In this innovative interdisciplinary course, students from across Georgetown will investigate the facts underlying serious technology policy questions, deploying technical approaches such as analyzing computer network traffic for privacy leaks. At the same time, they will learn key lessons from the history and practice of technology policy development through weekly lectures. This unique multifaceted pedagogical approach will empower students to gain leadership skills, cross-disciplinary collaboration experience, subject matter expertise, and a deep humanistic perspective on the intersection of technology and society.

In a defining feature of the course, students will consult with and serve partners such as nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals, selected to maximize both pedagogical value and societal and individual impact.

This will be an advanced and intensive course. Students will work closely in teams to conduct the research requested by our project partners, as shaped and elaborated by the professors. All students will produce a work-product portfolio which will require the student teams to reflect upon and write clearly about all of the following: (a) a concise summary of their findings; (b) a description of the history of prior work by others relating to the question explored; (c) a reflection on the impact of the findings for the work of their partner organization; (d) a reflection on the impact of the findings for the field in general; (e) a list of potential future follow-up studies.

This course requires instructor approval. Please contact the lab’s manager, Jon Brescia ( We will select students based on their tech policy expertise, professional experience, technical skills, passion, and other relevant backgrounds. We don’t expect students to have all of these and will assemble interdisciplinary teams of complementary students.