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Harvard University - 2016

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Engineering Information

College Description

Engineering College Description and Special Characteristics

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) offers rigorous training in science and engineering embedded in a liberal arts education. Our world-class facilities provide over 400,000 square feet of interconnected labs, classrooms, clusters, and offices designed to encourage scientists to cut across boundaries and to collaborate. The SEAS campus is situated among the buildings housing the University's Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics departments.

SEAS serves as an integrator and a connector at Harvard. We have close links with other departments such as Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences, Chemistry, Biology, as well as Harvard's professional schools, especially the graduate schools of medicine, business, law, government, public health, and design. We also collaborate with industry and business through the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, the Center for Nanoscale Science, and the Office for Technology Development.

Students in the undergraduate program are enrolled in Harvard College. They tackle technical and socially relevant issues through hands-on coursework, research, and fieldwork on everything from computer security to water pollution.

Undergraduates can study an enormous range of topics, including Computer Science (artificial intelligence, graphics, languages, networking, systems, and theory of computation); Bioengineering; Electrical Engineering; Environmental Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; and Applied Mathematics (with a focus on biology, chemistry, computer science, decision and control, economics, physics, social sciences, or engineering).

In addition, students can design and pursue an individualized program that cuts across disciplines to help them prepare for a variety of careers. For instance, those concentrating in computer science might apply their knowledge to related fields like economics, linguistics, or brain sciences through the interdisciplinary Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program. Some focus on electrical or mechanical engineering, bioengineering, or computing and communications to move into related industry positions immediately after graduation. Others take a more general approach, crafting a curriculum suitable for future graduate work in medicine, law, or business. Recent additions to the curriculum include a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering, and a Masters in Design Engineering (in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Design). The Director of Experiential and Career Development at SEAS is specifically focused on connecting our students with industry opportunities targeted to our core degree offerings.

As part of the SEAS ethos for training the next generation of culturally-informed, socially conscious 21st century engineers, supplementing course work are numerous opportunities to engage in out-of-term international research exchanges with Universities in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan), South America (Chile, Brazil, Peru), and Europe (United Kingdom and France) under the joint mentorship of SEAS faulty and faculty from partner universities. These activities provide students with real-world experience tackling global engineering problems as part of an international team where language barriers and cultural differences may have to be navigated and overcome.

Our faculty and graduate students tackle questions from a broad range of areas including the physics and engineering of complex systems, quantum science and technology, new materials, systems biology, bioengineering, computer science and computational science, electrical engineering, and energy and the environment.

SEAS is the home of several research centers supported by the National Science Foundation, including the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials at Harvard (CIQM), and serves as the Northeastern Regional Center for the U.S. Department of Energy-funded National Institute of Global Environmental Change (NIGEC). Other centers and institutes at SEAS include the Center for Research on Computation and Society; the Institute for Applied Computational Science; and the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology.

SEAS faculty members have invented new types of lasers, stopped light in its tracks, created nanowires one-thousandth the width of a human hair, among countless other scientific breakthroughs. Our graduates have started Fortune 500 companies, become world-class teachers and researchers, and act as science and technology advisors to governments and NGOs.