MAPC 611

Emerging Technologies and Applications
Spring 2024, 7 weeks
3/12 – 5/3, 2024
T-R: 6:00 – 9:50 pm
Professor: Santiago Echeverry

Emerging Technologies and Applications is a course that studies the current and upcoming status of technologies in relation to professional communications and leadership strategies. This hands-on course will explore open source and emerging tools related to visual and aural media, immersive tools, mixed and virtual realities, alternative and embedded screens, physical computing, biosensors, trackers etc., and how those tools provide essential data on how clients and users interact with products. Time based and interactive media, as well as client/server tools, some of them connected to cloud-based sharing strategies, will be key components in the class.

Course Structure:

The course has been designed to be taught both in class and asynchronously. In the case that students have to quarantine (or the class is forced to go fully online), the video lectures and Blackboard materials including slide decks of each lecture will be available for review online and will provide as rich an educational experience as the hybrid in-class modality of instruction.


This course is NOT intended to be a traditional rubric-driven class where students are expected to follow strict guidelines. This class is designed to allow full experimentation and risk taking in order to gain experience and knowledge in emerging areas of technology, society, and communication. As graduate students, you are expected to apply your previously acquired knowledge and experience to get the best out of this class.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the intricacies of current developments in technology
  • Have a general knowledge of the history of Applications and Hardware
  • Understand the importance of mixed, expanded and augmented realities
  • Utilize adequately equipment appropriately related to the actual needs of the challenge
  • Implement creative solutions in the context of changing markets and customers
  • Understand the importance of database driven application development
  • Understand user centered development and design
  • Master the integration with cloud services
  • Have an awareness of ethics in current technological environments.


50% Final Research and Production Project
7% Group Presentation #1 > Black Swan
20% Group Presentation #2 > GROUPS
9% Group Presentation #3 > AR / VR / XR Groups
9% Group Presentation #4 > AI
5% Individual Research, Attendance and Participation


The Black Swan, by Nasim Nicholas Taleb. Prologue: pp. xxi – xxxiii

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari. Part I: The Technological Challenge, sections 1-4. (Introduction and pp. 1-81)

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by Max Tegmark (Prologue)

A Comparison of Immersive Realities and Interaction Methods: Cultural Learning in Virtual Heritage, by Mafkereseb Kassahun Bekele and Erik Champion

Highly Recommended Readings:

• Taleb, Nassim Nicholas: “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”, Random House Publishing Group; 2nd ed. edition (May 11, 2010),

• Harari, Yuval Noah: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, Spiegel & Grau,

Isaacson, Walter: “The Innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses and geeks created the digital revolution”, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9781476708713

• Kotler, Steven & Wheal, Jamie: “Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work”, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780062429674

• Stephens, Mark: “Triumph of the Nerds (1,2,3)”, documentary produced by PBS, Channel 4 and Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Your own laptop or tablet computer. With enrolment in this class, you have access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Download and install the Adobe Creative Cloud Installer at the link below. You may need these to produce videos, soundtracks or graphics for your projects.


Installing Adobe Creative Cloud MAC OSDownload

Installing Adobe Creative Cloud WindowsDownload

Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps. 

  1. Visit and use your school credentials to sign in.
  2. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  3. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.

For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.


  • Your group must identify a pain point in your field of expertise or personal interests, whether related to clients, customers, employers, or yourselves (check this link for reference
  • Explore this phenomeanl link about Black Swans in the military
  • Develop a solution that involves an extensive usage of emerging technologies 
  • Your solution must include a mobile app that pushes the limits of mobile equipments, and at least three of the following technologies: AI, VR/AR/AV/XR, Gaming/Virtual simulations, Real Time streaming and communication services, Cloud Computing, Robotics, Intelligent Spaces (the internet of things)
  • You will develop a layered proposal with a realistic implementable component that could be run with the resources you currently have at hand, and a much more ambitious component that has no limits in budget and technology. 
  • You are allowed to imagine technologies and solutions that do not exist at this point in time.
  • Your presentation will happen as a pitch to a potential sponsor: dress to impress!
  • You will 1) introduce your research on the specific pain point, 2) present your tiered solution using graphics, animations, videos, mock-ups, storyboards, interaction books, case scenarios, etc.  and 3) a justification on the tech choices.
  • You will be graded on 1) the creativity 2) the research 3) your presentation 4) the correct usage of technologies 5) the visual methods used in your presentation 6) the feedback from your peers 7) your interaction with the audience

 Your Final Project WILL be divided into two components: 

  1. the down to earth solution, with the resources that you currently have so it can be implemented: an inner core that is a strong solution
  2. the “DREAM” solution, where you have no budget or technology limitations, and you can imagine how the usage of AI, VR, Cloud Services, real time video streaming, can bring your solution to the stratosphere. It is an outer core – totally imagined, totally outside of real boundaries in your current situation – that would provide a futuristic vision of how these integrated tools can enhanced your approach to the solution. 

It really is a question of imagining the future, foreseeing how these technologies that we will talk about in class, will affect your problem solving abilities, thinking totally outside the box.


I understand that the list of topics above may appear daunting to study within a seven-week course, but be aware that this class will first and foremost survey these technologies so students understand the full functionality and capacity of the tools available to professionals in communication and emerging media. Thereafter, the student teams will produce projects and pitches that employ these tools from the level of conceptual understanding on prompts and problems.

Syllabus Subject to Change

This syllabus is informational in nature and is not an express or implied contract. It is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, as a result of any circumstance outside the University’s control, or as other needs arise. If, in the University’s sole discretion, public health conditions or any other matter affecting the health, safety, upkeep or wellbeing of our campus community or operations requires the University to make any syllabus or course changes or move to remote teaching, alternative assignments may be provided so that the learning objectives for the course, as determined by the University, can still be met. The University does not guarantee that this syllabus will not change, nor does it guarantee specific in-person, on- campus classes, activities, opportunities, or services or any other particular format, timing, or location of education, classes, activities, or services.

I reserve the right to modify this syllabus at any time for any reason