A wicked problem is one that is difficult to solve because of a vague definition, complex interdependencies, and hidden constraints. The use of term "wicked" denotes resistance to resolution, rather than evil. Stress at Carnegie Mellon looks like a wicked problem.
This course is intended to bring about a positive, durable change to Carnegie Mellon student life. The entire process takes at least a year, this course is the first phase. We will use a design practice called Positive Deviance, which enables communities to discover and spread their own hidden solutions.
To accomplish this, you will learn these skills:
- The Positive Deviance Method for Solving Cultural Problems
- Literature Research
- Studying Behavior in Large Populations
- A Google Drive folder, Campus Stress, will be used to share material.
- A Google group, Positive Deviance, will be used for discussion. It is best to ask questions there so the answers are available to all.
- This site is the primary source of course information, but some material is also accessible at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~05610
The class will meet on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:00 in GHC 7501. Most class time will be spent planning studies and discussing results.
Each student will carry out several interviews, producing notes that will be integrated into a comprehensive affinity diagram.
The group will produce two reports: an analysis showing the causes and effects of stress at Carnegie Mellon, based on the literature and interview results, and a description of common student practices compared with the practices of positive deviants.