Courses Offered

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts,

Awards Offered: Bachelors degree,Masters degree,Doctors degree - research/scholarship

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Current Course Catalog Subject: Information Technology

  • A Workshop on Geographic Information Systems

    This class uses lab exercises and a workshop setting to help students develop a solid understanding of the planning and public management uses of geographic information systems (GIS). The goals are to help students: acquire technical skills in the use of GIS software; acquire qualitative methods skills in data and document gathering, analyzing information, and presenting results; and investigate the potential and practicality of GIS technologies in a typical planning setting and evaluate possible applications.

  • Biomedical Computing

    Analyzes computational needs of clinical medicine reviews systems and approaches that have been used to support those needs, and the relationship between clinical data and gene and protein measurements. Topics: the nature of clinical data; architecture and design of healthcare information systems; privacy and security issues; medical expertsystems; introduction to bioinformatics. Case studies and guest lectures describe contemporary systems and research projects. Term project using large clinical and genomic data sets integrates classroom topics.

  • Biomedical Information Technology

    This course teaches the design of contemporary information systems for biological and medical data. Examples are chosen from biology and medicine to illustrate complete life cycle information systems, beginning with data acquisition, following to data storage and finally to retrieval and analysis. Design of appropriate databases, client-server strategies, data interchange protocols, and computational modeling architectures. Students are expected to have some familiarity with scientific application software and a basic understanding of at least one contemporary programming language (e.g. C, C++, Java, Lisp, Perl, Python). A major term project is required of all students. This subject is open to motivated seniors having a strong interest in biomedical engineering and information system design with the ability to carry out a significant independent project

  • Competition in Telecommunications

    Competition in Telecommunications provides an introduction to the economics, business strategies, and technology of telecommunications markets. This includes markets for wireless communications, local and long-distance services, and customer equipment. The convergence of computers, cable TV and telecommunications and the competitive emergence of the Internet are covered in depth. A number of speakers from leading companies in the industry will give course lectures.

  • Data Mining

    Data that has relevance for managerial decisions is accumulating at an incredible rate due to a host of technological advances. Electronic data capture has become inexpensive and ubiquitous as a by-product of innovations such as the internet, e-commerce, electronic banking, point-of-sale devices, bar-code readers, and intelligent machines. Such data is often stored in data warehouses and data marts specifically intended for management decision support. Data mining is a rapidly growing field that is concerned with developing techniques to assist managers to make intelligent use of these repositories. A number of successful applications have been reported in areas such as credit rating, fraud detection, database marketing, customer relationship management, and stock market investments. The field of data mining has evolved from the disciplines of statistics and artificial intelligence.

  • Database Systems

    This course relies on primary readings from the database community to introduce graduate students to the foundations of database systems, focusing on basics such as the relational algebra and data model, schema normalization, query optimization, and transactions. It is designed for students who have taken 6.033 (or equivalent); no prior database experience is assumed, though students who have taken an undergraduate course in databases are encouraged to attend.

  • Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies

    This course is an intensive review of information technology. It covers topics in software development methods, data modeling and databases, application development, Web standards and development, system integration, security, and data communications. Most of the homework sets lead the class through a project in which a database and Web application are designed and constructed, using good software process and addressing security, network and other issues. The project, which is done in two-person teams, provides hands-on experience to complement the lectures and readings. Recitations discuss readings and provide more detailed information on the software tools used.

  • E-Commerce and the Internet in Real Estate and Construction

    This course examines the long term effects of information technology on business strategy in the real estate and construction industry. Considerations include: supply chain, allocation of risk, impact on contract obligations and security, trends toward consolidation, and the convergence of information transparency and personal effectiveness. Resources are drawn from the world of dot.com entrepreneurship and "old economy" responses.

  • Environmental Engineering Applications of Geographic Information Systems

    This graduate seminar is taught in a lecture and lab exercise format. The subject matter is tailored to introduce Environmental Engineering students to the use and potential of Geographic Information Systems in their discipline. Lectures will cover the general concepts of GIS use and introduce the material in the exercises that demonstrate the practical application of GIS.

  • Generating Business Value from Information Technology

    This course provides concepts and frameworks for understanding the potential impact of information technology (IT) on business strategy and performance. We will examine how some firms make IT a strategic asset while other firms struggle to realize value from IT investments. The course focuses on the implications of increased digitization for defining business strategies and operating models, and explores the roles of both general managers and IT executives in using IT to achieve operational excellence and business agility. Topics include business operating models, IT investment and prioritization, business strategy and IT alignment, the design and governance of digitized processes, and the role of the IT unit. Draws heavily on research and case studies from MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. Restricted to graduate students.

  • Health Information Systems to Improve Quality of Care in Resource-Poor Settings

    This course is a collaborative offering of Sana, Partners in Health, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The goal of this course is the development of innovations in information systems for developing countries that will (1) translate into improvement in health outcomes, (2) strengthen the existing organizational infrastructure, and (3) create a collaborative ecosystem to maximize the value of these innovations. The course will be taught by guest speakers who are internationally recognized experts in the field and who, with their operational experiences, will outline the challenges they faced and detail how these were addressed.

  • Information and Communication Technologies in Community Development

    This practicum subject integrates theory and practice through the design, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive community information infrastructure that promotes democratic involvement and informs community development projects. Students work with Lawrence Community Works, Inc. to involve constituents and generate solutions to an important planning problem in the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Final project presentations take place in a public forum, and serve to inform future development of the information infrastructure. Subject begins with an overview of the digital divide, e-government, public participation GIS, and neighborhood information systems. Subject includes a reflection component and a deliberate investigation of race, class, and gender dynamics.

  • Information and Communication Technology in Africa

    This is a discussion-based, interactive seminar on the development of information and communication technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. The students will seek to understand the issues surrounding designing and instituting policy, and explore the possible ways in which they can make an impact on information and communication technology in Africa.

  • Information Technology and the Labor Market

    This course explores how information technology is reshaping different dimensions of the U.S. labor market: the way work is organized, the mix of occupations, the skills required to perform in an occupation, economy-wide labor productivity, and the distribution of wages.

  • Information Technology as an Integrating Force in Manufacturing

    In virtually every industry and every firm, information technology is driving change, creating opportunities and challenges. Leaders who don't understand at least the fundamentals of information systems will be at a strategic disadvantage. This course provides broad coverage of technology concepts and trends underlying current and future developments in information technology, and fundamental principles for the effective use of computer-based information systems. There will be a special emphasis on manufacturing. Information Systems topics that will be covered include networks and distributed computing, including the World Wide Web, hardware and operating systems, software development tools and processes, relational databases, security and cryptography, enterprise applications, B2B, the semantic web and electronic commerce. Sloan LFM students with an interest in Information Systems are encouraged to register for this course.

  • Information Technology I

    Information Technology I helps students understand technical concepts underlying current and future developments in information technology. There will be a special emphasis on networks and distributed computing. Students will also gain some hands-on exposure to powerful, high-level tools for making computers do amazing things, without the need for conventional programming languages. Since 15.564 is an introductory course, no knowledge of how computers work or are programmed is assumed.

  • Information Technology in the Health Care System of the Future

    This innovative, trans-faculty subject teaches how information technologies (IT) are reshaping and redefining the health care marketplace through improved economies of scale, greater technical efficiencies in the delivery of care to patients, advanced tools for patient education and self-care, network integrated decision support tools for clinicians, and the emergence of e-commerce in health care. Student tutorials provide an opportunity for interactive discussion. Interdisciplinary project teams comprised of Harvard and MIT graduate students in medicine, business, law, education, engineering, computer science, public health, and government collaborate to design innovative IT applications. Projects are presented during the final class.

  • Integrating eSystems and Global Information Systems

    The strategic importance of information technology is now widely accepted. It has also become increasingly clear that the identification of strategic applications alone does not result in success for an organization. A careful coordination of strategic applications, information technologies, and organizational structures must be made to attain success. This course addresses strategic, technological, and organizational connectivity issues to support effective and meaningful integration of information and systems. This course is especially relevant to those who wish to effectively exploit information technology and create new business processes and opportunities.

  • Introduction to Computers in Public Management II

    Second of two modules facilitating a basic understanding of computing in planning and public management. Students develop problem-solving skills using computer-based tools for "what-if" analyses. Emphasis on spatial analysis using geographic information systems and database query tools.

