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Engineering Students And Law Conferences

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering and Public Policy Pioneering Courses

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

11.575.1 - 11.575.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1070

Download Count

9

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Paper Authors

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Douglas Sicker University of Colorado-Boulder

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Tom Lookabaugh University of Colorado-Boulder

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Engineering Students and Law Conferences

1. Abstract

The direct exposure of students to both the content and the culture of legal students, faculty, and professionals is highly appropriate in adding public policy sophistication. It also engenders substantial angst and grumbling, particularly among engineering students. To build an understanding of how students react to public policy conferences, we embarked on a combination of qualitative (interview based) and quantitative (survey based) research. We first surveyed seven students then administered an anonymous online survey with 67 responses. In this paper we describe the program and conferences, the results of both our interviews and surveys, and our recommendations for both these programs and similar efforts to introduce students to public policy debates through high quality legally oriented conferences.

2. Introduction

The Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado educates master’s students in a mixture of engineering, business, economics, and law; about half the program’s students are engineers. For the last four years, as part of the curriculum, students have been required to attend a year’s worth of conferences from the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program; these conferences have strong legal content and emphasis and are hosted by the university’s law school. Recent examples include “The Digital Broadband Migration: Rewriting the Telecom Act,” “Open Source, Open Standards, and the Future of the Internet,” “The End of Politics as We Knew It: Examining the Internet and its Impact on Political Participation,” and “Searching for the Third Broadband Pipe.” A typical conference consists of 3 to 4 one hour panel sessions discussing different aspects of the conference’s topics. Panels are usually comprised of a mix of lawyers, legal scholars, business executives, technologists, and government officials. The conferences are highly regarded by lawyers and legal academics alike.

The direct exposure of students to both the content and the culture of legal students, faculty, and professionals is highly appropriate in adding public policy sophistication. It also engenders substantial angst and grumbling, particularly among engineering students. To build an understanding of how students react to public policy conferences, we embarked on a combination of qualitative (interview based) and quantitative (survey based) research. We first surveyed seven students then administered an anonymous online survey with 67 responses. In this paper we describe the program and conferences, the results of both our interviews and surveys, and our recommendations for both these programs and similar efforts to introduce students to public policy debates through high quality legally oriented conferences.

3. The Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program and the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program

The Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program (ITP) and the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program (SFTP) are sister programs within the University of Colorado at

Sicker, D., & Lookabaugh, T. (2006, June), Engineering Students And Law Conferences Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1070

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