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PAI730 - #electionclass - Mergel - F2012

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Professor Ines Mergel's "Social media and the 2012 election" class syllabus. Fall semester 2012.

Professor Ines Mergel's "Social media and the 2012 election" class syllabus. Fall semester 2012.

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  • 1. PAI 730 Social Media and the 2012 Election Syllabus – Fall semester 2012Instructor: Ines Mergel, D.B.A. Assistant Professor of Public Administration Department of Public Administration Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Syracuse UniversityMeeting timeand place: Wednesdays, 3:45pm - 6:30pmAlternating Main location: 425 Crouse Hinds Halllocations: Guest speakers: Life Sciences 100 (meets with IST500)Contact: The best way to reach me is by email iamergel@maxwell.syr.eduOffice hours: Mondays 10:00am-noon & by appointment.Online office hours: 8am-6pm on weekdays; Allow 24hrs response timeOffice: Crouse-Hinds Hall 436, Center for Technology & Information Policy
  • 2. 1. Goal of the Course: Social media had first entered campaigns in 2004, when Democratic presidentialcandidate Howard Dean used Meetup.com in the primary election to organize offline events.President Obama and Republican candidate John McCain further capitalized on social mediain 2008. This special topic course – taught every four years – focuses on the social mediainnovations observed during the presidential campaign in 2012. The class will track socialmedia use in real-time during major milestones, such as the candidates’ debates, while alsoensuring that students become proficient using social media applications, such as Twitter.Major social science theories will be used to explain the underlying concepts, including socialcapital, network creation, community and identity management, social awareness, etc. The class is relevant for students interested in nonprofit and corporate sectors as well asthe public sector. To that end, students will work on a final project, in which they develop asocial media strategy for an organization of their choice. Students will apply the insights theygain from the readings and the weekly class discussions.2. Learning Objectives: The primary learning objective of this course is for you to arrive at informed responsesto each of the above listed topics and challenges using social media applications. This will bedone through discussions of the assigned readings and how they relate to your experiencewithin previous organizational settings. Discussing a wide range of practical problems thatsocial media professionals have encounter in different types of organizations will increaseyour awareness of possible solutions and remedies.3. Grading Method: 20% active participation in class: You are expected to actively prepare all readingsfor the class discussions. You are expected to prepare at least one question based on thereadings, record the questions on the class blog, and reflect on the readings in the blog.Email me in advance in case you were not able to prepare for class. You are expected tospend about six hours per week on your daily newspaper and media readings and the coursepreparations. 20% blogging and tweeting assignments: • You are expected to actively provide insights about the readings and your own research progress on our joint class blog: http://gov20class.blogspot.com/. These reading reflections will help to turn the blog into a joint discussion platform for this course. In addition, for each guest speaker upload your questions for them, suggestions for discussions, news, etc. You are expected to provide a minimum of five blog posts à 250 words each throughout the semester. Instructions will be provided in class. • Moreover, you are required to set up a Twitter account, following Twitter users that are related to our class and your personal policy interest areas. Instructions are provided in our first class meeting.PAI 730 2/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 3. 20% course assignments: You are expected to complete two assignments, which aredue on September 19th and October 30th at the beginning of the class. You will receive theassignment instructions a week before the assignments are due and you will be asked topresent your results in class. Please hand in a paper copy of your assignment. • Assignment 1: Please attend (or watch online) the State of Democracy lecture by Michael Kranish, biographer of presidential candidate Mitt Romney on September 14 at 4pm. The lecture will be live-streamed and recorded. Based on the insights you gain from the lecture by the author, analyze the candidate’s social media use and online interactions. How is he interacting with his constituents? What are the main themes and issues he is communicating? Who are his followers? Details for this assignment will be discussed in class ahead of time. Due date for the first assignment is September 19th at the beginning of the class. • Assignment 2: For the first 10 weeks of the class, you are asked to actively tweet every day. Start with simple retweets of newspaper articles or candidates’ statements. Use Twitter for real-time note taking during our class meetings and visits of our guest speakers. Search for interesting people you want to follow. These Twitter users should include politicians, news outlets, government