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NAN 591: Professional Seminar is an informal class on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology featuring a blend of expert outside speakers, course instructors, and student presentations. This class has been renamed Professional & Business Development Seminar, but both names are used interchangeably.
The class meets twice a week, and students are required to complete four credits in total, usually 2x2 hours. The aims are to bring students up to speed rapidly on a number of inter-related topics that will underpin professional development and learning tools that prepare for jobs in Industry and other External Organizations. The class encourages group work and emphasizes participation during class discussions
In the Fall semester, we start with a rapid introduction to our understanding of size and shape effects in Nanostructures. We then focus on researching the scientific and technical Literature and databases, the Literature and Searching Exercise, L&S exercise for short. This is coupled to the choice of their NAN 593 Applied Project and their Advisor, whom students approach individually to obtain a mutually agreed project. Students hear and question potential Advisors, prepare written reports and give talks in pairs, which aids group work. Students who entered the previous Spring act as mentors for the new students, and guide them through the L&S exercise and professional report preparation.
In the Spring semester, the focus is on the uses of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and team work in the work-place. Students group themselves into three teams (currently Power, Health & Clean). They learn some Project Management techniques, and apply these to their own Applied Project; they hear from and network with Advisory Board members about their experience. They also either: take a leadership role in one of the three teams, or mentor the new students. They also take Alternate Core Courses, either by taking NAN 505: Nanoscience & Society, and/or by preparing themselves for NAN 506: Innovation & IP Management, which takes place in the first Summer Session.
Recent timetables for the two semesters are attached, but each year is different, depending on availability.