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Spring 2017


Textbook: The course text is: Humanitarian Engineering: Advancing Technology for Sustainable Development, 3rd Edition (click for a free download).  Also, download from that site: 

  • The Matlab/Simulink code for simulations in the book and homework assignments (folder name "HEcode").
  • The "Supplementary documents" at this site for solving homework problems, and ones referenced in the book bibliography (folder names HEdocumentsI - HEdocumentsV, five folders).

Download Matlab/Simulink: OSU students should download the latest version of Matlab/Simulink by clicking here (earlier versions may not work with the code given at this web site).  You will need this for some homework problems, and the use of it will be explained in class via a tutorial.

Assignments and Grading: Your final grade is determined via your performance on three types of assignments:

  1. Commentaries/lectures/quizzes: The commentaries and lectures for the class are given below (click highlighted text). After you view Commentary X and Lecture X.Y for all Y, you should go to the OSU Carmen web site and take Quiz X.  Your quizzes are automatically graded on Carmen and are a part of your final grade (30%).  You should watch Commentary X, and Lecture X.Y, for all Y, before coming to Class X.
  2. Homeworks: Eight homework assignments (at 40% of the final grade) are given below by referring to problems given in the textbook as "X.Y" where X is the chapter number and Y is the problem number in the chapter. Due dates are included. Homework problem numbering is per Edition 3 of the book.
  3. Midterm and Final Projects: These are assigned the first day of class (in the "Supplements" section at the end of the book) and you and your team should get organized and get to work on them right away.  The two associated "Design Reviews" are also assigned.  See all deadlines below. Team membership is assigned; click here to find out which team you were assigned to.  The two design reviews, and the Midterm and Final Projects, taken together count for 30% of the final grade.

Electronic Submission and Academic Misconduct: All assignments must be submitted electronically to the Carmen site for the class, not to the instructor.  Please use a .doc or .pdf file format for all submissions. Carmen automatically checks for overlap with all submissions, this year, and in the past, along with all internet sources.  Significant overlap of your submission with other non-referenced material may constitute plagiarism and if this is suspected, the case will be submitted to the OSU Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM) for their evaluation.  The instructor does not assess whether pliagiarism occured; that is the responsibility of COAM, as is the assignment of consequences for plagiarism.

Inverted Classroom: This class runs as an "inverted classroom" where what was traditionally done in class is done at home and what was traditionally done at home is done in class.  There are on-line "commentaries" and "lectures" that are viewed outside class, and "classes" where materials (e.g., homework assignments and discussions) are covered in class.

  • Commentaries/lectures: The commentaries and lectures for the class are linked to below. 
  • Classes: You should watch Commentary X, and Lecture X.Y, for all Y, before coming to Class X so that you are prepared for class (e.g., Commentary 4, and Lectures 4.1 and 4.2, before coming to Class 4).

Come to Class! You have the following reasons to come to class:

  1. Significant help on homework assignments will be given in class via a question-answer approach (be prepared with questions).  What is covered in class, such as on homework problems, will not be repeated (e.g., during office hours).  
  2. Project teams will be given time during the class meeting to get the instuctor's help on the projects, and to work together.
  3. Some movies will be watched during class time, especially ones you will be required to watch for homework.  
  4. Structured discussions will be conducted during class time; please participate!


Week 1, Jan 9-13: A Close Up View of Poverty and Development: A Case Study

  • Commentary 1
  • Lecture 1.1: Humanitarian Engineering: Overview.  
  • Quiz 1
  • Class 1: Humanitarian Engineering: Motivation and introductions, overview of course/book, assignments/grading, and collaborative learning approach for participatory appropriate technology design. Discussion: Suffering, Part 1.
  • Commentary 2
  • Lecture 2.1: Guatemala: Background and context for movie.  
  • Quiz 2
  • Class 2: Living on One Dollar: Video "Living on One Dollar" in Guatemala, viewed in class (It is also available on iTunes and NETFLIX).
  • Commentary 3
  • Lecture 3.1: Living on One Dollar: Role of the engineer, labeling people/places, solidarity challenge
  • Quiz 3
  • Class 3: Discussion on "Living on One Dollar:" Aspects of poverty and context, technological solutions, Discussion: Suffering, Part 2.

Homework 1: Assigned Jan 9, due Friday Feb 3 (see below). Problems: 1.1, 1.3, 1.7, 1.17, 1.18, 1.24, 1.25, 1.27, 1.29.  Read the first paragraph of Section 1.7 about how to summarize/critique. 

