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Design Cluster fellows take graduate-level courses in the following core areas to receive significant training in formal, methodological, and design approaches. Design Cluster fellows are expected to take at least one course from each core area.

Core Areas

PhD students choose from one of the three core areas of research:

Core Area One: Human-centered Design

This core area provides training in the many stages of the design process with an emphasis on better understanding users, tasks, and goals. These courses use the design process as a systematic way for making decisions about the design, development, and deployment of new artifacts or systems.

Example courses include:

Core Area Two: Computational Thinking and Computational Design

This core area trains students in the many ways of applying and using computation to support design research. This involves algorithmic thinking, computational simulation and modeling, and state-of-the-art statistical and computational methods for design.

Example courses include:

Core Area Three: Design Skills and Methods

This core area provides the practical skills that are needed for design-based research. These courses emphasize the skills and techniques needed for performing user-based, empirical (both qualitative and quantitative) evaluations of designs, as well as practical skills in areas such as prototyping and scenario design.

Example courses include:

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