INDENG 190E/290 Spring 2021 (3 Units)

Instructor: Professor Luke Kowalski

Office hours: After class or by appointment

Email: lukek@berkeley.edu

Lecture: 4-7pm PST, Mondays

Email: sehyun@berkeley.edu

IEOR and SCET Executive Sponsor and Liaison: Jocelyn Webber

Email: jweberphipps@berkeley.edu

Course Readers

Joe Mo: joe.mo@berkeley.edu

Ryan Adolf: ryan.a@berkeley.edu

Tim Huang: timothy.huang@berkeley.edu

Course Coordinator: Ayaon Yadav

Email: ayaonyadav@berkeley.edu

Blockchain@Berkeley Liaisons

Simon Guo: simonguozirui@berkeley.edu

Nishan D'Souza: nishan@berkeley.edu

Alpin Yukseloglu: yukseloglua@berkeley.edu

Table of Contents

📜 Course Description

The Web 3.0 movement aims to lay the foundation for the next generation of the Internet. It champions security, privacy, and openness, all the while creating an even more seamless experience for the end user. The blockchain protocols are leading this movement, creating platforms and interfaces for the foundation of Web 3.0.  In this course, student teams will work directly with three leading protocols to build a prototype around a use case of students’ choice. Students will have access to developer support from these protocols throughout the course, and we will provide technical and entrepreneurial training through the lecturer, graduate student instructor, mentors and guest speakers. Students will learn about and understand the motivation behind Web 3.0 and blockchain, dive into and build on these emerging blockchain protocols, gain practical skills while building functional prototypes, and present at an end-of-course "demo day." Teams will also compete for a coveted spot in the SCET Collider Cup and be considered for UC Berkeley’s blockchain startup accelerator - the Xcelerator. Specifically, the three protocols students will be building on are Polkadot (created by the co-inventor of Ethereum, Gavin Wood), Tezos, and Algorand (led by Dr. Silvio Micali, a Turing award winner with his PhD from UC Berkeley).  No blockchain experience is needed. The course will be providing all of the necessary training and support. Students from all majors, levels, both undergraduate and graduate, are all welcome. We highly encourage those with a technical background to join, as teams will be building functional prototypes and writing code. Team selection will be guided to ensure they are multidisciplinary in nature, and a high number of seats are reserved for those pursuing a computer science degree. More Info: https://scet.berkeley.edu/students/courses/advanced-topics/blockchain/

There are a number of student and professor-led courses explaining the technical and legal aspects of disruptive technologies, but often only in theory. This hands-on course aims to engage students in a very applied course, where each multidisciplinary team of 4-6 students will identify a problem that needs to be addressed, and then learn how to how apply it to solve problems using their chosen platform or protocol. Students will learn proven entrepreneurial methods and apply user-centered design tools in creating their company/solution. Guest lectures from industry and academia, as well as hands-on group exercises and presentation of use cases will help along the way. Students will end up with artifacts and work product suitable for inclusion in their portfolios.

The challenge of this course: Are you ready to be a pioneer and want to work at the forefront of the Web 3.0 technical revolution?

Teams will:

  • Work on their own projects, guiding the evolution of a product/service solution from ideation to a working prototype
  • Navigate weekly, realistic challenges introduced through case studies and teamwork
  • Understand the market opportunity and real-world constraints
  • Use rapid, iterative, build-and-validate development methods
  • Interact frequently with industry mentors

This class is recommended for anyone interested in exploring the personal growth and transformation that typically accompanies the entrepreneurial journey. This course is a challenge unlike any other. There will be a lot of work and seriously frustrating moments, with the promise of eventual enlightenment. Clarity will come only after students set aside their egos, embrace chaos, and dedicate their energy to understanding their goals.


💭 Course Philosophy

Students with programming experience will be expected to learn enough blockchain and Web 3.0 to be able to write simple working code by the end of the semester. Every team should have at least one computer science major, but we do encourage diversity and input from members of the team whose expertise is business, economics, or design.

The course is designed to be highly participatory. Each class session will include instructor-led content, including plenary presentations, active group discussion, class games, and exercises to apply the skills being learned, and special guest appearances. Some of the class time will be available for groups (teams) to meet to discuss and work on their projects. Mentors will be available to help guide students and provide a sounding board to address issues.

This course is being taught in partnership with:

  1. SCET, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
  2. Industry Partners
    • Polkadot
    • Tezos
    • Algorand
  3. Blockchain at Berkeley

Note on Schedule

The course will cover all the major topics necessary to start a technology startup. Topics will be revealed to you over the course of the semester. Announcements will be made regularly via bCourses, and this will be the final location for details on assignments and deliverables made during the course of the semester. Github and sponsor repos will also be utilized for code and demos.