Due: Project team leader choice, and group communication strategy choice, due Fri., Jan. 13 by 4pm (provide via an email to Prof. Passino).  Project choice due by Fri., Jan. 20 (see below).  

Week 2, Jan 16-20: Poverty and Development: Global and US

Jan. 16, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., day, no class

  • Commentary 4
  • Lecture 4.1: World Poverty and Development: Income poverty, income inequality (Gini index), human development index (HDI) and inequality-adjusted human development index (IHDI)
  • Lecture 4.2: World Poverty and Development: Gender inequality, technology data, related data on orphans, homelessness, human trafficking/slavery.
  • Quiz 4
  • Class 4: World Poverty and Development: UN Public public data visualizer, World Bank data visualizer
  • Commentary 5
  • Lecture 5.1: US Poverty: Homelessness data, poverty line and data, comparative analysis with OECD (poverty, inequality, mobility).
  • Quiz 5
  • Class 5: US Poverty: People who are homeless, up close view; Discussion: Privilege.  

Due: Project choice due by Fri., Jan. 20, by 4pm (provide a few-sentence description via an email to Prof. Passino). 

Week 3, Jan 23-27: Sustainable Development and Culture

  • Commentary 6
  • Lecture 6.1: Sustainable Development: Ecosystem services, pollution (air/climate, soil, water), planetary boundaries, UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Quiz 6
  • Class 6:  Movies on pollution.  Discussion: Gratitude.
  • Commentary 7
  • Lecture 7.1: Culture: Culture definition, importance of cross-cultural understanding, cross-cultural conversation
  • Lecture 7.2: Values and Roles: World Values Survey (WVS). "Degrees" of humanitarian engineering; roles, motivations for engineers.
  • Quiz 7
  • Class 7: Culture and Values: WVS data. Discussion: Culture, Part 1.
  • Commentary 8
  • Lecture 8.1: Poverty Models: Influence diagram models of individual poverty and community issues.
  • Lecture 8.2: Matlab Tutorial: Tutorial on Simulink models: signals, systems.
  • Lecture 8.3: Matlab Tutorial: Tutorial on Simulink models: dynamics.
  • Quiz 8
  • Class 8: Introduction to Models and Dynamics: Revisit tutorial on Simulink models: signals, systems, and dynamics. Discussion: Culture, Part 2.  

Week 4, Jan 30 - Feb 3: Models, Dynamics, and Analysis of Poverty and Sustainability

  • Commentary 9
  • Lecture 9.1: Financial Models: Dynamical model of poverty in Simulink.
  • Lecture 9.2: Financial Management: Computational analysis of well-being. Risk and suffering.
  • Quiz 9
  • Class 9: Dynamical Models of Poverty: Life-time budget simulator example, Discussion: Dignity, Part 1.
  • Commentary 10
  • Lecture 10.1: Financial Management Via PID Control: Proportional-integral-derivative control as a financial advisor, tuning and performance, computational analysis. Implementation strategies. 
  • Quiz 10
  • Class 10: Financial Management Via PID Control: Review. Discussion: Dignity, Part 2.
  • Commentary 11
  • Lecture 11.1: Impact of Development on Sustainability: Dynamical model of the tragedy of the commons, how utilization and population impact resource dynamics and the occurrence of the tragedy.
  • Lecture 11.2: Principles of feedback control
  • Quiz 11
  • Class 11: Review of sustainability and principles. Discussion: Rights, Part 1.

Due: Homework 1 is due 3pm Friday Feb 3.

Homework 2: Assigned Friday Feb 3, due Friday Feb 17, 3pm (see below). Problems: 1.32, 1.33, 1.34, 1.35

Week 5, Feb 6-10: Social Justice: Rights, Inequalities, and Religious Perspectives

  • Commentary 12
  • Lecture 12.1: Social Justice and Engineering: Human rights and inequality introduction, engineers' role in inequality of technological capacity.
  • Quiz 12
  • Class 12:  Movies on history of rights, Dr. King speech.  Discussion: Rights, Part 2.
  • Commentary 13
  • Lecture 13.1: Catholic Social Doctrine: Catholic social doctrine, rights, principles
  • Lecture 13.2: Catholic Social Doctrine: Principles, role in technological capacity
  • Quiz 13
  • Class 13: Catholic Social Doctrine: Catholic social doctrine review.  Discussion: Justice, Part 1.
  • Commentary 14
  • Lecture 14.1: Hindu Social Justice: Caste system, reform movements
  • Lecture 14.2: Islamic Social Justice
  • Quiz 14
  • Class 14: Hindu and Islamic Social Justice: Review, relevance to humanitarian engineering.  Discussion: Justice, Part 2.
Due: Design Review 1 assignment due Fri., Feb. 10, at 3pm. 

