturing and service facilities located in Israel that are used either by domestic corporations or by multinational companies. The emphasis is on the evolving patterns of operations strategies adopted by firms for producing products, sourcing manufacturing, distributing products, delivering services and managing product design as well as on programs for enhancing quality, productivity and flexibility and managing technology. We will focus on formulation and execution of such strategies for established Israeli multinationals with world class operations and innovative strategies as well as start-ups and smaller companies that are scaling their global supply chain infrastructure to support growth. The course will consist of a set of site visits in Israel during Winter Break that will provide the opportunity to observe company processes directly and in-class sessions which include lectures, case discussions and management speakers who will describe their companies' current strategy. NOTE: THIS COURSE REQUIRES YOU TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION. Enrollment will be limited. Please contact Ramon Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Application available at https://global.upenn.edu/pennabroad/pgs OIDD 101 is recommended but not required.
OIDD397 - RETAIL SUPP CHAIN MGMT (Course Syllabus)
This course is highly recommended for students with an interest in pursuing careers in: (1) retailing and retail supply chains; (2) businesses like banking, consulting, information technology, that provides services to retail firms; (3) manufacturing companies (e.g. P&G) that sell their products through retail firms. Retailing is a huge industry that has consistently been an incubator for new business concepts. This course will examine how retailers understand their customers' preferences and respond with appropriate products through effective supply chain management. Supply chain management is vitally important for retailers and has been noted as the source of success for many retailers such as Wal-mart and Home Depot, and as an inhibitor of success for e-tailers as they struggle with delivery reliability. See M. L. Fisher, A. Raman and A. McClelland, "Rocket Science Retailing is Coming - Are You Ready?," Harvard Business Review, July/August 2000 for related research.
Other Information: See description under OIDD 697
OIDD399 - SUPERVISED STUDY (Course Syllabus)
This course number is currently used for several course types including independent studies, experimental courses and Management & Technology Freshman Seminar. Instructor permission required to enroll in any independent study. Wharton Undergraduate students must also receive approval from the Undergraduate Division to register for independent studies. Section 002 is the Management and Technology Freshman Seminar; instruction permission is not required for this section and is only open to M&T students. For Fall 2020, Section 004 is a new course titled AI, Business, and Society. The course provides a overview of AI and its role in business transformation. The purpose of this course is to improve understanding of AI, discuss the many ways in which AI is being used in the industry, and provide a strategic framework for how to bring AI to the center of digital transformation efforts. In terms of AI overview, we will go over a brief technical overview for students who are not actively immersed in AI (topic covered include Big Data, data warehousing, data-mining, different forms of machine learning, etc). In terms of business applications, we will consider applications of AI in media, Finance, retail, and other industries. Finally, we will consider how AI can be used as a source of competitive advantage. We will conclude with a discussion of ethical challenges and a governance framework for AI. No prior technical background is assumed but some interest in (and exposure to) technology is helpful. Every effort is made to build most of the lectures from the basics.
OIDD410 - DATA MINING BUS INTEL
The past few years have seen an explosion in the amount of data collected by businesses and have witnessed enabling technologies such as database systems, client-server computing and artificial intelligence reach industrial strength. These trends have spawned a new breed of systems that can support the extraction of useful information from large quantities of data. Understanding the power and limitations of these emerging technologies can provide managers and information systems professionals new approaches to support the task of solving hard business problems. This course will provide an overview of these techniques (such as genetic algorithms, neural networks, and decision trees) and discuss applications such as fraud detection, customer segmentation, trading, marketing strategies and customer support via cases and real datasets.
Other Information: Crosslisted with OIDD 672. See description under OIDD 672.
OIDD415 - PRODUCT DESIGN
This course provides tools and methods for creating new products. The course isintended for students with a strong career interest in new product, development, entrepreneurship, and/or technology development. The course follows an overall product design methodology, including the identification of customer needs, generation of product concepts, prototyping, and design-for-manufacturing. Weekly student assignments are focused on the design of a new product and culminate in the creation of a prototype, which is launched at an end-of-semester public Design Fair. The course project is a physical good - but most of the tools and methods apply to services and software products. The course is open to any Penn sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student.