agencies, etc., but you should also try to find communities of issues and topical networks you are passionate about in other walks of your life. Details for this assignment will be handed out in class. Due date for the second assignment is October 30th by the end of the day. 40% group project and final presentation: The class project consists of a social mediaimplementation plan for a real-life case. Students are working in teams on four differenttopics. • This class project focuses on how the lessons learned from the presidential social media campaigns can be used for: o (Local) news organizations o Government organizations o Nonprofit organizations o Corporations • Students are asked to build four teams based on their interest areas. The maximum number of students per team is six. Assign a team lead, note takers, and start early to lay out your plan. • First draft proposals are due on October 10th. • An exposé of your social media plan is due on November 7th 2012 by 6pm via email. • The social media plan has to be presented in class November 28th or December 3rd 2012. A 5-page written plan has to be handed in on presentation day. Detailed instructions will be discussed in class. • Each student’s grade will be based on the team’s peer-to-peer evaluation, feedback from your classmates, and my own evaluation of the usefulness of your social media plan.PAI 730 3/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 4. 4. Grading scheme based on the MPA handbook A 93% - 100% of all possible points Superior A- 90% - 92% range B+ 87% - 89% Good B 82% - 86% range B- 80% - 81% Below C+ 76% - 79% expectations C- 65% - 75% F 0% failure I 0% incomplete5. Late assignment policy The deadlines for assignment submissions are non-negotiable. I do not accept late submissions.6. Academic freedom policy You are expected to respect the right of your peers to express their views on topics relevant to the course as others respect that right as well. If you feel the need to discuss topics beyond the scope of the class, please talk directly to me and I will try to accommodate your needs after class or incorporate additional material in following lectures.7. Missing classes – general participation Treat our class meetings as if they were professional appointments. Please arrive on time and be prepared to discuss the readings. Email me in case you will have a severe conflict or a family emergency. Participation in each class meeting is mandatory. You are allowed to miss two class meetings, but won’t receive a grade in case you miss more than two class sessions – no exceptions.8. Plagiarism Plagiarism, i.e., the presentation as ones own work the words, ideas, and opinions of someone else, is a serious concern in any academic setting. This University, like all academic institutions in the United States, assumes that the written work of a student is literally the students own, and that any original idea or research contributions taken from the published works of others will be properly acknowledged. When any material is taken directly from a published source, it must be appropriately cited. If a statement is used verbatim, it must be enclosed in quotation marks, as well as otherwise acknowledged. Syracuse University, through its various colleges and departments, will readily refer students to writing and style manuals that are universally recognized as acceptable by scholars and that very adequately demonstrate how students should handle the issue of proper citation of material. Examples of such works include the student manual distributed by the English Department of Syracuse University, A Manual for Writers by K. Turabian, and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Students must understand that, like cheating on examinations, plagiarism is a serious instance of academic dishonesty. In this University, it will be dealt with as such.PAI 730 4/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 5. 9. Required course materials Our main readings for the class are outlined on the detailed class calendar (starting on p. 9) and available for download on Blackboard. One additional Harvard Business School case study has to be purchased from Syracuse University’ bookstore. Come prepared to class and be ready to give a short overview of the main topics and questions presented in the readings. The objective in this class is not to repeat what is written in the readings, but to understand the general underlying concepts and connect them with your experiences and current events. Bring material you find in newspapers, blogs or tell the class about your own experience. We will upload your own contributions to the course website or make them available by email to everyone.• Recommended government technology related blogs, such as: • GovernmentTechnology: http://www.govtech.com/gt • FederalComputerWeek: http://www.fcw.com • Govloop, The Facebook for Government: http://www.govloop.com • Twindex: https://election.twitter.com• Election class related hashtags on Twitter: • #electionclass (shared with IST 500) • #TwindexSuggested news outlets: The New York Times: 1. Technology section: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html 2. Politics section: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/politics/index.html 3. The Caucus blog: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/ 4. The Electoral Map: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/electoral-map Washington Post Campaign 2012: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/campaigns The Guardian Election 2012: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-elections-2012 USAToday Twindex: https://election.twitter.com http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/twitter-election-meterPAI 730 5/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 6. 