  • Introduction to Technology and Cities

    This seminar is an introduction to the usage and impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on urban planning, the urban environment and communities. Students will explore how social relationships, our sense of community, the urban infrastructure, and planning practice have been affected by technological change. Literature reviews, guest speakers, and web surfing will provide examples and issues that are debated in class and homework exercises. We will examine metropolitan information infrastructures, urban modeling and visualization, e-government, collaborative planning, and cyber communities.

  • Introduction to Technology and Policy

    This course explores perspectives in the policy process - agenda setting, problem definition, framing the terms of debate, formulation and analysis of options, implementation and evaluation of policy outcomes using frameworks including economics and markets, law, and business and management. Methods include cost/benefit analysis, probabilistic risk assessment, and system dynamics. Exercises include developing skills to work on the interface between technology and societal issues; simulation exercises; case studies; and group projects that illustrate issues involving multiple stakeholders with different value structures, high levels of uncertainty, multiple levels of complexity; and value trade-offs that are characteristic of engineering systems. Emphasis on negotiation, team building and group dynamics, and management of multiple actors and leadership.

  • IT and Business Transformation

    The purpose of this Proseminar in Information Technology and Business Transformation (ITBT) is to provide students with a view of IT-enabled transformation and the strategic issues in the management of IT. The seminar will bring in CIOs, CEOs, and experienced consultants and industry observers to provide their perspectives and tell their stories about the use and management of IT today. Their talks will deal with the new technology, the new applications, the issues of implementation, the changes in industries and companies, and the strategic management of IT. In addition, there will be several case discussions of issues to be decided by senior management, with students taking on the position of executives and consultants. There will also be frameworks presented and used to position all material and speakers. Finally, one session will consist of ITBT alumni discussing career opportunities and issues for students, particularly from MIT, with these interests. Students will gain a perspective of the strategic role of and issues in managing IT as manifested in e-business applications, as a driver and enabler of business transformation, and as an underlying infrastructure resource for all businesses.

  • Knowledge-Based Applications Systems

    This course covers the development of programs containing a significant amount of knowledge about their application domain. The course includes a brief review of relevant AI techniques; case studies from a number of application domains, chosen to illustrate principles of system development; a discussion of technical issues encountered in building a system, including selection of knowledge representation, knowledge acquisition, etc.; and a discussion of current and future research. The course also provides hands-on experience in building an expert system (term project).

  • Media Education and the Marketplace

    This instance of "Media, Education, and the Marketplace" focuses on the rise of information and communications technologies (ICTs) during the age of globalization, specifically examining its effect and potential in developing nations across the world.

  • Medical Computing

    The focus of the course is on medical science and practice in the age of automation and the genome, both present and future. It ncludes an analysis of the computational needs of clinical medicine, a review systems and approaches that have been used to support those needs, and an examination of new technologies.

  • Medical Decision Support (Fall 2005)

    This course presents the main concepts of decision analysis, artificial intelligence, and predictive model construction and evaluation in the specific context of medical applications. The advantages and disadvantages of using these methods in real-world systems are emphasized, while students gain hands-on experience with application specific methods. The technical focus of the course includes decision analysis, knowledge-based systems (qualitative and quantitative), learning systems (including logistic regression, classification trees, neural networks), and techniques to evaluate the performance of such systems.

  • Network Optimization

    A graduate subject in the theory and practice of network flows and its extensions. Network flow problems form a subclass of linear programming problems with applications to transportation, logistics, manufacturing, computer science, project management, and finance, as well as a number of other domains. This subject will survey some of the applications of network flows and focus on key special cases of network flow problems including the following: the shortest path problem, the maximum flow problem, the minimum cost flow problem, and the multi-commodity flow problem. We will also consider other extensions of network flow problems.

  • New Global Agenda: Exploring 21st Century Challenges through Innovations in Information Technologies

    This workshop is designed to introduce students to different perspectives on international politics in the 21st century. Students will explore how advances in information technology are changing international relations and global governance through opening new channels of communication, creating new methods of education, and new potentials for democratization. We will consider the positive and negative externalities associated with applications of such technologies. Students will be encouraged to look at alternative futures, and/or to frame solutions to problems that they define. The class will include guest lectures, discussions, and a final project and presentation.