The content and activities are subject to change as we experiment with the most effective way to conduct each class. Students need to be flexible and ready to provide input and ask clarifying questions – all feedback is welcome.

All assignments and project work will be submitted digitally via bCourses. Some content will be available through other platforms from Blockchain@Berkeley, Venture Dojo, or analyst reports, and sponsor websites.


Attendance during lecture sessions is required for a passing grade. If you miss more than 4 days of lecture (excused or unexcused), you will not pass. Because the course is largely based on group participation, mandatory attendance is to your benefit—it forces your teammates to participate and weeds out students who will not carry their weight.

We will ask each person about the "rock stars" and "moochers" on their teams, so please contribute to your group projects.

📚 Readings

Innovation Engineering: A Practical Guide to Creating Anything New by Ikhlaq Sidhu

🏆 Grading


Peer Project Review: 10% Homework: 15% Attendance/Participation: 20% Prototype and Code Review: 35% Final Pitch: 20%


A 65%-100% B 35%-64% Lower grades to be assigned only for outliers from the course grades

Additional Info

Top team will present at the SCET Collider Cup, where teams from other Challenge Labs will compete for prizes and additional assistance on their entrepreneurial journey.

The above Judges’ Choice receives an automatic A+.

Keep in mind that the bulk of your grade is tied to your deliverables due towards the end of the semester, so early semester or even midterm final grade projections are not usually accurate.

Students are highly encouraged to focus on learning skills, setting goals and driving meaningful outcomes, rather than grades per se. Students should note that they will be working closely in cross-functional teams and are expected to actively contribute to their team’s solution. Teammates will be surveyed to evaluate their co-members’ level of participation.

Assignment Submission

Teams will complete some weekly homework, including occasional “reflections” video-blogs (roughly 2 minutes in length), outlining the evolution of their solution, what team members are learning individually, and unexpected surprises or challenges faced. Homework can be assigned to groups or individuals, while video blogs are always an individual assignment. Teams can also use the Innovation Navigator (see link in Resources Section).

Assignment details will be located on Notion, and will be submitted to bCourses.

Late Assignments

  • Same day, but more than 2 hours late, -10%
    • Within a week, -25%
  • Later than a week, no credit, unless an exception is granted

🗣️ Communication Platform

Slack + Zoom

We will be using Slack as our main communication platform between students, course staff, and the sponsors.

We will be using Zoom for lectures and also office hours.

Visit buildweb3.org/communication to learn how to join the channel.

💬 Lecturers

Luke Kowalski

Luke Kowalski has been involved with UC Berkeley’s Sutarja Center for Entrepreneurship for a few years now, where he served as judge, mentor, and ad-hoc lecturer. He attended two startup entrepreneurship-training events in Slovakia and Jordan, where he was a sponsor, mentor, and presenter. This is his fourth semester of teaching the Challenge Lab.

Luke works at Oracle as a corporate executive reporting to one of Larry Ellison’s EVPs and specializes in working across multiple disciplines. He has executed projects involving legal issues (antitrust, IP, audits, litigation), acquisitions (due diligence, integration, or divestitures), technical standards (document formats), government affairs (EU/USA trade, IP reform, repatriation), and even managed functions like physical security, user interface design and accessibility. Before coming to Oracle, he worked for various startups in technical, design, and business roles, as well as for Netscape's Server and E commerce division. He holds several patents and professional certifications, serves as an ISO representative for US through ANSI and lectures frequently at conferences and universities. His educational background includes advanced degrees from UTA, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University. He is also conducting Phd research on Bitcoin consumer adoption at the University of Leicester School of Management.

Luke has worked on information security, physical security, and other aspects of cyber for over a decade. He firmly believes that blockchain has the potential to disrupt established technical and business patterns around the world. It is also a perfect foundation and universal concept for launching a startup. He also has experience with financial ERP apps, where he was one the lead designers and contributors, in addition to working on an acquisition in the fintech space.

Blockchain at Berkeley

In October 2016, the Berkeley Bitcoin Association, a group of about a dozen members, founded Blockchain at Berkeley, an organization dedicated to becoming the blockchain hub of the East Bay. They also debuted the world’s first undergraduate university-accredited blockchain course, Blockchain Fundamentals, taught to about 50 students. Alongside Blockchain at Berkeley’s education team grew a consultancy that aimed to bridge the gap between geeky bitcoin enthusiasts and technovative early-adopters in the industry to develop Proof-of-Concepts for disruptive blockchain use cases. Since then, as a result of other ambitious B@B members, R&D and Design departments have also emerged.

