Humanitech Program and STEM Lab
The Humanitech Program provides an educational and service philosophy that underlies several experiences and courses at Wake Forest University. The name was coined by students who have embraced its goals and is a play on words building on the motto of the University, Humanitate, and Technology. Humanitech defines a design and team philosophy centered around specific problems of high social value that incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), such as the needs of an individual in our community or the need for conservation technology.
Benefits of joining a Humanitech team
- Access to the STEM Lab along with its specialized hardware, software, and devices
- Involvement in collaborative, hands-on projects in a chosen area of interest
- Faculty and student mentors to provide guidance on projects
- Experience in computational problem solving and technology in a humanities and liberal arts setting
Courses for Humanitech include CSC 192 and 192h, one-hour pass/fail courses that connect underclassmen, upperclassmen (usually CS majors or students with technology and computer experience), and faculty members into small vertically integrated teams working on challenging problems and applications in computer-related technology. Students engage in peer-based learning through teamwork and collaboration, under the guidance of faculty mentors and student team leaders. The courses provide a maker setting in which students can experience the value of technology and computer before theoretical principles get in the way.
The typical student for these courses might be:
- CSC 192 — underclassmen (undeclared freshman and sophomores called “apprentices”) with no experience in programming or in the application area of the particular course section who are seeking hands-on exploration of technology, teamwork, and open-ended design.
- CSC 192h — upperclassmen with CS or other appropriate background and are interested in contributing their knowledge and expertise and willing to lead a team in the challenges undertaken in the course.
Specific Problems and Application Areas
Humanitech courses are focused around research, teaching, and application interests of participating faculty and may change from one semester to another. Recent courses topics include robotics, 3D printing, bioinformatics, and wearable sensor design.
As a one-hour pass/fail course, CSC 192 and 192h require about 3 hours per week. One hour is regularly-scheduled time supervised by the faculty mentor with an additional 2 hours of team work each week for teams to collaborate on their projects. Some sections choose to meet for a 3 hour block each week. To receive a pass, each student must submit by the end of the semester a journal describing their work during the course. The form of this journal is specified by each faculty mentor at the beginning of the semester.