In this College Class, the Assignment Is to Solve a Local Problem

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How do you convince people to drive less? When a team of University of California-Berkeley students considered the problem in the city of Berkeley–where traffic is increasing despite the city’s reputation as a bastion of progressive politics–they focused on how to improve the experience of riding the bus.

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When Rachel Dzombak and Vivek Rao began planning for the spring 2020 Development Engineering course “Innovation in Disaster Response,” part of their motivation was to get students to think about the use of technology during past disasters. But by early March, it was clear to Dzombak and Rao that the COVID-19 pandemic was increasing the relevancy of their class in ways no one could have predicted.

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