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2014 SGSI Course Overview

SGSI 2013
P. Archie 2013

Explore ~ Experience ~ Expand

Designing the Professional: Addressing the question "Once I get my degree, how do I get a life?"

Dave Evans, Lecturer, Stanford Design Program, Co-Director D.Life Lab

What do you want out of life after Stanford?  Wondering how to weave together what fits, is doable, and will be truly meaningful?  Join us for Designing the Professional.  This course applies the innovation principles of design thinking to the "wicked problem" of designing your life and vocation in and beyond Stanford.  We'll approach these lifelong questions with a structured framework set in a seminar where you can work out your ideas in conversation with your peers. 

Digital Publishing at a Crossroads: The Case of Stanford's Arcade

Roland Greene, Director of Arcade; Professor, English and Comparative Literature

This course will explore the opportunities and challenges of open-access digital publishing through the case of Arcade (, a "digital salon" for literature and the humanities that welcomes 5000-7000 visitors daily. Arcade is regarded as a model of intellectual exchange designed by and for scholars of literature; at the same time, it can be adapted to other fields, and most of the technical, legal, and practical issues it confronts demand a multi-disciplinary approach. Students will collaborate in small, interdisciplinary teams to think constructively about and propose solutions to these problems faced by Arcade and other websites—in digital publishing and in general.

Energy@Stanford & SLAC: Energy Research for the 21st Century

  • Sally Benson, Director, Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP); Acting Director, Precourt Institute for Energy; Professor, Energy Resources Engineering; Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy

  • Tom Devereaux, Associate Lab Director for Photon Science, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Director, Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES); Professor of Photon Science, SLAC; Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy

  • Stuart Macmillan, Consulting Professor, Energy Resources Engineering; Chief Scientist, Energy Informatics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Zhi-Xun Shen, Paul Pigott Professor of Physical Sciences; Advisor for Science and Technology at SLAC; Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy

Jumpstart your energy education at Stanford. Build your personal energy network at Stanford and hear about current research from forty Stanford energy “Rock Star” faculty. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Visit local energy companies in Silicon Valley, and SLAC's state-of-the-art SSRL and LCLS light source facilities. The week-long course will allow graduate and professional school students to meet others who have an interest in energy, with the intent of building an interdisciplinary community across campus. A background in energy is not required.

Ethical Dilemmas in Research: Reflecting on Problems, Principles, and Practices Beyond the IRB

  • Jorah Dannenberg, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

  • Anne Newman, Associate Director, Center for Ethics in Society

What are the boundaries between academic research and private industry? Should scholars advocate policy change through research? When researchers partner with communities, who has rights to interpret findings, own data, and authorize publication?  This course will explore ethical issues in research across disciplines and methodologies. 

Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

  • Chris Golde, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education

  • Laura Dominguez Chan, Assistant Director, BEAM, Stanford Career Education

Are you about to enter job market for a faculty position?  Get a jump start on preparing yourself and your materials. This course is highly practical and experiential, involving practicing and editing. We will work on both written and verbal parts of students’ job search preparation, including cover letters, interviews, the job talk, research and teaching statements. Experts from across Stanford will present. 

Leadership Labs

Evelyn Williams, Professor of Practice, Business School, Wake Forest University

When students graduate from Stanford, they face a world that expects them to demonstrate not only talent and knowledge, but effective communication and influence skills. Whether they have studied engineering, medicine, education, social sciences or other fields, Stanford alumni often find themselves in positions where their ability to navigate change and interpersonal dynamics is just as important as their subject matter expertise and analytical skills. A Virtual Webinar Orientation will take place on Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:30-7:30 PM.

Local Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems

Patrick Archie, Director, Stanford Educational Farm Program, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

This course provides an experiential overview of the principles and practices of sustainable agriculture via field trips to multiple Bay Area farms engaged in transforming local food systems. Students will be encouraged to connect with, and learn from each other across disciplines through their shared interest in food and agriculture.  Be prepared to engage all of your senses and get dirty as we join together to explore emerging models for the future of farming and food!

Public Policy Negotiation and Decisionmaking

Janet Martinez, Senior Lecturer in Law; Director, Gould Negotiation & Mediation Program; Stanford Law School

This course is aimed at graduate students in all disciplines who want to focus on the analytical and practical skills of negotiation and decisionmaking. We will integrate theory with practice through literature, cases, and negotiation simulations in select public policy circumstances.

Stanford Entrepreneurship Safari

Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice, School of Engineering; Executive Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Tap into Stanford’s entrepreneurial spirit and discover Stanford's and Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystems. Learn the knowledge, skills, and attitude to be entrepreneurial in your research and beyond. This SGSI course is designed specifically for incoming and second-year graduate students in any discipline or degree who are interested in expanding their skill set and vision for their research and/or incorporating more entrepreneurship and innovation into their graduate career.

Stanford Ignite

Stanford Ignite is a four-week certificate program run by the Graduate School of Business that teaches innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. Participants will learn core business skills and experience working on a team to develop a business plan around a new product or service for an existing organization or a new venture. It is designed for non-business students. The cost of participating in Stanford Ignite is heavily subsidized for Stanford graduate students and postdocs, but a fee to such participants is still charged, given the intensive nature of this program. Apply immediately, since admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

(NOTE: Stanford Ignite is run by the Graduate School of Business; its $1,450 fee for Stanford students is highly subsidized by the VPGE Office. The application deadline is in April 1, 2014 and the program fills quickly.)

The Experience: Adventures in Design Thinking

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, lecturer and Deputy Director, National Center for Engineering Pathways for Innovation, with colleagues from the and across campus

This week-long immersive workshop will give students of all disciplines the opportunity to learn design thinking, a methodology for creative and human-centered problem solving that will prepare them to lead innovation in teams at Stanford, and in their careers after graduation, both in and outside of academia. Students will learn by doing, working in interdisciplinary teams to take on a real-world innovation challenge. 

The Improviser’s Mindset

Daniel Klein, Lecturer, Graduate School of Business and Department of Theater and Performance Studies

Students will learn the techniques of improvisational theater and practice them with colleagues from around the university. Topics include Spontaneity, Narrative and Status. Anyone interested in developing tools for individual and collaborative creativity and expanding leadership and teamwork skills is welcome. Absolutely no improvisation or acting experience is necessary.

For any additional questions, please email