Courses

Students gathering on a quadDuke Summer Academy for High School Students provides a stimulating and thought-provoking learning experience that will help you understand what it means to be a global citizen.  You will select from one of the courses listed below, with each option providing a unique and global perspective of citizenship.  Rather than sitting at a desk and simply listening to a lecture while taking notes, you will engage in a variety of interactive assignments designed to build critical skills essential to preparing for the world beyond high school.  You will participate in role playing, discussions, interviews, presentations, debates, or other dynamic educational activities while learning alongside peers from around the world.  Summer Academy meets Monday through Friday for approximately six hours a day for coursework activities.  Additional optional enrichment activities are planned for evenings and weekends.

Term 1 (June 23 – July 5)

Term 2 (July 14 – August 2)

The Global Executive: Leading Business into the Future (Term 1)

In his monumental work The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith foresaw what would one day become a chief driving force of economic expansion: the division of labor.  Industries would grow narrower, and the roles of workers would become increasingly specialized.  From the Industrial Revolution through the Digital Age, Smith’s forecast has held true.  
 
Perhaps now more than ever, the division of labor is booming.  Apple, for example, relies upon hundreds of suppliers to make individual components of its iPhone.   It is consequently no surprise that, in an age in which an intense degree of specialization is often necessary for a company’s survival, workers are growing fixated on cultivating narrow and technical areas of expertise.  And yet, in an economy demanding and saturated with “hard skills”, something appears to be lacking.
 
The market needs leaders, executives with not only the technical competence to manage business operations, but the vision to see beyond the day-to-day and the passion to propel a company successfully into an ever-changing future.  Throughout the Global Executive course, we will teach you to be just this. 
 
The first part of the course is designed with a single goal in mind: to transform you into an inspirational leader whom others will want to follow enthusiastically. It begins with introspection, a foundational component of leadership development that stems from Sim Sitkins’ and Allan Lind’s key insight in The Six Domains of Leadership that each individual possesses unique gifts and qualities that can be honed to make one an effective leader. You will investigate an array of individual skills to discover your signature strengths and distinct style of leadership. The course then builds upon this foundation by introducing and helping you hone an array of invaluable skills and qualities. You will use and build upon these to develop team-oriented skills. These are fundamentally incorporative in nature, entailing nonviolent communication and captivating public speaking, and together work to unite people and move them forward by cultivating a mutual understanding, vision, and passion. 
 
The course then takes an important turn toward executive education.  In this section, you will put the leadership skills you developed into practice in the arena of executive management.  By analyzing current research and global management trends, you will learn how to contextualize your leadership style a business setting.  Next, you will examine the role data plays in executive decision-making.  This will entail learning how to manage and analyze large sets of data with the intention of utilizing various methods of data analysis to formulate business strategies.  You will then explore the interpersonal characteristics of successful executives by engaging in difficult conversations and conflict resolution.  This will lead to the course’s final topic: negotiation.  At this time, you will develop the shrewdness to create agreements in which all stakeholders come out as winners.
 
In a market asking you to limit your skills to a confined area, resist.  Be the visionary the world needs to lead your business into the future.

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The Global Guardian: Cybersecurity in the Digital Age (Term 1)

Learn how to protect against global cyber threats in a digital age.

Our digital world is full of modern wonders that use technology to enhance our lives; however, our increased reliance on these connected technologies also leads to bigger opportunities for cyber-attacks that could cripple individual lives, whole companies, or even governments! The Global Guardian Summer Academy at Duke University introduces students to the world of cyber-security and trains them on the foundations in creating a secure cyber space for us all and truly defending our modern digital way of life. 

Through this Academy, participants will learn about the many ways criminals try to exploit vulnerabilities from identity theft, to phishing schemes, to denial of service attacks, and more. Participants will also learn the techniques cyber-security leaders use to thwart these attacks, and will have the chance to test their own skills at defending cyber-space in a digital capture-the-flag tournament. Concluding the academy, students will band together in cyber-security teams and be pitted against others in a timed challenge to see who can both defend their own cyber-vault and break into their opponents to capture their digital flag.

Course Structure:

Week one:

Introductions to Cybersecurity – Participants will learn about the different types of vulnerabilities and be introduced to ways white-hat hackers try to protect against attacks.

Week two:

Scenario defense – Participants will be guided through several scenarios to learn how cybersecurity professionals actually protect systems against attacks, and test their hands at a few examples themselves.

Week three:

Digital Capture the Flag Tournament – Participants will form cyber-defense teams where they will be introduced to a capture-the-flag style game in which teams will try to hack in to each other’s systems to capture a digital flag. The Academy will conclude with a capture-the-flag tournament with awards for the top teams.

