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Technology, Humans, and Environment Minor

Infrastructures, the built environment that mediates humans’ relationships to each other and to the natural environment, are changing. New “smart” technologies mean that humans will interact with infrastructure in new ways, as these systems are able to gather information, process it, and respond to human users in real time. While smart infrastructure presents possibilities for more efficient, responsive, and sustainable communities, they also raise questions of privacy, surveillance, and security. The Technology, Humans, and Environment minor will equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to simultaneously understand the capabilities and risks presented by technologies and explore the ways those technologies can advance more livable and sustainable communities.

Why do it?

The Technology, Humans, and Environment minor provides opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge beyond their major in an integrative way through diverse set of courses related to the aims of the Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area. Through collaborative work and an integrative perspective, students will gain a sense of how their major field of study can contribute to interdisciplinary thinking on designing and implementing technologies to serve communities.

Requirements

The 18-hour minor in Technology, Humans, and Environment includes 6 hours of required courses, 9 hours of electives – 3 credits chosen from each of the three areas (technology, humans, and environment) – and a required 3-hour capstone course.

Pathways diagram of minor

ENGE 2094: Create! Ideation for Innovation
PHIL 3334: Ethical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence
CAUS 4234: Capstone Collaborations: Cross-Disciplinary Teams

Students select 9 credits hours of elective courses, choosing 3 credits from each of the three areas: technology, humans, and environment. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow the link, click on ‘checksheets,’ scroll down to Minors, and find the Technology, Humans, and Environment checksheet).

Who is it for?

The Technology, Humans, and Environment minor is suitable for students from any major, especially non-stem majors who are interested in technology, humans, and the environment. Entry-level courses make the content accessible to all students, allowing them to engage with critical issues presented by smart technology on human behavior, communities and/or the environment.

This minor is hosted by the College of Architecture and Urban Studies in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
5f - Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
6d - Critique and Practice in Design
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed