12.000 | Fall 2009 | Undergraduate

Solving Complex Problems


Final Deliverables

Final Web site

Final presentation

Mission 2013 Travel Blog

During spring break, students traveled to Abu Dhabi to explore the world’s first carbon-neutral city. The trip was supported by the Massiah Foundation. Students reflected on their experiences in the Mission 2013 Travel Blog.

Description of Assignments


In our second class, we will divide the class into approximately ten teams. Each team will develop a proposal in the form of a Team Wiki. This work, which is best considered the “research phase” of 12.000, is expected to be complete by early November. Subsequently, the class will discuss the various proposals and decide on the basic structure of a final plan.

Each team will be assigned one or two undergraduate teaching fellows (UTFs) and one or more Alumni Mentors to serve as information resources. The UTFs, most of whom are veterans of 12.000, can give you tips on how best to work toward a successful conclusion. The Alumni Mentors can provide more general suggestions as to how they tackled complex problems like those posed in Mission 2012. An important aspect of 12.000 is its emphasis on teamwork. Consequently, 70 percent of your grade depends on the performance of your team and the class as a whole, whereas the remaining 30 percent comes from your individual performance.

Major Assignments

The challenges presented to the class will be fulfilled when two assignments are completed.

First, the class must create a content-rich Web site to describe and justify its overall design. More information about the Web site and supporting wikis can be found here.

Second, the class will make a final, one-two hour, oral presentation of its solution in early December. This presentation will be open to the entire MIT community. In addition, a panel of experts will be invited to attend the presentation and to critique them in an open forum. Because it would be logistically difficult for everyone to speak during the presentation, the staff recommends that each team elect one member to join a presentation committee that will choreograph the final presentation. The committee member should not bear sole responsibility for the work involved in developing the presentation!

Individual Grade Component

Thirty percent of your grade reflects how well you, as an individual, met the expectations of the teaching staff over the course of the semester. They expect that you will:

  • attend all scheduled meetings;
  • arrive promptly for all meetings;
  • collaborate with other members of your team;
  • contribute to Team Wiki development and final presentations;
  • participate in the Case Study discussions; and
  • treat others and their ideas with respect.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2009
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples
Written Assignments with Examples