Percentages in the first column indicate portion of total course grade each assignment is worth. Assignments 2–4 are considered part of class participation, listed as Assignment 11, which makes up 20% of the final grade.

1. Observations, data sources, and data reduction (10% of total) Students will be expected to select and read an NBER working paper from a faculty–provided list and to prepare a 1000 word (or less) paper, performing a critical analysis on the author's choice(s) and use(s) of observations, as well as the assumption(s) required by and conclusion(s) drawn from such observations. (PDF)
2. Redactor role (class participation) For each guest, one student will serve as the redactor. Each student (including the redactor for the week) is asked to provide a 300 word (or less) comment paragraph (which may include questions to the guest) that directly engages the guest's assigned paper. The redactor then will organize the comments for the guest and produce a 500–750 word executive summary of the students' comments that will be emailed to guest.  
3. Discussion leader role (class participation) For each class, student discussion leader(s) will be assigned to lead the class in a critical analysis of ESD.83 faculty provided readings. Similar to the response to the guest paper, each student (including the discussion leader) is asked to provide a 300 word (or less) comment paragraph that engages the assigned papers. (Note: Only 1 comment paragraph is required per student per week and should cover one or more of the assigned papers). The role of the discussion leader is to lead a thoughtful discussion of the required readings. The focus should be a critical analysis of the readings, and how the readings relate to each other and the larger field of ES. To achieve this, we recommend that the student briefly summarize the key aspects of the readings (in a presentation lasting about 5 minutes), then lead the students through a discussion of 2–3 carefully constructed discussion questions. The number and scope of discussion questions should be appropriate to guide a 30–40 minute discussion. The discussion leader should be familiar with the student comments, and may use these to craft discussion questions or to prompt the conversation.  
4. ESS poster presentation and/or research brainstorming session (class participation) For each TA (recitation) session, 15 minutes will be allotted to allow each student to share their research plans with their colleagues. We understand that each student will be at a different maturity in their research, and therefore, the 15 minutes can be spent presenting a formal research presentation or conference paper, presenting something like an ESS–poster, or perhaps brainstorming about the student's intended use of tools or methodologies in pursuit of research. This is the chance for each student to seek the feedback and commentary of their peers in a constructive and productive way. Students who identify themselves as fairly far along in their research may be asked to do the first few TA sessions.  
5. Book review (10% of total) Students will be expected to prepare a book review of about 750 words of Edward Glaeser's Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. Each book review should be written in a format comparable to a published book review in a professional journal, conveying the key message of the book and providing appropriate critical analysis as well. (PDF)
6. Historical roots and contemporary methodologies of engineering systems paper and presentation (30% of total) Students will work in two–person teams to create a single jointly submitted paper that serves as a review paper, which carefully constructs the connection between a historical root of Engineering Systems and a contemporary methodology in Engineering Systems. Student pairs will construct this connection by both tracing the historical root forward in time to the development of contemporary methodologies and by "backcasting" from the contemporary methodology to its antecedent historical root(s). The two–person teams will be selected by the teaching staff, and the historical root–contemporary methodology combination will be nominated by the two–person team and approved by the faculty. All student papers will be read by the entire class in preparation for a day of student–led presentations on their papers. Each presentation should teach the findings from the literature review, make use of interesting visualization techniques, and emphasize the contribution to Engineering Systems at large. Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes (15 for presenting, 5 for Q&A). (PDF)
7. Systems concept assignment (10% of total)

Select a Complex Socio-technical System (CSS) of interest to you and in which you have some general domain knowledge. Then:

a) Describe the system you have selected so the instructor and staff who may have modest expertise in that domain may understand you (300 words).

b) Read "(Re) Thinking about Systems and "Life-Cycle Properties of Engineering Systems: The Ilities" in their entirety. Discuss your CSS using these chapters as a guide (1000 words).

c) Based on your own systems experience within and without your domain, suggest modifications or additions that you believe would make these chapters more useful (200 words).

8. Developing a well–posed research question (10% of total) Students will select an important problem associated with their primary area of interest, and will write a brief memo. (PDF)
9. Critical analysis of an ES research paper (5% of total) Choose from a list of available papers and produce a 500 word in-depth critical analysis of your chosen paper. (PDF)
10. Learning summary (5% of total) Document 2–3 key lessons learned that represent new or important insights into Engineering Systems as a field that originated in your mind during this term in ESD.83. Also, document 2–3 key lessons learned that represent new or important insights relevant to your doctoral thesis.  
11. Seminar participation (20% of total) It is assumed that regular preparation (i.e., ability to show intimate knowledge of all assigned reading materials through weekly comment paragraphs – see descriptions in Assignments 2 and 3), attendance and contributions to discussions will be driven by a shared interest in the subject material. Still, a portion of the course grade is allocated to our evaluation of the effectiveness of your seminar participation to highlight just how central this is to the success of the seminar.