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History of American Technology
Section 1, Spring 2018

Instructor: Prof. Pamela E. Mack
Office: Hardin 006, e-mail: pammack@clemson.edu
Office Hours: MWF 8-9 and 10-10:45 and by appointment
Class meetings: MWF 9:05-9:55, Hardin 233
this syllabus on the web: http://pammack.sites.clemson.edu/syl3230.html

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a sampling of the history of American technology from colonial times to the present. The goal of the course is to think about the role of technological change in society with the help of the broader perspective that history provides. To that end, the course will not cover evolution of every significant technology, but rather will focus on different views of technology and discuss in detail selected case studies.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course students should be able to:
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Analyzing and drawing conclusions from the reading will be central to the course, so it is essential that you do the reading and come prepared to discuss it in class. Attendance will be taken by seating chart and six absences will be allowed without penalty. Coming late or leaving early will count as one half an absence. Excuses do not have to be given for the six allowed absences, but it is expected that these will cover scheduled events (including extracurricular activities in most cases) and minor illnesses. Additional absences will be excused for official university activities, emergencies, serious illness, or funerals, but documentation must be provided, the student notification of instructor process is not sufficient. Students with more than six absences will be penalized 5 points for each additional absence, to be deducted from their participation grade. The class is excused if the instructor does not arrive within 10 minutes of the scheduled starting time. Numerical grades out of 100 will be converted to final letter grades by the system 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, below 60=F. Grades above 95 are rarely given except for exceptionally fine work.


PAPERS: The details of the paper assignments are found Canvas and in these general paper instructions.  Papers uploaded to Canvas by the beginning of class are on time.  Papers handed in later that day get a 2 point penalty for lateness.  Each calendar day after that is an additional 2 point penalty for lateness.

GENERAL EDUCATION: This course meets the STS general education requirements, and your second paper is the artifact that demonstrates that.  The competency is:
Science, Technology, and Society - Demonstrate an understanding of issues created by the complex interactions among science, technology, and society.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community.  Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources.  Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the professor know, and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible.  You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building.  Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who receive Academic Access Letters are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and present these to their professors as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.  It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester.  You can access further information here: http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/sds/.

TITLE IX: Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid.   This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  This policy is located at http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/access/title-ix/.   Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator.  He also is the Director of Access and Equity.  His office is located at 110 Holtzendorff Hall, 864.656.3184 (voice) or 864.656.0899 (TDD).

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.”

This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of both instructors. You may re-use your exact words (according to the plagiarism standard below) from work done for this course but not from any other course. Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  The catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, unless you quote and give the source. Changing a few words is not sufficient to make the material your own. It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.  In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

The catalog states: "When, in the opinion of a course instructor, there is evidence that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, that person must make a formal written charge of academic dishonesty, including a description of the misconduct, to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The reporting person may, at his/her discretion, inform each involved student privately of the nature of the alleged charge. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use, as an option, the Plagiarism Resolution Form available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies."

LAPTOPS AND CELL PHONES:  You are welcome to bring technology to the classroom as long as you can handle it responsibly and respectfully.  Use of laptops, tablets and cell phones during class for purposes not related to this course is disrespectful to the instructor and distracting to other students.  Do not carry on conversations—either out loud or in electronic form—or do work for another class or play games in class.  You may use your devices to take notes during class or to look up further information on a topic being discussed.  Students using their devices during class may be called on to share what they are learning with the rest of the class.

TEXTS: Four required books are available in the bookstore:
Calvin Schermerhorn, Money Over Mastery, Family Over Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)
W. Bernard Carlson, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age (Princeton University Press: 2015)
David Nye, America's Assembly Line (MIT Press, 2015)
Leslie Berlin, Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

SCHEDULE: Readings are listed under each lecture or discussion topic.  Underlined lecture titles are links that lead to notes.

Jan. 10
Read Schermerhorn, prologue, before class
Martin Luther King Holiday
snow day
Schermerhorn, ch. 1
Schermerhorn, ch. 2
Schermerhorn, ch. 3
Schermerhorn, ch. 4
Schermerhorn, ch. 5
paper assignment discussion
Feb. 2
Schermerhorn, Epilogue
Schermerhorn Paper Due, Read Carlson Introduction
Carlson chs. 1-2
Carlson chs. 3-4
Carlson chs. 5-6
Carlson chs.7-8
Carlson chs. 9-10
Carlson chs. 11-12
Carlson chs. 13-14
Carlson chs. 15-16
Epilogue and review
In class test
Mar. 2
Nye ch. 1
Nye. ch. 2
Nye ch. 3
Nye ch. 4
Nye ch. 5
Nye ch. 6
Nye ch. 7
Spring Break
Nye ch. 8
Nye ch. 9
Nye ch. 10
Apr. 2
Berlin pp. xi-46, Introduction - Eight Quarters
Nye Paper Due, Berlin pp. 47-74, The Fairchildren - Come with Me
Berlin pp. 75-106, Building (Have You Seen) - Turn Your Backs
Berlin pp. 107-158, Hit in the Ass by Lightening - That's What I Did
Berlin pp. 159-175, Challenges (I need to Land) - This is a Big
Berlin pp. 187-214, One More Year - That Flips My Switch
Berlin pp. 215-255, I've Never Seen - There Are No Standards
Berlin pp. 256-291, Triumph (Looks Like $100 Million) - Can you Imagine
Berlin pp. 292-332, Young Maniacs - We Don't Need Any Money
Berlin pp. 333-362, Transition (The Rabbits Hopped) - She Works Hard
Berlin pp. 363-378, Conclusion and Postscript
May 4
Takehome final exam due 10:30 am

This page written and copyright © Pamela E. Mack
Send me e-mail at: Pammack@clemson.edu
For my other pages see:  PEM Index Page
last updated 1/9/2018