10. Alternating course locationsThe main location for our course meetings is in Crouse Hinds, Room 425:On dates with guest speakers, we will be meeting with IST500 in the Life SciencesBuilding, Room 001. The building is located on College Place, across the street from thebus stops:PAI 730 6/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 7. 11. Calendar of events leading up to election day 2012 Source: Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-state-of-play-100-days- out/2012/07/28/gJQAF5pwGX_graphic.htmlPAI 730 7/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 8. 12. Social media and the 2012 election Course outline – Fall semester 2012Week Date Topics 1. 08/29/12 Course overview & Introduction to Social Media 2. 09/05/12 #SocialCongress: Social media use in Congress 3. 09/12/12 Imagining online identity and community Underlying concepts 09/14/12 State of Democracy lecture: Michael Kranish, Biographer of Mitt Romney, 4pm, Maxwell School 4. 09/19/12 Assignment 1 due at beginning of class 4 Designing a social media strategy 5. 09/26/12 Social media tactics 6. 10/03/12 Online campaigning 10/03/12: First presidential debate 7. 10/10/12 Insights into social media responses: @140Elect Final project teams are formed and draft project outline. 10/11/12: Vice Presidential Debate 10/16/12: 2nd Presidential Debate Strategies, Tactics, Measurement 8. 10/17/12 The basics of social media metrics University lecture: Brownstein “American Politics, Today and 10/22/12 Tomorrow”, Hendricks Chapel 7:30pm Final presidential debate 9. 10/24/12 Measuring social media influence with Klout.com Assignment 2 due on 10/30/12 by the end of the day. 10. 10/31/12 Lessons from the campaign trail for government 11. 11/06/12 Election night part, location Maxwell Rotunda No class meeting on 11/07/2012 12. 11/14/12 Post-election Analysis by “Obama for America” staff Final project exposé due on 11/14/12. 13. 11/21/12 Thanksgiving break – no class meeting 14. 11/28/12 Final class project presentations (Part I) Student projects 15. 12/05/12 Final class project presentations (Part II)PAI 730 8/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 9. 13. Reading list and weekly topics Fall 2012Week: 1Date: 08/29/2012Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: Introduction to social media • Course schedule, readings, expectations • The 2012 election and social media campaignsIntroduction to Twitter:• Mergel, I. (2012): Working the Network: A Manager’s Guide for Using Twitter, IBM Center for the Business of Government: http://www.businessofgovernment.org/report/working-network-manager’s-guide- using-twitter-government• Reihngold, H. (2009): Twitter Literacy (I refuse to make up a name for it), http://blog.sfgate.com/rheingold/2009/05/11/twitter-literacy-i-refuse-to-make-up-a- twittery-name-for-it/Suggested readings:• Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), online.• Hunt, A. R. (2012): Campaigning has always been a dirty business, in: NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/us/23iht-letter23.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share• Thomson, C. (2008): Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, in: The New York Times, 09/07/2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness- t.html?pagewanted=all• Haberman, M. & Burns, A. (2012): The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever, Politico: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77620.html#ixzz20dFVLBJg• The Atlantic: What Do Your Favorite Websites Say About Your Politics?, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/what-do-your-favorite-websites- say-about-your-politics/259662/#.T_10_6fm274.twitter  • Sutter, J., D. (2012): NRA tweeter was unaware of Colorado shooting, spokesman says , CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/tech/social-media/nra-tweet- shooting/index.htmlPAI 730 9/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 10. Week: 2Date: 09/05/12Room: Life Sciences Building 001Subject: Using social media in Congress Guest speaker: Bradford Fitch, Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) “#SocialCongress”“Instructions:Prepare at least two questions for our guest speaker and upload them as a response to ourclass blog in the comment section.Required readings:• Congressional Management Foundation (2012): #SocialCongress: http://www.congressfoundation.org/storage/documents/CMF_Pubs/cmf-social- congress.pdf• Barry Wellman, "Physical Place and Cyber Place: The Rise of Personalized Networking," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 25 (2001), Special Issue on "Networks, Class and Place," edited by Talja Blokland and Mike Savage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman/publications/individualism/ijurr3a1.htm#N_ 2_• Hampton, K. (2012): It’s a matter of network externalities, in: NYT, JUNE 20, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/06/19/are-social-networks-just-a-fad- 6/its-a-matter-of-network-externalities• Quigley, R. (2010): Social media reshapes journalism: Expanding two-way information flow between news outlets and the public yields big benefits for both, available online: http://www.statesman.com/opinion/insight/social-media-reshapes-journalism- 613810.html• Williams, M. (2012): What social media tools do government officials use most?, Government Technology: http://www.govtech.com/e-government/What-Social-Media- Do-Government-Officials-Use-Most-GRAPHIC.html?  • Steinhauer, J. (2011): The G.O.P.’s Very Rapid Response Team, available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/us/politics/after-being-burned-in-08- republicans-embrace-twitter-hard-for-12.html?_r=1PAI 730 10/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 11. Week: 3Date: 09/12/12Room: Life Sciences Building 001Subject: Imagining online identity and community Guest speaker: Nick Troiano Americans Elect (the "first" online primary): Creating a presidential ticket onlineRequired readings:• The Millennial factor: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77124.html?fb_ref=.T9EXeTR0FS1.like &fb_source=home_multiline• Rainie, L., Purcell, K., Smith, A. (2011): The Social Side of the Internet, Pew Internet and American Life Project.• Steele, C. (2012): Election 2012: How Social Media Will Convert Followers into Voters: Social media will change the 2012 election, just as the first televised presidential debate completely altered the election process in the United States: http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/293078/election-2012-how-social-media-will- convert-followers-into-v• Barr, A. (2008): 2008 turnout shatters all records, in: Politico, November 5, 2008.• Ronald E. Rice, James E. Katz, Sophia Acord, Kiku Dasgupta, Kalpana David, (2004), "Personal Mediated Communication and the Concept of Community in Theory and Practice," in P. Kalbfleisch (ed), Communication and Community, Communication Yearbook 28, Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp 1-10.• Robin Hamman, Introduction to Virtual Communities Research and Cybersociology Magazine Issue Two. Case discussion:In class discussion: “America 2.0” HBS case, please pick up a copy of the Harvard Business School case study at Syracuse University’s bookstore. Special event:Date: 09/14/12Subject: A closer look at Mitt Romney, State of Democracy lecture by Micharl Kranish, Boston Globe, Mitt Romney biographer 4pm Link to live stream & video will be provided ahead of timePAI 730 11/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 12. Reflection paper 1 due at beginning of class 4 (9/19/12) (Instructions in class)Week: 4Date: 09/19/12Room: Life Sciences Building 001Subject: Designing a social media strategy Guest speaker: Guest: Bonner Gaylord, Raleigh City Council http://www.bonnergaylord.com/ Twitter: @bonnergaylord “Using social media in government”Required readings:• Mergel, I. (2012): A Manager’s Guide for Designing Social Media Strategy, IBM Center for the Business of Government, Special Report Series, available online: http://www.businessofgovernment.org/sites/default/files/Social%20Media%20Strategy %20Brief_0.pdf• Aitoro, J. R. (2009). GSA signs deals for agencies to use social networking sites. NextGov, 03/25/2009, online.• GAO (2011). Challenges In Federal Agencies Use of Web 2.0 Technologies.• Oxley, A. (2011). A Best Practices Guide for Mitigating Risk in the Use of Social Media, IBM Center for the Business of Government, online report.• Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. (1986). Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizations. Management Science, 32(11), 1492-1512. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~kiesler/publications/PDFs/SPROULL_KIESLER_1986_Re duci.pdfWeek: 5Date: 09/26/12Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: Applying social media tacticsRequired readings:• Senior, J. (2009): The Message Is the Message: Barack Obama’s ubiquitous appearances as professor-in-chief, preacher-in-chief, father-in-chief, may turn out to be the most salient feature of his presidency, in: New York Magazine, August 2, 2009.• Shear, M. D. (2012): Obama Ad Continues Effort to Tie Romney to Outsourcing , in: NYT, July 14, 2012 , http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/14/obama-ad- features-a-singing-romney/?smid=tw-share• Steinhauer, J. (2012): The G.O.P.’s Very Rapid Response Team, in: NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/us/politics/after-being-burned-in-08- republicans-embrace-twitter-hard-for-12.html?_r=1PAI 730 12/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 13. Week: 6Date: 10/03/12Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: The political power of online campaigningRequired readings:• Suellentrop, C. (2004): Americas New Political Capital: President Bush infects Washington with his favorite buzzword, available online: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/ballot_box/2004/11/americas_new_ political_capital.html• Newton, K. (1997): Social Capital and Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist, 40:5, pp. 575-586, available online: http://abs.sagepub.com/content/40/5/575.short• Shirky, C. (2011): The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change, in: Foreign Policy, January/February 2011, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67038/clay-shirky/the-political-power-of- social-media• Gladwell, M. & Shirky, C. (2011): From