Grand Challenges

Strategic Recommendation

Engage students in grand societal challenges via an interdisciplinary approach.

  • Engage students in interdisciplinary, team-based, educational experiences that focus on societal grand challenges such as sustainability, privacy, providing access to clean water, or mapping the human brain—in stage-appropriate ways.
  • Create a learning commons from which students can create their own educational experiences and responses to these challenges.


Recent Accomplishments

  • The School of Computer Science has established three “moonshots” designed to bring diverse teams together solve global problems with an interdisciplinary approach:
    • Farmview: Comprehensive Informatics for Agriculture;
    • Revolutionizing Assistive Devices: Creation via Distributed Innovation, Fabrication, and Refinement; and
    • Building and Automated Algorithm Designer
  • Dietrich College is now offering courses to highlight grand challenges, among them the Lena Foot and Lane Bess Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar: Racism and Grand Challenge: Climate Change in conjunction with the College of Engineering. The courses approach these complex topics from multiple angles and academic perspectives.
  • Work from CMU professor Illah Nourbakhsh will be prominently featured in CMU’s new media wall and welcome center in the David A. Tepper Quadrangle. The work includes one-of-a-kind data visualizations of grand challenges facing society, including climate change, global refugee flows, deforestation, and the impact of energy production.