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Spring 2012 - 62055 - PA188S - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

UT Energy Symposium

Instructor(s): Rai, Varun
Unique Number: 62055
Day & Time: Th
Room: TBD
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Three hours a week for five weeks, or as required by the topic. Content varies and cover a wide range of policy topics. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Section Description

Timing:All Thursdays during Spring 2011-12 from 5:15-6:15pm. Room: TBD

Course Description

This weekly speaker series seeks to provide a common platform for students from all disciplines across the campus to interact on the most pressing energy issues facing our globe. The series will introduce students to a wide range to energy topics including: low-carbon energy technologies (solar, wind, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, etc.); energy infrastructure (smart grids, transmission networks, maritime transport, etc.); innovation and diffusion of energy technologies; climate change and other environmental issues; behavioral aspects of energy consumption; policymaking and regulation in energy; and energy markets and finance. Every week an expert from the industry, government, or academia will talk about the key technological, policy, regulatory, and market aspects of the week’s topic and how that relates to the future of the global energy system. Each talk will be 1 hour in length, with about 45 minutes for the talk followed by 15 minutes of discussion.

This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines. Undergraduates need permission from their departments. Available for 1 credit (Credit/No Credit only).

Every semester and week features new speakers. So this course may be repeated for credit (but cross-check your departmental requirements).

Prerequisites: None

Requirements: This is an invited speaker series. The primary requirements and also the mode of evaluation in this course will be class attendance, participation, and brief “research notes”. Specifically, the requirements are as follows:

Attendance: A sign-in sheet will be passed around during each talk. You must sign-in as proof of attendance. Missing more than 2 classes in the semester will result in a ‘No Credit’ grade. Advance notice and prior permission of the instructor is needed if you must miss a class.

Participation: Class participation will be evaluated in two ways:

1.    Discussion Board: Each student is required to contribute to the ‘Discussion Board’ (DB) forum on Blackboard for every talk, after the talk. Separate forums will be created under DB for each talk. You can either start a new thread and/or contribute to an ongoing thread. There is no length requirement for the posts. A typical post may be a few sentences to a full paragraph long. But each post should provide a logically complete thought and be supported with well-formed argument(s).

2.    Q&A: You are highly encouraged to participate in the Q&A discussions at the end of the talks. Given the limited amount of time for Q&A there may not be enough opportunity for all of you to participate consistently. As such, although participation through Q&A is highly encouraged, this will not be used for grading purposes.

Research Notes: In addition, students will write two short “research notes”. Each research note will concisely summarize what new insights you gained in the talk of the selected topic. It will also briefly describe additional insights gained through a brief online research that you will conduct. You are not required to do extensive additional research, but just to follow your curiosity to “find more” on the topics of your choice. Research material could include news articles from reputed news sources such as New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and/or published research papers or reports. In your notes cite these sources.

Schedule of Speakers: Download the attached syllabus to see the type of speakers from the Fall semester. The list is for reference only as the Spring 2012 topics and speakers will be differ.