UC Berkeley has a world-class blockchain education ecosystem.

Simon Guo (simonguozirui@berkeley.edu), Nishan D’Souza (nishan@berkeley.edu), Alpin Yukseloglu (yukseloglua@berkeley.edu)

Our Sponsors

  • Algorand Foundation (led by Dr. Silvio Micali, a Turing award winner with his PhD from UC Berkeley). Intro, Principal Contact, Resource Links
  • Polkadot from Web 3 Foundation(created by the co-inventor of Ethereum, Gavin Wood). Intro, Principal Contact, Resource Links
  • Tezos Foundation

➕ Additional Information

Course Evaluations

At the end of the term, students will be asked to fill out an evaluation to give feedback about the course. SCET values and appreciates student responses, which are used to better understand and improve our courses. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the evaluation. \

Scheduling Conflicts

Please notify me in writing as soon as possible about any known or potential extracurricular conflicts. We will try our best to help you with making accommodations, but cannot guarantee them in all cases.

Student Code of Conduct & Academic Integrity

Berkeley honor code: Everyone in this class is expected to adhere to this code: “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”

Student Conduct: Ethical conduct is of utmost importance in your education and career. The instructors, the College of Engineering, and U.C. Berkeley are responsible for supporting you by enforcing all students’ compliance with the Code of Student Conduct and the policies listed in the CoE Student Guide. The Center for Student Conduct is set up to support you when you have been affected by actions that may violate these community rules. This includes an organized and transparent process, student participation in the process, mechanisms for appeals, and other mechanisms to protect fairness (https://sa.berkeley.edu/conduct).

Academic Integrity: Any assignment submitted by you and that bears your name is presumed to be your own original work that has not previously been submitted for credit in another course unless you obtain prior written approval to do so from your instructor. In all of your assignments, you may use words or ideas written by other individuals, but only with proper attribution. To copy text or ideas from another source without appropriate reference is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for your assignment and usually further disciplinary action. For additional information on plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and how to avoid it, see the Berkeley Library website.

If you are not clear about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or examination, be sure to seek clarification from your instructor beforehand. Anyone caught committing academic misconduct will be reported to the University Office of Student Conduct. Potential consequences of cheating and academic dishonesty may include a formal discipline file, probation, dismissal from the University, or other disciplinary actions.


We are committed to creating a learning environment welcoming of all students. To do so, we intend to support a diversity of perspectives and experiences and respect each others’ identities and backgrounds (including race/ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, language, religion, ability, etc.). To help accomplish this:

  • If you feel like your performance in the class is being impacted by a lack of inclusion, please contact the instructors, your ESS advisor, or the departmental Faculty Equity Advisor (list and information at: https://diversity.berkeley.edu/faculty-equity-advisors). An anonymous feedback form is also available at https://engineering.berkeley.edu/about/equity-and-inclusion/feedback/.
  • If you have a name and/or set of pronouns that differ from your legal name, designate a preferred name for use in the classroom at: https://registrar.berkeley.edu/academic-records/your-name-records-rosters.
  • If you feel like your performance in the class is being impacted by your experiences outside of class (e.g., family matters, current events), please don’t hesitate to come and talk with the instructor(s). We want to be resources for you.
  • We are all in the process of learning how to respect and include diverse perspectives and identities. Please take care of yourself and those around you as we work through the challenging but important learning process.
  • As a participant in this class, recognize that you can be proactive about making other students feel included and respected.

Student Accommodations

We honor and respect the different learning needs of our students, and are committed to ensuring you have the resources you need to succeed in our class.  If you need accommodations for any reason (e.g. religious observance, health concerns, insufficient resources, etc.) please discuss with your instructor or academic advisor how to best support you.  We will respect your privacy under state and Federal laws, and you will not be asked to share more than you are comfortable sharing.  The disabled student program is a related resource, listed below.

Student Accommodations

The University is dedicated to supporting student success and removing barriers to educational access. If you need disability-related accommodations in this class, have emergency medical information you wish to share with me, or need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform me immediately so that we can plan for appropriate accommodations. The Disabled Students' Program (DSP) is the campus office responsible for authorizing disability-related academic accommodations, in cooperation with the students and their instructors. Students who need academic accommodations, or have questions about their eligibility, should contact DSP. See the DSP website for additional information.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

As a student, you may experience mental health concerns or stressful events that can cause barriers to learning, participation and performance. The University offers a broad range of mental health services available on campus via the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). There is no charge to get started, and all registered students can access services regardless of insurance. For details on the CAPS resources, see the CAPS website.

Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination

The University is committed to creating and maintaining a community dedicated to the advancement, application and transmission of knowledge and creative endeavors through academic excellence, where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. For more information on related policies, resources and how to report an incident, see the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) website.

