UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
FALL 2008
HONORS COURSE ON NANOTECHNOLOGY
IMPACT OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES ON THE SOCIETY: A TIME TRAVEL

Professor
M. Pinar Mengüç
menguc@engr.uky.edu

www.engr.uky.edu/~menguc

Phone: 859 257 6336 x80658
Office: RGAN 269

Teaching Assistant
Jeffrey Keith
jeffkeith2000@gmail.com

Phone: 859 257 6336 x80697
Office: RGAN 318



DESCRIPTION

The objective of this course is to examine the short and long term impacts of emerging technologies on the society at large. We will have, in a sense, a time travel to explore how some of the major inventions such as steam engine, compass, and roman aqueducts influenced the society during their times as well as centuries later. We will discuss the technological expectations of a society and the overall mind set prior and after a given technology was introduced. Finally, we will have a speculative study of nanotechnology to explore its potential impact on science, engineering, and the society.

 

COURSE STRUCTURE AND REQUIREMENTS

The course will consist of lectures, seminars and discussions. Discussion will be carried out each week either within the entire class, or in smaller groups. The lectures will help to outline and summarize the concepts as well as themes in each book. The material given in the books will be the starting point, yet several additional handouts and presentations will enhance the concepts and will help understanding the impact of the emerging technologies on the society.

The discussion sessions are to brain-storm the concepts, as every week a one or two-page essay will be needed based on both the textbook material and the discussions. Class participation and debates during these sessions will be included in the grades.

The total grade for the course is based on essays (30%); comprehensive papers on each book and finally on nanotechnology (40% total; each book report 7%, and one final speculative paper 12%); and effective participation and contributions during lectures and discussions (30%).

The grade for class participation will reflect the student’s record of attendance, degree of preparedness for each session, and ability to participate in collective discussions of the lecture topics and assigned readings.

Plagiarism, at any level, will not be tolerated. Any hint of plagiarism will reduce the course grade to E.

BOOKS

Marsden, Ben. Watt’s Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention. Columbia University Press, 2002.
Aczel, Amir D. The Riddle of the Compass. Harvest Book, Harcourt Inc., 2001.
Harris, Robert. Pompeii, Ballantine Books, 2003.
Atkinson, William I. Nanocosm, Amacom, 2004.


SCHEDULE OF LECTURES AND DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENTS

August 27/29: Introduction; Nanotechnology Lectures and Watt's Perfect Engine

Week Starting on…..

Sept 3: Watt’s Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention

Sept 8: Nanotechnology Lectures

Sept 15: Watt’s Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention

Sept 22: Watt’s Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention

Sept 29: The Riddle of the Compass

Oct 6: The Riddle of the Compass

Oct 13: The Riddle of the Compass

Oct 20: Pompeii and Roman Aqueducts

Oct 27: Nanotechnology Lectures

Nov 3: Pompeii and Roman Aqueducts

Nov 10: Pompeii and Roman Aqueducts

Nov 17: Nanocosm

Nov 27: Nanocosm

Dec 1: Nanocosm

Dec 4: Nanocosm

 

LINKS

Colloquia

Physics.org http://nanotech.physorg.com/

 

QUESTIONS

STEAM ......... Question-Set-I ..........

 

 
 
 
Designed by Yigit Menguc, 2006