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Relevant Classes

Global Environments and World History (ENVR_POL 340-0-1; HIST 376-0-1)

Environmental problems have today become part and parcel of popular consciousness: resources are being depleted at a record pace, human population levels just crossed the seven billion threshold, extreme poverty defines the majority of people’s daily lives, toxic contaminants affect all ecosystems, increasing numbers of species face extinction, consumerism and the commodification of nature show no signs of abating, and weapons and energy systems continue to proliferate that risk the planet’s viability. This introductory lecture course is designed to help students understand the relatively recent origins of many of these problems, focusing especially on the last one hundred and fifty years. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the environmental effects of urbanization, industrialization, population growth, market economies, empire-building, intercontinental warfare, energy extraction, and new technologies. They will also explore different environmental philosophies and analytic frameworks that help us make sense of historical change, including political ecology, environmental history, science studies, and world history. Finally, the course will examine a range of transnational organizations, social movements, and state policies that have attempted to address and resolve environmental problems.

Faculty: Helen Tilley

Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures (ENTREP 380)

Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures focuses on the entrepreneurial and financial aspects of planning, launching and growing a new venture. In ENTREP 380, we focus on the growth of scalable startups. A scalable startup is an idea whose growth potential is very high. This course will introduce students to the many sources of capital and the challenges of pitching and raising capital to fund a venture of this kind. The course will introduce students to relevant theory and practice in current entrepreneurial finance, with a special emphasis on angel and venture capital financing.

Faculty: Michael Gruber

NUvention: Analytics (ENTREP 495)

NUvention: Analytics is a unique interdisciplinary course being designed to create opportunities for students to create new analytics technologies and then build businesses around their innovations. This one-quarter class is conceived by students within the Engineering, Business, Law, Communications and other schools across campus along with the assistance of an Advisory board and the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The course is built around projects, so an advisory board will keep track of the projects, giving its expert advice in order to ensure a proper product-market alignment.

Faculty: Dean Malmgren, Michael Marasco, Mark Werwath

NUvention: Energy (ENTREP 430, ISTEN 430, PPTYTORT 632)

NUvention: Energy responds to the demand for innovation and entrepreneurship in the sustainable energy and clean tech space that will increasingly be required to deal with climate change, resource constraint, and other environmental challenges. The Farley Center partnered with the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern to offer this course through the McCormick School of Engineering.

Students from engineering, business, arts and sciences, law and other graduate schools across campus come together in interdisciplinary teams to develop a product or service, and a business plan, in the sustainable energy or clean tech industry. The objective of the course is to provide students with a realistic simulation of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurial founding teams face trying to create a business around technologies or services that both meet a market need and have a positive environmental impact.

Faculty: Michael Gruber, Elizabeth Lukehart, Mark Werwath

NUvention: Innovate for Impact (ENTREP 495, DSGN 495)

NUvention: Innovate for Impact is an interdisciplinary experiential learning program designed to expose students to the design and launch of market-based ventures that address unmet societal and environmental needs of both an international and domestic nature. The social entrepreneurial approach to addressing hyperlocal challenges that affect the City of Chicago. Innovate for Impact will walk students through the steps associated with creating and implementing a social venture—a venture that addresses a social issue while simultaneously being financially self-sufficient.

Students will be exposed to the user-centered design process for social impact, market and nonmarket contexts of resource-challenged settings and the nuts-and-bolts of launching a venture. Like other NUvention courses, Innovate for Impact represents the most aggressive attempt to allow students to create a start-up social venture within the framework of a class.

Faculty: Mark Werwath, Erin Huizenga 

Introduction to Scientific Computing in the Physical Sciences (EARTH322)

Introduction to computational methods for processing and analyzing geophysical and geochemical data. Students will work in a unix environment and learn about the principles of computer programming in various languages, with python being the laguage of choice for the remainder of the course. Students will also utilize shell scripting and the Generic Mapping Tools extensively, and will learn the basics of parallel processing. Weekly exercises/problem sets will include time series processing and analysis, the numerical solution of differential equations, simple inverse problems and associated error estimation, and are designed to build familiarity and core strengths while individual and group projects illustrate the computational research process from raw data to polished "research product" and inspire tool development and innovation.

Faculty: Suzan van der Lee

Mathematical Inverse Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH329)

Theory and application of inverse methods to gravity, magnetotelluric, seismic waveform, multilateration, and students’ data. Nonlinear, linearized; underdetermined, and mixed-determined problems and solution methods, such as regularized least-squares and neighborhood algorithms. Prerequisites: MATH 230, STAT 232, or equivalent; MATH 240 or STAT 320-1, 320-2 recommended. 

Faculty: Suzan van der Lee