  • Power of Place: Media Technology, Youth, and City Design and Development

    This workshop provides an introduction to urban environmental design and explores the potential of information technology and the Internet to transform public education, city design, and community development in inner-city neighborhoods. Integration of comprehensive ("top-down") and grassroots ("bottom-up") approaches to design and planning is a major theme.

  • Practical Information Technology Management

    The course purpose is to provide the substance and skill necessary to make sound business decisions relating to information systems and to work with senior line managers in the resolution of issues and problems in this area.

  • Research Seminar in IT and Organizations: Economic Perspectives

    This course provides concepts and frameworks for understanding the potential impact of information technology (IT) on business strategy and performance. We will examine how some firms make IT a strategic asset while other firms struggle to realize value from IT investments. The course focuses on the implications of increased digitization for defining business strategies and operating models, and explores the roles of both general managers and IT executives in using IT to achieve operational excellence and business agility. Topics include business operating models, IT investment and prioritization, business strategy and IT alignment, the design and governance of digitized processes, and the role of the IT unit. Draws heavily on research and case studies from MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. Restricted to graduate students.

  • Research Seminar on Urban Information Systems

    Seminar participants and invited guests will lead critical discussions of current literature and ongoing research. Each student will be responsible for identifying, reviewing, and presenting one structured discussion of articles from the current literature that are relevant to their research topic. The remaining time will be spent working on individual projects or thesis proposals. This fall, the seminar will focus on the following core issues that underlie most implementations of urban information systems and decision support tools: the sustainable acquisition and representation of urban knowledge; the emergent technological infrastructure for supporting metropolitan decision-making; and the innovative organizational and institutional arrangements that can take advantage of modern urban information systems.

  • Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems

    In order to help shape and utilize the information infrastructure that will support the management and development of our metropolitan areas, planners need a basic understanding of the tools and technology for querying, analyzing, and sharing complex databases and maps. Managing online access to large and constantly-changing spatial datasets can be a powerful aid to planning and can facilitate inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in an increasingly decentralized world. But it requires the use of knowledge representation methods, client-server technologies and access control issues that are quite different from what are needed to model and visualize standalone datasets on a personal computer. Hence, planners should acquire basic skills in database management, digital spatial data analysis, and networking

  • Technology Strategy

    This course provides a series of strategic frameworks for managing high-technology businesses. The emphasis throughout the course is on the development and application of conceptual models which clarify the interactions between competition, patterns of technological and market change, and the structure and development of organizational capabilities.

  • Technology-based Business Transformation

    This course covers how to leverage major technology advances to significantly transform a business in the marketplace. There is a focus on major issues a business must deal with to transform its technical and market strategies successfully, including the organizational and cultural aspects that often cause such business transformations to fail. Class material draws from concrete experiences of IBM's major transformation in the late 1990s, when it aggressively embraced the Internet and came up with its e-business strategy.

  • The Economics of Information: Strategy, Structure and Pricing

    The Economics of Information provides an analysis of the underlying economics of information with management implications. It studies the effects of digitization and technology on industry, organizational structure, and business strategy, and examines pricing, bundling, and versioning of digital goods, including music, video, software, and communication services. In addition, the course considers the managerial implications of social networks, search, targeted advertising, personalization, privacy, network externalities, open source, and alliances.

  • The Software Business

    This subject is a seminar-style course aimed at anyone who is interested in founding a software company or working for a software company or company that uses software technology extensively as a senior manager, developer, or product/program manager. It is also appropriate for people interested in the industry or in working as an industry analyst. Many of the issues we discuss are highly relevant for companies whose businesses are heavily dependent on software, such as in e-business or financial services, or embedded software for industrial applications.

  • Workshop in IT: Collaborative Innovation Networks

    Diversity begets creativityin this seminar we tap the amazing power of swarm creativity on the Web by studying and working together as Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs). As interdisciplinary teams of MIT management, SCAD design, University of Cologne informatics, and Aalto University software engineering students we will explore how to discover latest trends on the Web, and how to make them succeed in online social networks. We study a wide range of methods for predictive analytics (coolhunting) and online social marketing (coolfarming), mostly based on social network analysis and the emerging science of collaboration. Students will also learn to use our own unique MIT-developed Condor tool for Web mining, social network analysis, and trend prediction.

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