Cambodia Centennial Lab
About Labs Anchor

About Labs

Centennial Labs are SFS classes built around an issue, idea, problem, or challenge in a real community. They are both cross-curricular and experiential at the core. Students work with one or more professors across disciplines to learn the theory critical to understanding the situation. They develop practical approaches or solutions within the “lab”; and share it with the community beyond the classroom.

The Centennial Labs began as a pilot program in 2017 and has continued to expand its class offerings every year since. Future classes will be announced, with preferential enrollment given to students who have yet to participate in the program.

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2019-2020 Anchor

2019-2020

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Civic Tech Lab
Vivek Srinivasan
The civic tech “lab” is a hands-on course that helps students take their civic tech ideas and convert them into a working prototype. In a context where artificial intelligence (AI) tools have become widely available, there are new opportunities to engage individuals and communities in civic action using sophisticated AI tools. This class uses design thinking and python programming to take initial ideas and convert them into a working prototype. The course includes tutorial sessions on Python programming language. Students learn to use sophisticated software tools for data analysis, visualization, natural language processing and other AI tools, and how they can be incorporated into civic tech platforms.

India Innovation Studio 1 & 2 
Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
Each year, this studio-based course examines a different problem facing India. For this year, the focus is roadways. The courses are taught through a multidisciplinary lens and operates in partnership with the Indian government and civil society stakeholders to design, prototype and implement a solution on the ground. In the fall semester of this studio, students first academically explore the political, economic, and sociological dimensions of the issue. The spring semester focuses on the development and implementation of potential solutions, which students will design working in close collaboration with experts in the field and government and civil society stakeholders. Selected students may be offered the opportunity to travel to India during the spring.

National Security and Social Media
Daniel Byman and Chris Meserole
Students will work to explore different technical, legal, and policy solutions to the problems of the radical presence on the Internet and abusive government behavior. The class will meet with experts in the Washington, D.C. area, have video discussions with Congressional staff, technology experts, counterterrorism officials and other relevant experts from around the world. Over spring break, students will travel to California to meet with experts to learn more about the problems and potential solutions. Visits may include Google, Facebook, Stripe/Paypal, and other relevant Internet companies as well as non-profits like the Anti-Defamation League that have expertise in components of these challenges.

Nature in Development
Jane Carter Ingram
This course addresses the importance of ecosystems for human well-being and economic growth in developing countries and will explore the scientific evidence, gaps, tools and advances in leveraging natural ecosystems to support sustainable development. Students become familiar with the ecological dimensions of poverty reduction and economic development, particularly in natural resource rich/low-income countries; understand the trade-offs and synergies in achieving social, economic and ecological outcomes associated policies/development projects; articulate risks and opportunities of international businesses working in natural resource rich countries; and become familiar with the landscape of international policy and financing mechanisms supporting ecosystem management globally.

Politics and Performance: Confronting the Past, Shaping the Future
Derek Goldman and Cynthia Schneider
The arts in general, and performance, in particular, play a crucial role in remembering and recovering from conflict and/or genocide, and in rebuilding a future. This interdisciplinary course will study this important intersection of politics and performance through diverse examples from the past and the present, from Cambodia to post World War II Europe, to Australia, West Africa, South Africa, and the United States. As a centerpiece of the course, students will travel over Spring Break to Cambodia as guests of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA). Through CLA students will work closely with artists shaping Cambodia’s future; collaborate and share artistic processes with Cambodian counterparts; and meet key survivors of the genocide such as CLA founder Arn Chorn Pond. During the semester, the class will incorporate a range of artists, scholars, policy experts working at the intersection of performance and politics, and will attend performances, talks, exhibits, and events in DC.

Problem Solving in a Destabilized Arctic
Jeremy Mathis and Mark Giordano
The Arctic region is undergoing a rapid transformation due to climate change.  Temperatures are warming at a rate never encountered in the geological record. There are few places on Earth where the convergence of science, technology, policymaking, and diplomacy are more critical than in the Arctic. These courses will train students to better understand and solve some of the unique problems that have emerged in the Arctic over the last decade. Students will visit the Arctic in Alaska to observe the changes firsthand and gather information to complete their research. Following the travel to Alaska, the students will organize and lead a half-day “Arctic Solutions Forum” on the Georgetown campus to bring together policymakers and thought leaders to tackle Arctic challenges.

