UBC is somewhat proud but also very quiet about what I think is a wonderful program: Student Directed Seminars. In this program, students come up with a seminar proposal to be approved by UBC, and become course coordinators for the seminar they designed. And by that, I mean they actually design this thing from start to finish. Marking scheme, meeting time, course format, guest speakers, discussion content…
The requirement of a seminar proposal is that it must not be offered at UBC already, and innovation and interdisciplinarity are encouraged. And you may be surprised to find these credit-carrying seminars: “Graphic Novels” (aka Frank Miller), “Rise of Modern China”, “Chick Lit”, and I like this: “History of Taiwan”, among others.
I have wanted to coordinate a SDS for some time now. Topic? Entrepreneurial computer projects, or what can my awesome computer program do for me, you, and the world?
Since this is a seminar, which means I’m only allowed to act as a facilitator/organizer, not an instructor, I would need to look for someone who have the actual knowledge to share. Someone who has experience with project development (preferably independent), tech start-up, open-source projects, licensing, company registration, accounting, intellectual properties… guests who would help the students find their way to put their programs into the world.
And the students? Most preferably, people who already have their hands on some programming projects that they are comfortable to share with the group (under the protection of non-disclosure agreement, maybe), which can be used as the models or prototypes for applying the things we learn from the guests. Others who are interested in project development in general, and computer science applications in particular, should also be great contributors to this seminar.
As the proposal is due in May, I will have to start talking to sponsoring professors, advisors, etc. pretty soon. I am much open to discussions, suggestions, and questions, and I am also looking for a co-coordinator. (What’s the perk? You get to put SDS Facilitator on your transcript, yeah!)
More on this later, I hope.