Mondays, 9am to 12pm
Spring 2021 MAS Graduate Course and Seminar Series
Dates for Spring 2021 Semester: February 22 to May 17
This course and seminar series will help you understand how the rapidly changing technology and policy in the space sector matters to your life. Join us as we seek to form a shared vision for a space-enabled society that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.
For the spring 2021 edition of Space Technology for the Development Leader, each week will feature a guest speaker who is a leader in the space sector giving a lecture that is open to the MIT community. More information will be shared via this page about future speakers. The guest speaker will typically speak from 11am to 12pm ET on Mondays. Members of the MIT community are welcome to join during this one hour seminar. Here is the tentative list of speakers and topics. Please sign up at the link at the bottom of this page to receive updates about the guest speakers.
Seminar Speakers and Topics
February 22, 11am to 12pm ET: Sustainable Development with Prof Suhyun Jung, West Virginia University (recording available below)
March 1, 11am to 12pm ET: Systems Architecture as a method to Guide Design Thinking with Dr. Mark Maier, Aerospace Corporation (recording available below)
March 9, 10am to 12pm ET: Examining the Needs of Development Stakeholders with Dr. Afreen Siddiqi, MIT, and Dr. Ruth Stilwell, Aerospace Policy Solutions & Norwich University (recording available below)
March 15, 11am to 12pm ET: Small Satellites and Innovation around the World with Prof Thomas Woodson, Stonybrook University (recording available below)
March 22: No Class/Seminar
March 29 from 11am to 12pm ET: Satellite Earth Observation with Prof Mariel Borowitz, Georgia Institute of Technology (recording available below)
April 5: Space Technology Transfer to Other Sectors with Ken Davidian, Federal Aviation Administration (recording available below)
April 12: Societal Benefits of Scientific Research with Jose Guiridi, Ministry of Economy, Chile & Lecturer at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile (recording available below)
April 19: No Class/Seminar
April 26: Satellite Communication with Peter Marquez, Amazon (event was not open to the public)
May 10, 11am to 12pm ET: Space Sustainability with Tim Maclay & Kevin O'Connell (recording available below)
May 17: Student Project Presentations (Event is not open to the public)
Office Hours are by announcement. Please join firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Course Prerequisite: Permission of the Instructor; No previous knowledge of space technology or development is required.
Course Description: This course will introduce students to the intersections between space technology and sustainable development by examining technical, policy and social aspects of seven space technologies. The technologies we discuss include satellite earth observation; satellite communication; satellite positioning; human space flight and microgravity research; space technology transfer; fundamental scientific space research; and small satellites. The seminar will explore how these technologies can promote sustainable development via discussions, lectures, readings and projects. The seminar will also examine what upcoming trends in the space field are likely to impact the application of space for development. The course considers development from the perspective of leaders at several scales, including international development agencies, national governments, local community leaders and socially-motivated entrepreneurs. The mission of the Space Enabled Research Group is to advance justice in earth's complex systems using designs enabled by space. The Space Enabled Research Group defines justice in two ways. First, in a just world, the benefits of public service technology would be available to people living in all nations and from all socioeconomic levels. This is currently not the case due to driving forces of the modern era, including colonialism, racism and imperialism, which have concentrated both wealth and technology access heavily within certain countries or urban centers. Second, the future will be more just if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations are achieved and exceeded. The course posits that technologies from space have been used to support sustainable development for decades, however, barriers remain that limit the impact of these technologies. This 6-unit seminar takes an applied approach and explains practical features that arise when implementing space technology in support of sustainable development.
Note on related course: This course thematically follows the fall semester course taught by Professor Danielle Wood entitled “Can Space Enabled Designs Advance Justice and Development?”. It is not necessary that a student takes the fall course first, although students are encouraged to take both courses, in either order, to understand the full range of concepts. Both courses examine aspects of the mission statement of the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab which is to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space.
Learning Objectives: After taking this class, students should be able to:
Structure of Class Meetings: The class will meet once per week for virtual three-hour sessions. Attendance in the class meetings is mandatory for students taking the course for credit and it is a vital aspect of class learning and participation. Each student will have the opportunity to lead part of the class activities during the semester.
A typical class session includes the following activities: