School of Public Policy

Data Science for Policy

This course provides an introduction to public policy analytics. Students will gain hands-on experience with data discovery, measurement, field testing and policy evaluation, including training in data ethics and human subjects protections. Case examples and projects will draw upon both experimental and observational research as well as large-scale civic data on sustainable communities. For Fall 2022, the course is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored Jump into STEM competition (https://jumpintostem.org) focused on building energy efficiency.

Energy Policy

This course cuts through myths that are pervasive in the media, in public opinion, and in statements by politicians. It will provide students with a theoretical basis from which to assess energy policy options, an understanding of how global energy markets work, and an overview of domestic and international energy policy. The course seeks to build group project skills, and students will produce a policy analysis of policy options related to an energy policy problem.

Intergenerational Policy

How many of today's leaders and citizens remember the Constitution's Preamble mandate to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves AND our posterity"? Perhaps it's not possible to design such a balance: doing so requires an awareness of intergenerational ethics, an ability to build long-term benefits and costs into our current policy analyses, a realistic understanding of the capabilities of our social and political institutions, and knowledge about the cognitive limits of humans to perceive and plan for future decades.

Urban Policy/Urban Development Policy

In this course, students will learn the policy implications of Complex Adaptive Systems, which is how cities function as a series of networks, institutions, and systems. The course brings together urban planning, municipal management, and policy, which have not typically functioned together. Each class will feature a lecture and readings based on the topic of the class, as well as a guest speaker leading efforts at the government, nonprofit, grassroots, and corporate levels.

Sustainability, Technology, and Policy

The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Students will learn how to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability and to assess strategies to promote sustainable communities and a sustainable planet. The course will blend qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development, with large use of data analysis to measure progress towards sustainable development.

Public Health Policy in Practice (Special Topics)

“Public health policies saved your life today and you didn’t even know it.” This is how health officials describe public health’s most successful policies, i.e., policies that prevent disease, disability, and death. In turn, public health policymakers, practitioners, and researchers say that public health suffers from a “crisis of invisibility”—ironically, the more successful the overall public health system is at keeping us well, the more we tend to overlook it.

Climate Policy

This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.

Philosophy of Food

This course is divided into two parts:  1. In the first part of the course, we will discuss a number of topics in food studies, including food justice, consumer ethics, food and identity, industrial plant and animal agriculture and alternatives; workers;  verconsumption and obesity, and paternalism and public health. Through this part, special attention will be paid to the concept of "sustainable communities" and to how various food-related decisions affect the ability of communities to function sustainably.

Energy Policy and Markets

The class will introduce students to energy technologies, with specific regards to markets and policy. The objective of the course is to provide the economist’s perspective on a broad range of topics that professionals in the energy industry will encounter.

Big Data and Public Policy

The School of Public Policy is offering a new cross-listed course with the School of Economics in Big Data and Public Policy. This course will provide an introduction to data science tools and methodologies for social science applications. Students will learn to conduct experiments and to identify causal mechanisms in large-scale social and administrative data. The course is targeted for Ph.D. or advanced M.S. students in Public Policy; M.S. students in Economics, and M.S. students in Cybersecurity

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