The City Design & Development Thesis Prep seminar has four broad aims. It is meant to:
1. Introduce you to researching the built environment in general.
2. Assist you in identifying a researchable thesis topic.
3. Help you structure your thesis investigations in a rigorous way.
4. Aid you in finding a thesis instructor who is suited to your investigations.
By the end of the fall semester, every student is expected to have an approved thesis proposal and a thesis advisor to work with during IAP and the spring semester. The course is designed to facilitate your achievement of these targets and to engage you in the fascinating world of urban research. Throughout the semester we shall look at previous examples of thesis projects within and beyond DUSP, illustrates a variety of research methods that you might use in your thesis project, discuss the ethics and conventions of social-science and built environment research, and introduce you to a wide variety of bibliographic and data resources available at MIT libraries. This seminar does not teach you research methods per se, but instead illustrates the kinds of methods that have been used for various types of urban research questions in the past. You are expected to learn and master research methods in other
designated courses in DUSP as well as other departments at MIT and Harvard. Our aim is to help you turn the ideas and topics that interest you most into a workable research agenda.
The class Stellar site contains readings and other important class documents: https://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/11/fa10/11.THG-CDD/index.html