Innovation to Revolution: Do Social Media Make Protests Possible?, March/April 2011: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67325/malcolm-gladwell-and-clay-shirky/from- innovation-to-revolution• Wasik, B. (2012): Gladwell vs. Shirky: A Year Later, Scoring the Debate Over Social- Media Revolutions, Wired Magazine: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/gladwell-vs-shirky/• Ingram, M. (2012): Learning from this week’s crash course in citizen journalism, GigaOm: http://gigaom.com/2012/07/22/learning-from-this-weeks-crash-course-in- citizen-journalism/ Tonight: First presidential debatePAI 730 13/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 14. Final project teams are formed and project outlines are drafted due on 10/10/2012Week: 7Date: 10/10/12Room: Life Sciences 001Subject: Review: First presidential debate Guest speaker: Zach Green, @140Elect “Insights into social media responses”Readings and instructions:• Prepare observations from the first debate.• Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B., Smith, M. (): Analyzing social media networks with NodeXL, available online: http://voson.anu.edu.au/papers/Book_ASMN_Ch12_WWW-Ackland-final.pdf• Karissa McKelvey, Alex Rudnick, Michael D. Conover, Filippo Menczer (2012): Visualizing Communication on Social Media Making Big Data Accessible, available online: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1367.pdf Vice Presidential Debate scheduled for October 11, 2012    PAI 730 14/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 15. Week: 8Date: 10/17/12Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: Social media metrics & impact measurement Review: 2nd Presidential Debate & Veep Debate• Mergel, I. (2012): Measuring the effectiveness of social media tools in the public sector, in: Downey, E. & Jones, M.: Public Service, Governance and Web 2.0 Technologies, IGI-Global, DOI: 10.4018/978-1-46660-071-3, pp. 48-64. [pdf]• Lipowicz, A. (2012): Which federal agency packs the most online punch?, Federal Computer Week, http://fcw.com/articles/2012/05/14/federal-clout- online.aspx?sc_lang=en• Girard, M. (2012): Social Media Monitoring Can Inform Political Parties What To Poll For, Radian6, Sales team: http://www.radian6.com/blog/2012/07/social-media- monitoring-can-inform-political-parties-what-to-poll-for/• Glantz, D. (2012): When Agencies Receive High Klout Score, http://fedconnects.com/index.php/2012/06/when-government-agencies-receive-high- klout-scores-does-it-really-mean-they-have-more-clout/• Cha, A. E. (2012): ‘Big data’ from social media, elsewhere online redefines trend- watching, in: Washington Post, June 6, 2012: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/big-data-from-social-media- elsewhere-online-take-trend-watching-to-new- level/2012/06/06/gJQArWWpJV_story.html October 22, 2012 rd 3 presidential campaign University lecture: American Politics, October 23, 2012 7:30pm in Hendricks ChapelPAI 730 15/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 16. Week: 9Date: 10/24/12Room: Life Sciences 001Subject: Measuring social media influence Guest speaker: CEO Klout.com Review: Final presidential debate• McHugh, M. (2012): Klout reveals a new scoring algorithm and the critics are quite, Digital Trends, available online; http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/klout- reveals-new-scoring-algorithm-and-the-critics-are-quiet/• Stone, B. (2012): Klout, Controversial Influence-Quantifier, Revamps Its Scores, Bloomberg Businessweek, August 14, 2012: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-14/klout-controversial-quantifier-of- influence-revamps-its-scores Assignment 2 “Personal reflection: Twitter lessons learned”, October 30, 2012 By the end of the day – instructions follow!Week: 10Date: 10/31/12Room: Life Sciences 001Subject: Reaching the right audiences Surprise guest speaker Happy Halloween!PAI 730 16/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 17. Week: 11Date: Tuesday 11/06/12 starting at 6pm (instead of 11/07/2012)Room: Maxwell RotundaSubject: Election night party Maxwell School experts will comment on the first results! Refreshments and snacks will be served. Be prepared to celebrate! NOTE: NO CLASS MEETING ON 11/07/2012! Picture source: http://redriverpak.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/election.jpg?w=500&h=396PAI 730 17/18 Ines Mergel (2012)
  • 18. Week: 12Date: 11/14/12Room: Life Sciences 001Subject: Post-election analysis & reflections on the 2012 digital campaign Guest speakers: “Obama for America”, Amanda Grant, the social media advisor for the national campaignRequired readings:• Iowa Prediction Market: http://tippie.uiowa.edu/iem/markets/pres12.html• NYT Electoral Map: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/electoral-map• Politico: http://www.politico.com/2012-election/• Huffington Post: http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/romney-vs-obama- electoral-map Final project exposés of all four teams are due at beginning of class. Instructions will follow!Week: 13Date: 11/21/2012Subject: No class meeting: Thanksgiving breakWeek: 14Date: 11/28/12Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: Final project presentations (Part I)Week: 15Date: 12/05/12Room: Crouse Hinds 425Subject: Final project presentations (Part II) Wrap upPAI 730 18/18 Ines Mergel (2012)