Week 6, Feb 13-17: Social Justice: Secular Perspectives and Engineering Ethics

  • Commentary 15
  • Lecture 15.1: John Rawls, Justice as Fairness: Fair systems, principles of justice
  • Lecture 15.2: Amartya Sen, "The Idea of Justice" and "Development as Freedom": Capabilities approach, opportunities, essential capabilities
  • Quiz 15
  • Class 15: John Rawls and Amartya Sen: Overview, relevance to engineering
  • Commentary 16
  • Lecture 16.1: Engineering Ethics and Social Justice: Engineering ethics basics overview
  • Lecture 16.2: Engineering Ethics and Social Justice: Engineering ethics and social justice, comparisons, role in humanitarian engineering
  • Quiz 16
  • Class 16: Engineering Ethics and Social Justice: Discussions
  • Commentary 17
  • Lecture 17.1: Analysis of Distributive Justice: Influence diagram models of social justice systems.
  • Lecture 17.2: Analysis of Distributive Justice: Model and computational analysis of a wealth distribution policy in a poor community, equal/poor-skewed/rich-skewed communities
  • Quiz 17
  • Class 17: Analysis of Distributive Justice: Review of key concepts

Due: Homework 2 is due Friday Feb 17, 3pm

Due: Design Review 1 assignment resubmissions due by Fri., Feb. 17 at 3pm. 

Homework 3: Assigned Friday Feb 17, due Friday Feb 24, 3pm. Problems: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6ab, 2.11a, 2.12ab, 2.15b, 2.16b, 2.19, 2.25

Week 7, Feb 20-24: Models, Dynamics, and Analysis of Social and Evironmental Justice

  • Commentary 18
  • Lecture 18.1: Participatory and Distributive Justice: Model of democracy for wealth distribution
  • Lecture 18.2: Participatory and Distributive Justice: Computational analysis
  • Quiz 18
  • Class 18: Analysis of Integrated Participatory and Distributive Justice: Review
  • Commentary 19
  • Lecture 19.1: Analysis of Environmental Justice: Modeling and analysis of the dynamics of environmental justice, environmental justice policy, impact of development and population on the policy and the tragedy of the commons.
  • Quiz 19
  • Class 19: Analysis of Environmental Justice: Review 
  • Commentary 20
  • Lecture 20.1: Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty
  • Lecture 20.2: Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty
  • Lecture 20.3: William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
  • Lecture 20.4: William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
  • Quiz 20
  • Class 20: Sachs and Easterly: Review

Due: Homework 3, Friday Feb 24, 3pm.

Homework 4: Assigned Friday Feb 24, due Friday March 10, 3pm (see below). Problems: 2.34, 2.36, 2.38

Week 8, Feb 27 - March 3: Development Strategies

  • Commentary 21
  • Lecture 21.1: Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics
  • Lecture 21.2: Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics
  • Lecture 21.3: Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics
  • Lecture 21.4: Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics
  • Quiz 21
  • Class 21: Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics: Review
  • Commentary 22
  • Lecture 22.1: Global Health Perspective: Health initiatives and statistics, determinants of health, socioecological model
  • Lecture 22.2: Global Health Perspective: Environmental health, technology for health
  • Quiz 22
  • Class 22: Global Health Perspective: Review.  Discussion: Development, Part 1.
  • Commentary 23
  • Lecture 23.1: International Education Perspective: Education initiatives and statistics
  • Lecture 23.2: International Education Perspective: Utilitarian and transformational perspectives, school access and attendance, educational quality and outcomes
  • Lecture 23.3: International Education Perspective: Technical and vocational education and training, political learning, STEM education expectations
  • Quiz 23
  • Class 23: International Education Perspective: Movies, review and discussion.

Due: Written Midterm Project report due by Fri., March 3, at 3pm (one report per team). Team leaders email Prof. Passino to set up oral report meeting.  

