Theory and Practice of Emerging Technology Innovation

The goal of this project is to create a new course at Vanderbilt on innovation with critical and emerging technologies (see, e.g., this 2024 list from the White House).  The class will discuss the technical aspects of these technologies, as well as their social, political, and ethical implications.  The course will generally cover technology commercialization and venture development, with an emphasis on using these technologies.  The class will feature regular (a target of weekly) guest speakers from industry, government, and academia, who will share their real-world perspectives on conducting R&D on and building businesses around critical and emerging technologies.


No existing course at Vanderbilt specifically covers critical and emerging technologies in a way that is technical (students will be able to intelligently discuss the technologies after taking the course) yet accessible and comprehensive (i.e., there are semester-long courses on artificial intelligence with several prerequisites, but no course covers all the major critical/emerging technologies without prerequisites).

Given the importance the U.S. government has placed on critical and emerging technologies, and these technologies' obvious outsized impact in industry (e.g., the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence), there is a need for Vanderbilt students to not only become knowledgable about the current set of critical and emerging technologies, but to also learn the underlying principles and skills to adapt to rapid technological change and to harness new technologies as they emerge.


PI Hyde created a new course, ENGM 3980: Theory and Practice of Emerging Technology Innovation.  The first edition of this course was launched in Fall 2022, and subsequent course offerings are scheduled for Fall 2023 and Fall 2024 (with the potential of becoming a permanent part of the course catalog).

Award Number
Lead PI
David Hyde