Solving Complex Problems

Graph showing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the years of 1960-2010.

In this offering of 12.000, students are asked to propose an integrated global solution to the rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 levels. (Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2009



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Highlights

The final presentation and Web site developed by the students can be found in the Assignments section.

Course Description

12.000 Solving Complex Problems is designed to provide students the opportunity to work as part of a team to propose solutions to a complex problem that requires an interdisciplinary approach. For the students of the class of 2013, 12.000 will revolve around the issues associated with what we can and must do about the steadily increasing amounts CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere.

Each year's class explores a different problem in detail through the study of complementary case histories and the development of creative solution strategies. It includes training in Web site development, effective written and oral communication, and team building. Initially developed with major financial support from the d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education, 12.000 is designed to enhance the freshman experience by helping students develop contexts for other subjects in the sciences and humanities, and by helping them to establish learning communities that include upperclassmen, faculty, MIT alumni, and professionals in science and engineering fields.

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Related Content

Samuel Bowring. 12.000 Solving Complex Problems. Fall 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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