Week 9, March 6-10: Social Business Perspective and Models, Dynamics, and Analysis of Sustainable Development

  • Commentary 24
  • Lecture 24.1: Polak and Warwick, The Business Solution to Poverty
  • Lecture 24.2: Polak and Warwick, The Business Solution to Poverty
  • Lecture 24.3: Polak and Warwick, The Business Solution to Poverty
  • Quiz 24
  • Class 24: Polak and Warwick: Review.  Discussion: Development, Part 2.
  • Commentary 25
  • Lecture 25.1: Analysis of Poverty Traps: Mathematical and computational analysis of economic growth and poverty traps (coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equation models, equilibria, and stability/instability)
  • Lecture 25.2: Analysis of Poverty Traps: Optimization for policy choice
  • Quiz 25
  • Class 25: Analysis of Poverty Traps: Review
  • Commentary 26
  • Lecture 26.1: Technology Diffusion: Mathematical and computational analysis of technology diffusion impact on economic development.
  • Lecture 26.2: Resource Utilization Control: Computational analysis of feedback control for management of the commons, effects of development and population increases.
  • Quiz 26
  • Class 26: Review.

Due: Homework 4 due Friday March 10, 3pm.

Homework 5: Assigned Friday March 10, due Friday March 24, 3pm(see below).  Problems: 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, 3.11ab, 3.15, 3.18, 3.20, 3.22

OSU Spring Break: March 13-17

Week 10: March 20-24: The Engineer as a Helper, Participatory Community Development

  • Commentary 27
  • Lecture 27.1: Egan, The Skilled Helper: The helping process, elements of success
  • Lecture 27.2: Egan, The Skilled Helper: The helper-client relationship, communication skills
  • Lecture 27.3: Egan, The Skilled Helper: Problem-management and opportunity development
  • Lecture 27.4: Schein, Helping and Humble Inquiry
  • Quiz 27
  • Class 27: The Helper and Client: Review 
  • Commentary 28
  • Lecture 28.1: Community Development: Challenges of oppression, empowerment, resistance to change
  • Lecture 28.2: Community Development: Symptoms vs. root causes, importance of relationships theoretical frameworks (e.g., appreciative inquiry)
  • Quiz 28
  • Class 28: Community Development: Review. Discussion: Helping, Part 1.
  • Commentary 29
  • Lecture 29.1: Participatory Development: Participatory development features, process
  • Lecture 29.2: Participatory Development: Challenges; participative action research (PAR)
  • Lecture 29.3: Participatory Development: Participatory monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder appraisal, impact analysis
  • Quiz 29
  • Class 29: Participatory Development: Review

Due: Homework 5 due Friday March 24, 3pm

Homework 6: Assigned Friday March 24, due Friday April 7, 3pm (see below). Problems: 3.26, 3.30, 3.31

Week 11, March 27-31: Teamwork, Community Assessment, and Project Selection

  • Commentary 30
  • Lecture 30.1: Teamwork and Project Management: Principles of cooperation and effective teamwork, project management processes.
  • Quiz 30
  • Class 30: Review. Discussion: Helping, Part 2.
  • Commentary 31
  • Lecture 31.1: Community Assessment: Learning about a community.  Needs and resources assessment; research, interviews, focus groups
  • Lecture 31.2: Community Assessment: Surveys; combining information, engineering technical assessment.
  • Quiz 31
  • Class 31: Community Assessment: Review
  • Commentary 32
  • Lecture 32.1: Project Selection: Social justice goals, alternatives, criteria, assessments, priorities
  • Lecture 32.2:  Project Selection: Assessments, priorities, combinations of these; slection strategies; robust selection.
  • Quiz 32
  • Class 32:  Project Selection: Review.  Discussion: Helping, Part 3.

Due: Design Review 2 assignment due by Fri., March 31, at 3pm. 

Homework 7: Assigned Friday March 31, due Friday April 14, 3pm (see below). Problems: 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.16, 4.17, 4.20, 4.27, 4.35, 4.36, 4.37, 4.43, 4.45ab, 4.59abe

Week 12, April 3-7: Humanitarian Technologies and Participatory Technology Development

