2014-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda) 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2014-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Technology, Culture and Society

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Chair: Professor Jonathan Soffer

Mission Statement

The interdisciplinary Department of Technology, Culture and Society (TCS) promotes critical engagement with technology and science through research and teaching while drawing on humanities and social science perspectives. This mission is fulfilled in part by undergraduate degree programs, including Integrated Digital Media, B.S. , Science and Technology Studies, B.S.  and Sustainable Urban Environments, B.S. , and by a graduate program in Integrated Digital Media, M.S. . The department is also responsible for the School of Engineering’s core curriculum in humanities and social sciences, which gives undergraduate students a breadth of knowledge and perspective necessary for careers in technology and the sciences.

Department: Undergrad Cluster Curriculum: Core Requirements

The Cluster Concept

TCS offers humanities and social sciences elective courses that examine the relations among science, technology and society from three general approaches and modes of inquiry: Culture, Arts and Media; Science, Technology and Society; and Society, Environment and Globalization (see below). This integrated approach to science, technology and the humanities and social sciences provides engineering and science majors with a concrete and focused foundation for their fields. The humanities and social sciences clusters are:

Culture, Arts and Media (CAM)

The CAM cluster explores how cultural practices and artifacts in a wide range of media reflect, influence and interact with developments in science and technology. Courses are based on philosophy, media studies, music, literary studies, art history, rhetoric and anthropology.

Science, Technology and Society (STS)

STS cluster courses explore the interrelationships among science, technology, culture and society. The questions posed include: How do science and technology shape society? How do social processes frame scientific and technological enterprises? What is the relationship between the content of scientific and technological knowledge and the social and intellectual context in which it is created?

Society, Environment and Globalization (SEG)

Courses in this cluster address how critical areas of society, environment and globalization affect the experience of contemporary life. Coming from the complementary perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, SEG courses provide students with a broad and multicultural perspective on how environmental issues and global exchange in this “flat world” are changing society, here and across the world.

Humanities and Social Sciences Elective Requirement (4 courses, 16 credits)

Students may choose 4 courses from any humanities and social sciences cluster. These 4 electives can be within a single cluster or across multiple clusters. The department encourages students to take humanities and social sciences electives  across clusters and/or across disciplines within a cluster. These 4 humanities and social sciences electives must satisfy the following constraints:

  1. At least one course must be a 3xxx/4xxx level humanities and social science elective.
  2. At least one course must be a writing-intensive humanities and social science elective, labeled by “W.”

Course Types

TCS offers three types of undergraduate courses, as well as graduate courses:

Humanities and Social Sciences Electives are open to all Bachelor of Science students, subject to prerequisites. They count toward the school’s general-education requirement and the state’s Liberal Arts and Science requirement and help meet ABET requirements.

Writing-Intensive Humanities and Social Sciences Electives are writing-intensive humanities and social sciences courses designated with a “W” and open to all Bachelor of Science students, subject to prerequisites. Requirements for writing-intensive courses include:

  1. A minimum of 15 pages of formal writing, not including informal writing and in-class exams;
  2. Explicit writing instruction;
  3. At least one formal written assignment that incorporates instructor response and student revision;
  4. As part of the writing-intensive course, students will learn to write a formal research paper related to the class topic.

Studio Electives are creative practice courses in art and design disciplines, open to all Bachelor of Science students, subject to prerequisites. These courses may NOT be taken as humanities and social sciences electives to satisfy general-education humanities and social sciences requirements, but may be taken as technical or free electives.

N.B.: Courses that carry the following prefixe may NOT be used to fulfill the general humanities and social sciences requirements: DM (digital media).

Institutes Affiliated with the Department of Technology, Culture and Society

Brooklyn Experimental Media Garage (BxmC)

BXmC at NYU SOE is truly experimental; it is the creative/research arm of the School of Engineering’s art and technology programs. BXmC works with the hard core of New York’s experimental multimedia scene: installation and performing artists, programmers and interaction designers and architects. BXmC develops new kinds of partnerships to create new applications of digital media technologies, including web, sound, film, 3-D, games and others.

Contact Information

NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Six MetroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: (646) 997-3231

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science

Master of Science


Integrated Digital Media  

Requirements: 15 credits of DM courses, of which 6 are at the 3xxx level or above.

Science and Technology Studies  

The minor in STS requires 16 credits consisting of:

  1. Core requirement: STS-UY 3004/W  (4 credits).
  2. Elective requirement: Remaining credit requirements (12 credits) must be satisfied by courses chosen from the STS electives list.

Requirement 1 and one of the STS electives (requirement 2) must be taken at SOE; the remaining elective requirements may be met with transfer credits.

Sustainable Urban Environments  

The minor in SUE requires 16 credits consisting of at least two courses from the SUE core and three courses from any of those offered in the concentration. The minor in SUE is open to all majors.



Kristen Day, Professor of Urban Planning and Department Head
PhD, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Urban design and behavior; design of urban environments for equity, health and well-being

Jean Gallagher, Professor of English
PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center
Feminist theory, 19th- and 20th-century American literature, modern poetry

Sylvia Kasey Marks, Professor of English
PhD, Princeton University
Shakespeare, Samuel Richardson, the 18th- and 19th-century British novel, public speaking, expository writing

Jonathan Soffer, Professor of History and Department Chair
PhD, Columbia University
JD, University of Denver
Twentieth-century American political and foreign-relations history, urban history with a specialization in the history of New York City since 1945

Richard E. Wener, Professor of Environmental Psychology
PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago
Environmental psychology

Associate Professors

Jonathan Bain, Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Quantum theory, philosophy of space and time

Teresa Feroli, Associate Professor of English
PhD, Cornell University
Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, women’s studies

Assistant Professor

Luke Dubois, Assistant Professor of Digital Media
PhD, Columbia University
Computer music, real-time multimedia

Industry Faculty

Harold P. Sjursen, Industry Professor of Philosophy
PhD, New School University
History of philosophy, ethics, philosophy of science and technology

De Angela Duff, Industry Professor of Integrated Digital Media
MFA, Maryland Institute College of Art
Web design, interaction design


Donald S. Phillips, Senior Lecturer in Natural History
BS, Polytechnic University
Physical anthropology, paleontology, natural disasters


Allan Goldstein, Senior Lecturer in English
BA, University of Denver
Writing nonfiction/personal experience writing, disability studies

Dana Karwas, Instructor in Integrated Digital Media
MPS, New York University
Interaction design

Christopher Leslie, Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies
PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center
Media and technology, science of difference, science fiction

James P. Lewis, Lecturer in Psychology
MA, Stony Brook University
Humanistic psychology

Alan M. Nadler, Lecturer in English
MFA, Columbia University
Contemporary poetry, the European novel

Mark Skwarek, Lecturer in Integrated Digital Media
MFA, Rhode Island School of Design
Augmented reality

Faculty Emeriti

Lester Bumas
Duane DeVries
Anne Eisenberg
Helmut Gruber
Louis Menashe
David Mermelstein
F. David Mulcahy
Bernard Rechtschaffen
Thomas B. Settle
Romualdas Sviedrys

Humanities and Social Sciences Electives List


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