Engelbart’s Unfinished Legacy

Spring 2015
Tue/Thur: 1:15 PM – 3:05 PM
Huddle Rooms 1 and 2
CS 377E

4 Units
Letter Grade
Launching 2015

Doug Engelbart’s famous 1968 Demo of the NLS system in San Francisco was one of the watershed moments in the history of computing. Engelbart’s system contributed over 20 important inventions in interactive computing that most of us take for granted today. Yet few know what he contributed beyond the mouse. Even fewer know that Engelbart’s project was an attempt to create new information tools to help future knowledge workers to collectively solve some of the pressing problems facing society. In this course we will take up Engelbart’s Unfinished Legacy and creatively apply today’s information technologies to collectively attack today’s Global Grand Challenges (e.g., global warming, healthcare costs and access, and quality education for all). Interdisciplinary student teams will carry out needfinding within a target domain, followed by brainstorming to propose a quarter long project. Teams will spend the rest of the quarter applying user-centered design methods to rapidly iterate through design, prototyping, and testing of their solutions. This course will interweave a weekly lecture with a weekly studio session where students apply the techniques hands-on in a small, supportive environment.

We are looking for ambitious students at all levels (undergraduate and graduate) from all majors (the humanities, the socials sciences, design, science, and engineering) to join this class and bring their creativity to bear on some of the most important problems facing the planet today. Students who have not been exposed to the design thinking process will learn the basics and those who are already steeped in design thinking will become more expert in applying it to a new problem while coaching their peers.

Learn More
Prof. Landay will be speaking at Green Library March 12 at 5pm about “Enhancing Humanity with Technology.” See more here. A music theater performance called Demo, based on Douglas Engelbart’s epic 1968 demonstration on early computer technology on April 2nd at the Bing Auditorium will be a part of the course curriculum. See more here. The students will receive complimentary tickets to the show.

Enrollment limited to 24 students, undergraduate and graduate students encouraged to apply. NO PREVIOUS DESIGN THINKING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.
Application closed

Teaching Team
James Landay, Professor Computer Science
Tanja Aitamurto, Postdoctoral Fellow & Deputy Director of The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, EE Department