  • Commentary 33
  • Lecture 33.1: Humanitarian and Appropriate Technology: Introduction to participatory humanitarian technology development.  The technology maturity spectrum, extreme design constraints and unusual design trade-offs
  • Lecture 33.2: Humanitarian and Appropriate Technology: Appropriate technology (personal and community, role of modularity).
  • Quiz 33
  • Class 33: Humanitarian and Appropriate Technology: Review, movie
  • Commentary 34
  • Lecture 34.1: Humanitarian Technology Examples: Technologies for the homeless: shelter, cart, lighting, heating, sanitation.  
  • Lecture 34.2: Humanitarian Technology Examples: Technology evaluation for communities/NGOs.  Humanitarian systems engineering: sweatshops, wide-area problems and fighting structural injustices.
  • Quiz 34
  • Class 34: Humanitarian Technology Examples: Review.  Discussion: Technology.
  • Commentary 35
  • Lecture 35.1: Participatory Technology Development: Finding opportunties; needs
  • Lecture 35.2: Participatory Technology Development: Flexible planning; specifications
  • Lecture 35.3: Participatory Technology Development: Concept generation, selection, and testing; architecture and industrial design; design for environment; design for manufacturing; prototypes; robustness; economics; project management (product level).
  • Quiz 35
  • Class 35: Participatory Technology Development: Review

Due: Homework 6 due Friday April 7, 3pm

Due: Design Review 2 assignment resubmissions due by Fri., April 7 at 3pm. 

Week 13, April 10-14: Humanitarian STEM Education, Outcome Assessment, and Scale-Up

  • Commentary 36
  • Lecture 36.1: Humanitarian STEM Education Principles: Principles for construction (e.g., STEM education targets, STEM instruction in context, crossing language barriers, relevance of culture and context)
  • Lecture 36.2: Humanitarian STEM Education Program/Project Design: Design of programs, design of projects
  • Quiz 36
  • Class 36: Humanitarian STEM Education: International STEM education program examples, movies. Discussion.
  • Commentary 37
  • Lecture 37.1: STEM Education for Sustainable Development Program: A program in STEM education for sustainable development, social justice and utilitarian elements
  • Quiz 37
  • Class 37: STEM Education for Sustainable Development Program: Review
  • Commentary 38
  • Lecture 38.1: Outcome Assessment, Scale-Up: Outcome assessment strategies, RCTs, design for scale, participatory social business, dissemination, scale-up
  • Lecture 38.2: Information Sources: Information sources for humanitarian engineering. Humanitarian/appropriate technology information sources, web sites, conferences, journals, etc.
  • Quiz 38
  • Class 38: Information Sources: Information sources for humanitarian engineering, overview of web sources.

Due: Homework 7 due Friday April 14, 3pm

Homework 8: Assigned Friday April 14, due Monday April 24, 3pm  (see below). Problems: 4.60, 4.62, 4.67

Week 14: April 17-21: Models, Dynamics, and Analysis of Sociotechnological Systems

  • Commentary 39
  • Lecture 39.1: Humanitarian Engineering Fieldwork: Project principles and best practices.
  • Quiz 39
  • Class 39: Humanitarian Engineering Fieldwork: OSU Humanitarian Engineering Center, project opportunities.
  • Commentary 40
  • Lecture 40.1: Cooperative Management of Community Technology: People vs. automation for management
  • Lecture 40.2: Cooperative Management of Community Technology: Model of automated management, computational analysis for equality/inequality cases
  • Quiz 40
  • Class 40: Cooperative Management of Community Technology: Review
  • Commentary 41
  • Lecture 41.1: Analysis of Sustainable Community Development: Mathematical model of technologies embedded in a community
  • Lecture 41.2: Analysis of Sustainable Community Development: Simulation of influence of technologies on community dynamics, sustainable community development indices (SCDI),
  • Lecture 41.3: Analysis of Sustainable Community Development: Monte Carlo simulation of effects of technologies on sustainable community development. Computational humanitarianism.
  • Quiz 41
  • Class 41: Analysis of Sustainable Community Development: Review.


Week 15: April 24:  The 10 Principles of Humanitarian Engineering

  • Commentary 42
  • Lecture 42.1: The 10 Principles of Humanitarian Engineering: Principles 1-5
  • Lecture 42.2: The 10 Principles of Humanitarian Engineering: Principles 6-10
  • Quiz 42
  • Class 42: The 10 Principles of Humanitarian Engineering: Review and discussion on careers

Due: Homework 8 due Monday April 24, 3pm

Due: Written Final Project report due by Mon., April 24, at 3pm. 

Final Exam Period: Friday April 28, 4:00pm-5:45pm, Evans Labs, Rm 2004: Appropriate Technology Final Design Oral Reports

  • Outside expert evalutator: Hugo Gonzalez Villasanti
  • Final presentations and reports are here