E204A: Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0

The purpose of this course is to make the student fluent with the context, concepts and key content of the technologies that are driving what is collectively known as “Digital Transformation” (DT), and more specifically, focus on the industrial impact of DT, as captured under the term “Industry 4.0” (I4.0). This topic is quite important: for millennia we have improved our circumstances by managing our material surroundings: tools, shelter, supplies, land. Access to information is meant to enhance our efficiency in doing so, and dwindling resources, impeding climate change, and geopolitical strife are now stressing our planet. But this will not be a course in sociology, economics or geopolitics. Rather, it will be an engineering course, taught in these contexts.