Teaching about Complex Sociotechnical Systems (CSS)
Author(s)Sussman, Joseph M.
Prof Chris Magee and I teach the doctoral seminar in engineering systems (ESD.83) required for all ESD doctoral students usually in the first semester they are registered as doctoral students. One of the assignments deals with students characterizing a complex sociotechnical system (CSS) of interest to them along various dimensions. For this assignment we provide them with the following paper: Complex, Sociotechnical Systems (CSS): Some Fundamental Concepts and ask the students to use the framework provided by the paper to do their characterizations. I thought this short paper (and the assignment) would be of interested to faculty teaching other comparable courses in various programs in engineering, management, systems engineering, social science, and so forth. We include the assignment itself as an appendix to the paper. Comments are more than welcome. I emphasize this is not intended as a research paper but more a teaching note to help students structure their thinking in a consistent manner.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2010-02