Spring 2012: Environment, Technology & Society

Environment, Technology & Society

Technology and sustainability are deeply intertwined. This course examines the role of technology in both causing and mitigating  environmental problems. The course will examine, question, and deconstruct how we build and use of technology and explore new options and opportunities.

LFW  E 15, 9-12 on Thursdays

Readings: Available on the class "Lectures" page or through EDOZ

 Class communication
 Instructor Jennifer Mankoff, CNB H 104 
jmankoff@cs.cmu.edu. Office hours TBD

We're looking for people from across disciplines to examine/question/deconstruct everyday practices and propose ideas for new environmentalist strategies.

All backgrounds and experience levels are welcome.

Attendance is mandatory, and the class grade will be based on a combination of class participation, individual work [reflections, journal, etc], and assigned projects.

Tentative Syllabus:


  •              The Economics of Environmental Actions 
  •              Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Footprints
  •              Key Topics: Water, Food, Waste, and Energy 


  •             Web 2.0 and Mashups: Sharing data with the crowd
  •             Building energy use: Sensing, feedback, and automation
  •             Sensing through people: Citizen Science and the environment
  •             Information Visualization: Making sensed data actionable 
  •             Persuasive Technology and Captology
  •             ICTs and direct impacts: E-Waste and the design of Long-Living Technology 
  •             ICTs and indirect impacts: Points of engagement


  •              Human Behavior and the Environment
  •              Social Commentary through Environmental Art
  •              Environmental Activism vs Environmental Action