Refugee and Migrant Children: Mexico, the United States, and the World
Elizabeth Ferris and Katharine Donato
This new C-Lab course will examine the ways in which governments and civil society actors facilitate the admission and social integration of refugee and migrant children and families in host countries.  Although students in the class will attend invited class lectures and read primary-source readings during the semester, the centerpiece for the class will be a trip to the Mexico-U.S. border and to Mexico City during spring break. The emphasis on Mexico is both timely and important given it has now become both a transit and destination country for many asylum seekers from Central America. This experiential learning class will engage students to think about humanitarian practices that support children traveling with or without their families, children with special needs, and those traumatized en route. Students will take an in-depth look at the ways in which refugee and migrant children are assisted in Mexico and the United States, with a particular focus on children and families from Central America, Cuba, and Venezuela arriving in both countries.

Start-Up Studio
Dale Murphy
This course helps train and enable top students to create ambitious, entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. Students will work to identify societal needs and innovative, financially-sustainable solutions that fit their long-term passions and life/career goals. Working in collaboration with Citi Ventures and its network, students will liaise with individuals in and outside the university, including other entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, mentors, alumni, policy think-tanks, potential funders, incubators/studios, regulators, and existing institutions (corporate, government, academic, and/or NGO) to move their proposals toward feasible proposals worthy of implementation and investment. Students are guided to quickly field-test their ideas and pivot as needed, to embrace fast, productive failures that accelerate learning and optimize resource allocation. Over spring break, students will convene in Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area with other entrepreneurs, investors, Citi Ventures, and alumni working in their areas of interest, to further field-test, pivot, and network.

WTO Dispute Settlement
Marc Busch
The multilateral trading system is widely argued to be more “rules-based” than ever before. Dispute settlement under the World Trade Organization (WTO), in particular, is increasingly being called upon to adjudicate rights and obligations in international commerce. These decisions bear directly on business opportunities, both nationally and internationally. Indeed, not only do these decisions influence specific industries and trade-related measures, but the breadth and depth of “globalization” more generally. This course is about WTO dispute settlement. The course begins by examining theories of political economy, setting the stage for an in-depth look at international trade law and WTO dispute settlement. Readings—of which there are many—are drawn from these disciplines.

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2018-2019 Anchor

2018-2019

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

  • India Innovation Studio
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • India Innovation Lab
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • Refugees and Migrant Children
    Elizabeth Ferris and Katharine Donato
  • National Security and Social Media
    Daniel Byman and Chris Meserole
  • Development and Displacement in the Arab World
    Rochelle Davis and Fida Adely
  • Politics and Performance: Confronting the Past, Shaping the Future
    Derek Goldman and Cynthia Schneider
  • Start-Up Studio
    Dale Murphy
  • The Syndemics Seminar
    Emily Mendenhall
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2017-2018 Anchor

2017-2018

Fall Semester

  • TradeLab
    Marc Busch
  • Global Governance Lab
    Abraham Newman and Erik Voeten
  • India Innovation Lab: Designing for Public Health
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • Diplomacy Lab

Spring Semester

  • India Innovation Lab: Designing for Public Health
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • Development and Displacement in the Arab World
    Rochelle Davis and Fida Adely
  • Politics and Performance: Confronting the Past, Shaping the Future
    Derek Goldman and Cynthia Schneider
  • Applied Biotechnology
    Libbie Prescott
  • Python for Policy
    Vivek Srinivasan
  • Civic Technology Lab
    Vivek Srinivasan
  • International Air Quality Lab
    Colin McCormick
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2016-2017 Anchor

2016-2017

Fall Semester

  • The India Innovation Lab: Drought
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • TradeLab
    Marc Busch

Spring Semester

  • The India Innovation Lab: Drought
    Irfan Nooruddin and Mark Giordano
  • Global Governance Lab
    Abraham Newman and Erik Voeten
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