Spring Semester Teaching Innovations
The spring semester 2017 has just started with a number of exciting new MTEC courses, with topics ranging from enabling entrepreneurship to how to combine different leadership styles. Two of these courses are highlighted in this article: Dr. David Garcia’s Social Data Science course and Dr. Fariba Hashemis’ course on Entrepreneurial Investments.
The MTEC course Social Data Science (363-1091-00) introduces a set of techniques to analyze human behavior and social interaction through digital traces. The course focuses on the fundamentals and applications of Data Science in the Social Sciences, including technologies for data retrieval, processing, and analysis, with the aim to derive insights that are interpretable from a wider theoretical perspective. Participants will develop an understanding of a wide variety of techniques to retrieve digital trace data from online data sources, as well as how to interpret the results of data analysis with respect to theoretical and testable principles of human behavior. Additionally, students will discover the limitations of observational data analysis with respect to data volume, statistical power, and external validity. The course is offered by Dr. David Garcia, who is a Data Scientist at the Chair of Systems Design studying collective emotions in online communities. Recently, Dr. Garcia has obtained a research grant of 1.6 million Euro from the WWTF (Vienna Science, Research and Technology Fund) to realize his research project "Emotional Well-Being in the Digital Society".
The course Entrepreneurial Investments (363-1084-00), offered by Dr. Fariba Hashemi, aims to serve young scientists and engineers in developing the skills and confidence required to manage entrepreneurial risks and navigate the complexities of decision making within multiple stakeholder settings. A special feature of this course is that students will work closely with those who could potentially finance their ventures. This course is for students who are interested in turning advanced research into highly innovative, socially or economically viable products or services, and financing them sustainably. To that end, these students need to work within the priorities of the society that funds their work and their expectations must be aligned with the opportunities and constraints emanating from the economic, social and political environment. This demands a bold thinking on technology development, and challenges students to effectively bridge the different cultures represented by the fields of science, engineering and economics. The lecturer of the course, Dr. Fariba Hashemi, holds a PhD in Economics from UCLA. She is member of the Investment Committee and Head of Economics Research at Salus Partners and affiliated with the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at D-MTEC.