As our world becomes increasingly dependent on a connected infrastructure, our cybersecurity is becoming an ever more prevalent concern. Every year we see new stories of major data breaches at companies and attacks on government servers. The need for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been greater, and more and more students are being recruited to join the fight at all levels of society. 

Through this Academy, participants will get their first taste of what it is like to be at the front-lines of the world’s largest conflict. The skills gained in this Academy will position participants for future careers at many levels of the cybersecurity battle lines. Don’t miss your chance to gain important skills and become a part of this critically exciting opportunity to secure our future.
 

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The Global Lawyer: Human Rights and Dispute Resolution (Term 1)

Take a powerful first step towards your pre-law studies and become a voice for the voiceless while learning about the international court system and today’s pressing human rights issues.

The prevalence of human rights abuses and other tragedies in our world today is a sobering reality, one often met with dual responses: idealism and realism.  Idealists focus not on the world as it is, but as it ought to be.  They are visionaries whose response to the world’s afflictions is to envisage a brighter future, one that is to be pursued relentlessly.  Realists, on the other hand, seek to understand the world as it is.  They find pragmatic solutions to dire issues, seeking to avail themselves of existing resources before committing themselves to impractical pursuits.

In the Global Lawyer course, we are committed to a simple yet revolutionary idea: in a world of realists and idealists, why not be both?  We bridge this divide by first providing instruction on today’s pressing human rights issues and principles of international law.  This serves as the intellectual foundation for the course’s transformative hands-on components.  In particular, the course culminates in a policy research analysis project and mock trial that together are designed to develop the skills necessary to one day thrive in the context of international law.  As a result, you will not need to choose between realism and idealism, but instead become one who is able to confront today’s pressing issues with a vision of a better tomorrow and the legal know-how to make this a reality.

The course is structured as follows:

Week 1

  • Learn the basic principles of the law of war and international humanitarian law
  • Understand the historical development of war crimes tribunals
  • Address public policy issues surrounding international criminal law and international tribunals
  • Begin policy analysis research paper

Week 2

  • Learn about today’s pressing human rights issues, with a special focus on child soldiers, human trafficking, and asylum seekers
  • Develop the skills of mediation, arbitration, and litigation
  • Complete policy analysis research paper

Week 3

  • Present and debate policy analysis research paper
  • Prepare for and participate in mock trial

Policy Research Analysis Paper:

Throughout the course, participants will be tasked with researching and writing a paper in which they take a stance on a significant public policy issue.  During the final week of the program, participants will have the opportunity to present and advocate for their position in a debate. Potential topics may include:

  • Can child soldiers be prosecuted as war criminals?  Are they responsible for their actions? 
  • In 2017, there were 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million asylum-seekers worldwide, yet the United States lowered its “refugee ceiling” from 110,000 to 45,000.  Was this mistake?  To what extent are countries responsible for admitting refugees and asylum-seekers?  In what ways does increasing or decreasing the “refugee ceiling” affect the U.S.?
  • Human trafficking is a growing transnational affliction.  Given its international presence, is this a problem best combatted by international guidelines such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons?  Or, should these guidelines be determined on a local level, as there are numerous forms of human trafficking, which each take place in various regions with differing economic, cultural, and religious contexts?
  • The United States’ relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) has varied widely. While the Bush Administration did not join ICC, the Obama Administration subsequently established a working relationship with the Court.  What stance should the US take towards the ICC?
  • While mutually satisfactory mediated settlement agreements can occur, often one or more parties remain disappointed by the results of the mediation and challenge the mediation agreement in court.  What are some of the most common reasons for this disappointment, and what suggestions do you have for reducing the number of challenges to mediated settlement agreements?
     
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The Global Researcher (Term 1 and 2)

So you have an interest in science? Perfect! Take a second to think about this: do you know what it truly means to be a scientist? And, further, do you know how to maximize your experiences as a budding scientist?

Science is not a collection of facts to be memorized, but rather it is a way of thinking about the world around us. Scientists are confronted with complex problems every day, such as finding ways to produce vaccines to stop public health crises or developing therapies to restore sight. Scientists can only solve these problems if they have built up the skills needed to do so, the proposed solutions are approved by their scientific peers, and the accepted solutions are adopted by the people they are trying to help. 

Through Duke’s Global Researcher program, you will gain the fundamental skills required to begin thinking like a scientist and contributing to discovery. 

