New cutting-edge curriculum is further preparing McCourt students to solve the 21st century’s most complex challenges.
In a world that’s ever-evolving around technological innovations, there’s an even greater need for human-centered policy making. In response, the McCourt School is offering new curricula designed to equip students with the tools they need to adopt and leverage emerging technologies for better policy design and implementation.
The following three courses, now available for Spring 2022 enrollment, are gaining interest on the Hilltop.
1. Blockchain Technologies for Data Science
McCourt MS-DSPP students can now enroll in “Blockchain Technologies for Data Science,” a new three-credit course covering blockchain fundamentals — from money, ledgers and bitcoin to technical challenges and public policy.
The curriculum, directed toward Data Science and Analytics students, will be taught by Dr. Nakul Padalkar, an assistant teaching professor at Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences whose research focuses on disruptive technologies and their social and business applications.
“This course will equip students with industry-relevant experience in an accessible, collaborative environment and prepare them to take on real-world blockchain development jobs,” said Padalkar.
Blockchain’s mainstream use by firms like Walmart, Merck and BlackRock means that McCourt graduates will interact with the technology often and that expertise in handling, extracting and converting data to and from the blockchain is critical.
“More often than not, the technical industries lead in innovation, and academia follows,” said Padalkar. “We’re preparing our students for future jobs by adopting a progressive attitude towards teaching emerging and disruptive technologies.”
2. Emerging Technology and National Security
Students interested in learning about Artificial Intelligence, the difference between unmanned and autonomous weapon systems and how quantum computing changes the speed and encryption of information should look no further than “Emerging Technology & National Security,” a new three-credit course taught by Dr. Haider Mullick.
Mullick, an adjunct associate professor at McCourt, will delve into the dangers and benefits of new technology.
“This is a unique course at McCourt,” he said, “for its expansion into the realm of national security but also for its approachable curriculum designed for general practitioners — not coders.
Mullick’s lectures will uncover the perils and promise of emerging technologies and how nations around the globe might use them to threaten domestic and international safety, or even wage war. Elliot Ackerman, co-author of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,”will help explore this theme with students as a scheduled guest lecturer.
John Kirby, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, is also scheduled to lecture on public affairs in the age of disinformation and the tools being used by government agencies to reach their intended audiences.
3. Leadership and Public Problem Solving in the Digital Age
Aging organizational infrastructures at the local, state and federal levels are struggling to adapt and deliver services in the age of digital platforms and hyper-connectivity. It’s more important than ever before to utilize data, big and small, to bring about effective, user-centered solutions to modern problems.
McCourt Adjunct Professor Tara McGuinness will teach a new three-credit course, “Leadership and Public Problem Solving in the Digital Age,” on the ever-evolving use of data to monitor the progress of policy implementation — from design and delivery to implementation.
This course will introduce students to the challenge of public problem solving in the digital age and dive deep into the key leadership, tools, methods and skills necessary to deliver critical public services in a changing environment.
McGuinness, a former senior advisor to President Obama and executive director at the Center for American Progress, will tap into her professional network to bring guest lecturers to the Hilltop. Practitioners working in nonprofit and public sector management will speak to the importance of human-centered policy making and transforming the ways in which nonprofits and governments deliver services.