Tips and suggestions for a successful semester
       (   08/22/2011 09:27  )

    Technology, in a variety of forms, has had significant impacts on humans throughout history. Those technologies have ranged from the earliest examples such as the those employed by our ancient ancestors to cope with the harsh elements of nature, up to the contemporary ones which pose ethical dilemmas for many, such as embryonic stem cell research. Between these two extremes are countless inventions/discoveries which have made our lives both easier in many ways and, at the same time, more complex. 

    Some of the technologies have had major "unintended consequences" which were either not thought of initially or were considered to be of minor importance. Many, although initially crude and simple, evolved into much more complex forms as inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs and others refined the basic concepts in a "search for perfection." 

    This class will consider both the positive as well as negative ways in which some selected technologies have had significant impacts on human history as well as some techniques developed to both predict and control those factors. Many questions will be posed and various answers considered in this class hopefully helping to equip you with the ability to weigh the costs as well as the benefits of the new technologies which will be both developed and refined during your lifetime. There is no doubt that major technological breakthroughs are on the horizon and how society collectively decides to confront and utilize them will determine the world in which you will live and work.

    Throughout history, various groups have attempted to control or regulate both the development and utilization of technology, for a variety of reasons with varying degrees of success. Given the power and pervasiveness of technology today as well as the world's ever-increasing population, concerns are being raised by many about how decisions related to technology are made, and the role played by the government, other groups and the market-place.   

In order to maximize your learning experience in SET this semester I recommend that you review the materials linked to my SET home page. Although a lot of information is on those pages, a brief introduction to each major topic will be valuable.  

Dr. Edelbach's SET web home page -

   You are encouraged to contact me at either X 2783 or for any reason during the semester. I am also available to meet during my OFFICE HOURS, Tuesday/Fridays from 11:30 to 12:30 and Wednesday, 12 to 1, in AR 1, as well as by appointment.   

    It is expected that you will be prepared for each seminar listed on the class schedule. You should be familiar with the assigned readings and prepared for the scheduled reading quizzes which are given at the beginning of the classes indicated on the class schedule. All other assignments should be completed on time as well. Assignments submitted late will be penalized. If you miss a reading quiz either by not attending class or being late, it CANNOT BE MADE UP as described in the previous link although your lowest quiz score will be dropped and will not count.

   I have attempted to make the instructions for each assignment as informative and clear as possible however I understand that I might not have been 100% successful in achieving this goal. For that reason I would appreciate hearing about any confusing instructions/directions or lack of clarity. Thanks in advance for your assistance in improving the instructional materials.

   If you find at any point during the semester that you are either not able to keep up with what is being covered or that you are having problems completing any of the assignments, YOU MUST TAKE THE INITIATIVE and contact me to discuss what can be done to resolve the problem. If you do not do that in a timely manner, it is very easy to fall further and further behind, making it much more difficult to complete the required work.

    Although it might be necessary for you to miss a class occasionally, you are responsible for the material covered during your absence. Part of your "participation" grade will be based on your attendance.

   Previous students have found it to be helpful to form a "study group" with others to help prepare for quizzes/exams as well as to share information from seminars. You should consider doing the same thing early in the semester. In addition to helping to increase learning, it might even be FUN!