Carnegie Mellon University

First offered in 1970, EPP Projects has been the cornerstone of EPP undergraduate education throughout the years. The capstone experience for EPP undergraduates consists of problem-solving project courses to synthesize technology-policy issues with social science analysis. In the EPP Projects Course, students experience working on unstructured, real-world problems that, for proper treatment, require teamwork and contributions from diverse disciplines. 

Now in its 50th year, not much has changed about how the course is run or organized, and several of the same topics have resurfaced over the decades. Whatever current-day issue we address, EPP Projects continues to produce high-quality results that have long and lasting impacts and to serve as a key course in developing the careers of our alumni.

Throughout this anniversary year, we will highlight a different set of EPP Projects each month, as well as the instructors and students involved. Please share with us your memories of the EPP Projects experience, and join us in celebrating EPP's accomplishments and this historic anniversary!

About EPP Projects

In each project course, students work in multidisciplinary teams (engineers, computer science students, humanities and social science students, public policy and management graduate students) on a “cutting edge” project topic with very little in the way of “pre-digested” analysis or solutions.  Project faculty attempt to choose topics with both technical and social dimensions, requiring multi-dimensional analysis.  Students are given a general goal, and are expected to discover existing knowledge on the topic, to research existing policies relevant to the topic, and analyze alternatives that make society better off.  Using this background research, and their technical and social analysis education as appropriate, the students then create new knowledge on the subject.  This knowledge is communicated to an external advisory panel, selected from experts and constituencies of importance to the issue.  Students give interim reports during the semester, after which the advisory panel may make suggestions on direction and scope of the work. A final oral report is presented to the panel along with a written report at the end of the semester.