OIDD418 - INDIA STARTUP ECOSYSTEM
The objective of OIDD/MGMT 418 and the Wharton India Fellows program is to introduce Penn juniors to the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in India through a course covering topics in entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital and technology in India and then matching students to a specific short-term project with a Bangalore-based early-stage startup or rapidly scaling company. Students will complete preliminary work on the project assignment during the course, and then travel as a group to Bangalore with the instructor for a two week immersion in the company to which they have been assigned for their entrepreneurship project. Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship will cover airfare and lodging expenses for students selected as Wharton India Fellows for the duration of the 2 week immersion in India. For more information: https://entrepreneurship.wharton.upenn.edu/wharton-india-fellows/
OIDD469 - INFO STRAT & ECON
The course is devoted to the study of the strategic use of information and the related role of information technology. The topics of the course vary year to year, but generally include current issues in selling digital products, intermediation, and disintermediation, designing and competing in electronic markets, outsourcing, and technology project management. Heavy emphasis is placed on utilizing information economics to analyze new and existing businesses in information-intensive industries. Technology skills are not required, although a background in information technology management (equivalent to OIDD 210), strategic management or managerial economics is helpful.
OIDD477 - INTRO TO PYTHON DATA SCI (Course Syllabus)
The goal of this course is to introduce the Python programming language within the context of the closely related areas of statistics and data science. Students will develop a solid grasp of Python programming basics, as they are exposed to the entire data science workflow, starting from interacting with SQL databases to query and retrieve data, through data wrangling, reshaping, summarizing, analyzing and ultimately reporting their results. Competency in Python is a critical skill for students interested in data science. Prerequisites: No prior programming experience is expected, but statistics, through the level of multiple regression is required. This requirement may be fulfilled with Undergraduate courses such as Stat 102, Stat 112.
OIDD490 - SCI OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE (Course Syllabus)
The objective of this 14-week discussion-based seminar for advanced undergraduates is to expose students to cutting-edge research from psychology and economics on the most effective strategies for changing behavior sustainably and for the better (e.g., promoting healthier eating and exercise, encouraging better study habits, and increasing savings rates). The weekly readings cover classic and current research in this area. The target audience for this course is advanced undergraduate students interested in behavioral science research and particularly those hoping to learn about using social science to change behavior for good. Although there are no pre-requisites for this class, it is well-suited to students who have taken (and enjoyed) courses like OIDD 290: Decision Processes, PPE 203/PSYC 265: Behavioral Economics and Psychology, and MKTG 266: Marketing for Social Impact and are interested in taking a deeper dive into the academic research related to promoting behavior change for good. Instructor permission is required to enroll in this course. Please complete the application if interested in registering for this seminar: http://bit.ly/bcfg-class-2020. The application deadline is July 31, 2020. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor required.
OIDD515 - PRODUCT DESIGN
This course provides tools and methods for creating new products. The course isintended for students with a strong career interest in new product development, entrepreneurship, and/or technology development. The course follows an overall product design methodology, including the identification of customer needs, generation of product concepts, prototyping, and design-for-manufacturing. Weekly student assignments are focused on the design of a new product and culminate in the creation of a prototype, which is launched at an end-of-semester public Design Fair. The course project is a physical good - but most of the tools and methods apply to services and software products. The course is open to any Penn sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student.
Other Information: Only Wharton MBA candidates are allowed to register for OIDD 515. Non-MBA students must register for the OIDD 415, MEAM 415 or IPD 515 cross-listing for the course.
OIDD525 - THINKING WITH MODELS (Course Syllabus)
Models are lenses. They are instruments with which we view, interpret, and givemeaning to data. In this course, students will be exposed to and do work in all phases of the modeling life-cycle, including model design and specification, model construction (including data gathering and testing), extraction of information from models during post-solution analysis, and creation of studies that use modeling results to support conclusions for scientific or decision making purposes. In addition, the course will cover critical assessments of fielded models and studies using them. The course will focus broadly on models pertaining to energy and sustainability. This is not only an inherently interesting and important area, but it is very much a public one. In consequence, models, data, and studies using them are publicly and profusely available, as is excellent journalism, which facilitates introductions to specific topics. The course covers selected topics in energy and sustainability. Essential background will be presented as needed, but the course is not a comprehensive overview of energy and sustainability. Modeling in the area of energy and sustainability analytics is rife with uncertainty, and yet decisions must be made. Uncertainty, and how to deal with it in model-based decision making, is an overarching theme of the course. We will focus on energy and sustainability, but that area is hardly unique in being beset with deep and vexing uncertainties. The lessons we learn will generalize. The overall aim of the course is to teach facility with modeling and to use real-world data, models, and studies in doing so. In addition, students with interests in investment or policy analysis in the energy sphere will find the course's subject area focus useful. OIDD 325 is not a prerequisite for this course, but it's helpful if you have already taken it.