Safety and Emergency Preparedness/Evacuation Procedures

As class activities may keep you on campus at night, check out the Cal’s Night Safety Services website for details on the University’s comprehensive free night safety services. See the Office of Emergency Management website for details on Emergency Preparedness/Evacuation Procedures. The UC Berkeley Police Department website also has information regarding safety on campus. Dial 510-642-3333 or use a Blue Light emergency phone if you need help.


If you have a problem with this class, you should seek to resolve the grievance concerning a grade or academic practice by speaking first with the instructor. Then, if necessary, take your case to the SCET Chief Learning Officer, SCET Faculty Director, IEOR Department Chair, and to the College of Engineering Dean, in that order. Additional resources can be found on the Student Advocate’s Office website and the Ombuds Office for Students website.

Support during Remote Learning:

We understand that your specific situation may present challenges to class participation. Please contact the instructors if you would like to discuss these and co-develop strategies for engaging with the course.

The Student Technology Equity Program (STEP) is available to help access a laptop, Wi-Fi hotspot, and other peripherals (https://technology.berkeley.edu/STEP).

You will be alerted as to when synchronous sessions are about to be recorded. If you prefer not to be recorded, you may turn your video and microphone off.

Please set your Zoom name to be the name you would like the instructors to call you. You may optionally include your personal pronouns.

Please set your Zoom picture to an appropriate profile picture of you to foster a sense of community and enhance interactions. If you are not comfortable using an image of yourself, you may use an appropriate picture of an avatar.

We encourage participating with your video on to foster a sense of community and enhance interactions. However, we understand that some students are not comfortable with video or may not be able to participate by video.

Additional Resources

See the Student Affairs website for more information on campus and community resources.

Center for Access to Engineering Excellence (CAEE)                           

The Center for Access to Engineering Excellence (227 Bechtel Engineering Center;

https://engineering.berkeley.edu/student-services/academic-support) is an inclusive center that offers study spaces, nutritious snacks, and tutoring in >50 courses for Berkeley engineers and other majors across campus.  The Center also offers a wide range of professional development, leadership, and wellness programs, and loans iclickers, laptops, and professional attire for interviews.

Counseling and Psychological Services       

University Health Services Counseling and Psychological Services staff are available to you at the Tang Center (http://uhs.berkeley.edu; 2222 Bancroft Way; 510-642-9494) and in the College of Engineering (https://engineering.berkeley.edu/students/advising-counseling/counseling/; 241 Bechtel Engineering Center), and provide confidential assistance to students managing problems that can emerge from illness such as financial, academic, legal, family concerns, and more. Long wait times at the Tang Center in the past led to a significant expansion to include a 24/7 counseling line at (855) 817-5667.  This line will connect you with help in a very short time-frame.  Short-term help is also available from the Alameda County Crisis hotline: 800-309-2131.  If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency that puts their health at risk, please call 911.

The Care Line (PATH to Care Center)

The Care Line (510-643-2005; https://care.berkeley.edu/care-line/) is a 24/7, confidential, free, campus-based resource for urgent support around sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, stalking, and invasion of sexual privacy. The Care Line will connect you with a confidential advocate for trauma-informed crisis support including time-sensitive information, securing urgent safety resources, and accompaniment to medical care or reporting.

Ombudsperson for Students                                            

The Ombudsperson for Students (102 Sproul Hall; 642-5754; http://students.berkeley.edu/Ombuds)  provides a confidential service for students involved in a University-related problem (academic or administrative), acting as a neutral complaint resolver and not as an advocate for any of the parties involved in a dispute. The Ombudsman can provide information on policies and procedures affecting students, facilitate students' contact with services able to assist in resolving the problem, and assist students in complaints concerning improper application of University policies or procedures. All matters referred to this office are held in strict confidence. The only exceptions, at the sole discretion of the Ombudsman, are cases where there appears to be imminent threat of serious harm.

UC Berkeley Food Pantry

The UC Berkeley Food Pantry (#68 Martin Luther King Student Union; https://pantry.berkeley.edu) aims to reduce food insecurity among students and staff at UC Berkeley, especially the lack of nutritious food. Students and staff can visit the pantry as many times as they need and take as much as they need while being mindful that it is a shared resource. The pantry operates on a self-assessed need basis; there are no eligibility requirements.  The pantry is not for students and staff who need supplemental snacking food, but rather, core food support.

SCET Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Technology

This class can be used towards requirements to earn the SCET Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Technology. For details on the certificate requirements and other opportunities to engage with the Center, see the SCET website.

Disclaimer: Syllabus/Schedule are subject to change.