This course is designed to inform you about the wide range of research being conducted at Duke University. In addition to learning about pioneering research, you will acquire skills to navigate the process of becoming a scientist through the discussion of topics such as mentoring, ethics, scientific communication, and discovering your scientific passion. Because science is highly collaborative, you will work in teams to process and understand the scientific literature. Along the way, you will learn how to develop and experimentally question a hypothesis, critically evaluate research outcomes, and develop strategies for translating science into action that will lay the foundation for scientists’ role as global citizens. We will have frequent guests – including faculty, postdocs, as well as undergraduate and graduate students – who will participate in discussions about their research, but more importantly who will share their stories about how they became passionate scientific researchers. You will also have an opportunity to tour Duke’s world-class laboratories and visit research labs in the private sector.

For your culminating class project, your team will develop a research question, generate a hypothesis in response to this question, and formulate rigorous methodologies to test your hypothesis. Your team will then communicate its research strategy and findings to scientists from Duke and their peers from around the world via a poster presentation on the final day.

Tomorrow's researchers will solve some of the most pressing social and scientific problems. Could one of those researchers be you?
 

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The Global Technology Entrepreneur (Term 1 and 2)

Join the global community of technology entrepreneurs and revolutionize your life!

Technology has rapidly become the global economic driver of the 21st century, and the tools to launch technology-based companies are becoming increasingly accessible. Facebook was launched from a Harvard dorm room. Apple Inc. was launched from a Palo Alto garage. It is no longer necessary to have millions of dollars of infrastructure to create a thriving technology company. All you need is the right mindset, a good idea, and the entrepreneurial skill-set to make it succeed. 

For students, being an entrepreneur can be a life-changing experience. Whether you decide to move forward on your own business or decide to take your new-found skills elsewhere, learning the entrepreneurial skill-set will have a profound impact on your future. Today’s young entrepreneurs have the freedom to pursue their own passions in ways previous generations never thought would be possible. Support networks around the globe offer resources and opportunities to help kick-start innovative businesses, and Duke University’s Tech Entrepreneur Summer Academy provides high school students with a unique launch-pad into this community of young change-makers. 

Through the Technology Entrepreneur Academy, you will not only learn the critical business, marketing, and communication skills that are necessary to create a successful entrepreneurial venture, you will also complete your own technology-based business project to test your skills in a hands-on pitch competition. 

You will learn how to identify the challenges, understand the marketplace, and develop the skills needed to turn an innovative technology idea into a global brand, but what you do with those skills will be up to you. Will you make the commitment to becoming the next great young entrepreneur? The Technology Entrepreneur Academy will put you on the path, but the desire and drive to change the world must be your own.  

The concepts you will learn in this course have been refined through years of study, research, and practical use by leading entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. This course helps participants identify and practice the critical skills required to be a successful technology-based entrepreneur.

Course Structure:

Week 1

  • Entrepreneurial basics
  • Defining your business

   
Week 2

  • Developing the product
  • Understanding the market
  • Creating a plan

Week 3

  • Communicating the value
  • Pitching the company

In the first week, you will learn about the complexities in structuring a startup enterprise using the Business Model Canvas as our guide.  In week two, you will dive into the details of understanding your market, your customers, and your business partners that are needed to make your products thrive.  In the third week, you will learn from leading entrepreneurs how to refine your business plan, product marketing, and presentations. 

Throughout the program, you will be introduced to Duke’s young entrepreneur community through visits to local businesses and guidance from mentors at the “Bullpen,” Duke University’s own incubator program for young entrepreneurs. You will also learn from seasoned professionals around the globe through virtual interviews and presentations.

Finally, to conclude the program, you will have the opportunity to pitch your technology startup for awards and recognition in the Technology Entrepreneur Pitch Competition to help move your project forward beyond the bounds of the academy.

So, are you ready to test your hand at creating the next big technology app? Are you up for taking the plunge into the exciting world of entrepreneurship? If so, apply soon to Duke University’s Technology Entrepreneur Academy!
 

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The Global Leader: Diplomacy in the 21st Century (Term 2)

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. New technologies continue to proliferate and, with this, the world is becoming smaller and smaller. While such developments yield undeniable benefits and exciting possibilities, they often unearth and give rise to challenging local and global problems. Perhaps now more than ever, the world needs leaders and diplomats, people with the knowledge, skills, courage, and commitment to develop innovative and transformative solutions to today’s pressing issues.  

Over a period of three weeks, you will engage with Chade-Meng Tan’s seminal masterpiece, “Search Inside Yourself”, and be formed into the leader and diplomat the world needs. In a dynamic classroom environment, you will simultaneously learn about and learn to embody effective leadership through various hands-on activities. The course is designed around the Social Change Model of Leadership Development and has three main foci: Self, Group, and Community. 

The first part of the course is designed with a single goal in mind: to transform you into an inspirational leader whom others will want to follow enthusiastically. It begins with introspection, a foundational component of leadership development that stems from Sim Sitkins’ and Allan Lind’s key insight in “The Six Domains of Leadership” that each individual possesses unique gifts and qualities that can be honed to make one an effective leader. You will investigate an array of individual skills to discover your signature strengths and distinct style of leadership. The course then builds upon this foundation by introducing and helping you develop an array of invaluable skills and qualities drawn from Rob Goffee’s and Gareth Jones’ “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You” that are inextricable from effective leadership: emotional regulation, authenticity, self-mastery, self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-compassion. You will then use and build upon these to develop group-level skills. Group-level skills are fundamentally incorporative in nature, entailing empathetic listening and captivating public speaking, and together work to unite people and move them forward by cultivating a mutual understanding, vision, and passion.

The course then takes an exciting turn. In its second section, you will put all of the skills you learned into practice in the high-stakes arena of international diplomacy. You will first be introduced to a variety of principles that undergird the disciplines of international relations and comparative politics and then will work together to create countries with unique histories, people, and challenges. Your class will then be presented with a variety of international crises. As these arise, you will work together with your team to develop a holistic and encompassing approach to these conflicts. Such an approach will incorporate not only the shrewd utilization of the political principles you will have recently learned, but also the leadership skills you developed in the first part of the course. Taken all together, this component of the course will provide a wide-ranging introduction to comparative politics and international relations while affording you the opportunity to develop the skills of debate, public speaking, collaboration, negotiation, and political analysis.

Throughout this course, you will not simply be learning a discrete set of skills; you will experience a personal transformation and emerge from this course brimming with self-confidence and changed in profound ways.

Be what the world needs – find the leader and diplomat inside yourself this summer.

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The Global Mathematician (Term 2)

Want to predict the future? Learn how with mathematics!

Learning certain mathematical skills can turn students into modern-age magicians. All that’s needed is to know how to use them. The Global Mathematician Summer Academy at Duke University takes students through a three-week mathematical adventure in which they learn how to use mathematics to model real-world scenarios, analyze complex data-sets, and predict future trends. 

Mathematics truly is a universal language, and now in the digital age, with technology becoming an ever present part of our lives, access to data and the ability to analyze it is becoming more and more important in all aspect of society. Non-profit organizations need to know how their projects are impacting their communities, governments need to know how their policies are changing life for their constituents, and companies need to know how their products are being received by their customers.

Through mathematical modeling and data analytics, skilled mathematicians can not only learn about what is happening today, but they can develop models to predict what will happen in the future. These skills are becoming ever more important to all types of organizations. Careers such as being an actuary or a data scientist are consistently ranked among the top sought-after and highest paying professions.

During the three-week academy at Duke University, students will explore how actuaries, data scientists, and business leaders use math to predict the future. They will gain important skills in analyzing large data sets and creating mathematical models to help project future trends based on the available data. Through a series of increasingly complex and difficult real-world scenarios, participants will be guided through the process of understanding how to use math to create real predictions about what will happen in the future, and will understand how to use those predictions to help their future careers and to help change the world!

Course Structure:

Week 1

  • Introductions to data analytics and mathematical modeling – The program’s opening section will help participants gain a solid footing in understanding what big-data and mathematical modeling are all about.
  • Introductory scenario analysis – Simple scenarios will be presented to participants to introduce the concepts of data analytics and mathematical modeling.

Week 2

  • Advanced scenario analysis – More complex real-world scenarios will be presented to participants and used to help develop advanced mathematical modeling and data analytics skills.
  • Big-data guest speakers – Leaders from industry and academia will join the participants in discussing how data analytics and mathematical modeling is used in the real-world.
  • Participant project introductions – Participants will begin on their own project to identify real-world data and begin to mathematically model how they expect something to change in the future based on their analysis of that data.

Week 3

  • Participant project continuations – Participants will continue to refine their own data analytics projects.
  • Final presentations and awards – To conclude, the participants will present their projects to a panel of experts who will review their work and provide awards to the top teams.

 
A key component of this academy is a capstone project that each participant will complete as part of a team of researchers. Over the course of the three weeks, participants will identify their own topic, characterize the data available, and develop models for how the future will change based on their own analysis of the real-world data. Presentations of the capstone projects will be given at the conclusion of the course with top teams being awarded prizes based on their research.
 
This Academy approaches mathematics in a way not commonly found in education. We look at mathematics in an applied setting, and focus specifically on how mathematics and data analysis can help us understand the world and predict change. Each individual participating in this Academy will leave with a better understanding of the world around them, and will gain a new set of skills that they can use to model the future around them. You won’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to learn how to predict your future!
 

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