Technology Course Offered for Entrepreneurs

Alongside community service and rigorous academics, Colgate proudly touts its “entrepreneurial passion.” This passion will be realized by 12 students taking University Studies 360:”Technology and Disruption” during the second half of the spring semester. This unique class will be co-taught by computer science professor Vijay Ramachandran and Colgate President and political scientist Jeffrey Herbst. Exploring technology from both a computer science and political science perspective, the course will explore how technologies, from railroads to social media, have disrupted society. Emphasis will be placed, however, on current technological developments. The course will meet once a week for seven weeks in Case Library, starting after

spring break.

“Technology and Disruption” is part of President Herbst’s ongoing push for entrepreneurship on campus, which has included such initiatives as the Thought into Action program, in which student entrepreneurs collaborate with each other and with Colgate alumni and parents. Students in the course, who will be selected through an ongoing application progress, will be required to spend the summer in Palo Alto, Calif. working as paid interns at technology companies where they will be exposed to technology entrepreneurship. Career Services and Alumni Relations have been reaching out to Colgate parents and alumni to solidify these positions.

“The internships will ideally give students an executive-level view of decision-making at the companies, including the development or use of new technology and the strategic moves involved in doing so,” Ramachandran said.

 Occasional lectures given by Colgate alumni and parents during the summer will explore entrepreneurship and take place at the headquarters. The entire summer experience will give students examples of how technology may disrupt society at major Silicon Valley companies, relating to topics discussed in class.

Through this unique program, Colgate is paving the way for other colleges and universities by taking an interdisciplinary view of a broad issue, rather than confining the course to a single academic department. The course is not simply about “technology for technology’s sake or doing what other institutions are doing.” Since two professors teach the course, students will not be confined to talking about technology from solely a natural science or social

science perspective.

“Our two perspectives will be a natural fit for the course’s interdisciplinary take on the issues. [For example,] studying the effect of social media on political discourse or the Arab Spring,” Ramachandran said.

Additionally, Ramachandran will be able to explain the more technical aspects of the Internet while President Herbst can provide social science techniques used to approach a political issue. The course will also help prepare students for their summer internships so that next fall these students will be able to bring their “entrepreneurial passion” back to campus.

Contact Jared Goldsmith

at [email protected].