Our Courses : May 2018
Ways Of Seeing, Thinking, And Making
Caves, houses, schools, offices, temples, forts, cities. Through the ages, human beings have evolved alongside the environment that they have built. Over time, this built environment has continuously been transformed based on the needs and aspirations of society. How does something so integral to our lives, as individuals and as a society, come into being? How does its architecture influence us?
Architecture is the process of designing the built environment in a functional, aesthetically-pleasing, cost-effective, eco-friendly and people-friendly manner. It is a way of seeing, thinking and making, that eventually gives form to something that will exist in the future – something tangible, useful and experiential. It involves rigorous observation, analysis, intuition, free thinking, visualization and communication.
This course is a journey into the hidden, but fascinating world of design through the field of architecture. Through a series of exploratory exercises like model making, assemblage, sketching, etc., students will be urged to think differently and create meaningful places that add value to human life. On field trips to temple towns, they will gain insight into the historical value of architecture. On a visit to an architect's studio, they will be exposed to a real-life example of architectural practice, and on visiting contemporary buildings, they will be able to observe the impact of architectural design at present.
The course is designed to help students discover and develop new ways of understanding, which in turn enrich their learning environment as a whole. Interactions and activities during the course will encourage them to think independently, share ideas and learn by doing. Consequently, the course hopes to leave students feeling intellectually stimulated, liberated and critically responsive to the built environment that we live in.
Perceiving Patterns In The World
Have you ever wondered if there are unseen dimensions of space? Are you intrigued by the intricate beauty of a snowflake? Have you noticed how ants collaborate to perform complex tasks with no obvious form of communication? Can you imagine what planetary orbits have in common with music?
Mathematics enables us to explore a universe of ideas like these, because it is the study of patterns. Mathematicians are not human calculators. They are observers who learn to see what the untrained eye does not notice. They are thinkers who use logic to look beyond the obvious. They are questioners whose imaginations probe beneath the surface of the world and of ideas to find their hidden beauty.
In this course, you will learn to think like a mathematician. You will solve fascinating problems about number, symmetry, change, dimension, infinity, and probability. You will develop multiple strategies and debate them with others. The problems may involve anything from everyday situations like solving a school's overcrowding problem to mind-bending tasks such as using games to create a visualization of a four-dimensional doughnut. As you explore, you will deepen your understanding of school math and discover connections to advanced mathematical concepts.
Instructor: Jerry Burkhart
Computational Modelling Of Genetics And Evolution
Computational modeling helps scientists, health care professionals, and others to more deeply understand complex ideas about natural and social phenomena. Computational thinking is one of the most important next generation thinking skills.
Did you know that even tiny microscopic bacteria can make complex decisions? How do scientists use computers and engineering principles to change how bacteria act and understand their survival mechanisms? In this course, students will engage in computational thinking in the context of cutting edge ideas in modern biology. Using the NetLogo agent-based modeling environment, students will explore how genes and proteins interact to give rise to complex biological functions, in a simulated bacterial cell. They will also learn about creating new organisms with novel properties and what synthetic biology may look like in the future. Like actual scientists, they will learn to ask questions and apply the scientific method of designing tests, generating and interpreting the data to find answers to these questions.
While this course will foster scientific thinking and computational thinking in the context of biological systems, it will also demonstrate the power of these methods in other scientific disciplines and the social sciences to answer some of the most complex questions facing us.
Note: Students opting for the course will need to carry a laptop with them
Exploring Physics Of The Impossible
Have you ever wondered how Elon Musk's Hyperloop float works? Or how Maglev trains work? Did you know you could get answers to these questions by doing a simple experiment like dropping a magnet into a copper pipe?
This course will attempt to answer such questions by building the necessary conceptual and quantitative skills. These skills will enable the inquisitive student to discover, learn and appreciate the process of doing science that leads to the engineering marvels that we see around us today. The stories of Nobel laureates Richard Feynman (Challenger Disaster) and Subramanyam Chandrashekhar (Chandrashekhar Limit) will be discussed to illustrate the art of doing science.
This course will enthuse students to use two-pronged approach "theoretical model building and experimental validations" to gain a deep understanding of three main topics in Physics viz. Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Light/Optics. The course will progress in three stages. The first stage will be conceptual brainstorming, which will aim to elicit the student's imagination, creativity and logic. The second stage will involve formal theorization of the students' ideas born through the process of the first stage. This will include the use of analytics and mathematics during the discussions. Finally, through doing experiments the value of being detail-oriented and the importance of checking the validity of our theory will be stressed. In this way, the course shall bring together all the flavors of doing science – conceptualizing, theorizing and experimenting. All for the love of science! All for the fun of knowing!
Instructor: RD Prabhu
Using The Power Of Emotional Intelligence To Be Future Ready
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation erodes some of our most prized career paths, those who want to stay relevant in their professions will need to focus on skills and capabilities that artificial intelligence has trouble replicating i.e. understanding, motivating, and interacting with human beings. A smart machine might be able to diagnose an illness and even recommend treatment better than a doctor. It takes a person, however, to sit with a patient, empathize with him/her and heal him/her.
Daniel Goleman, in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ? says, “In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding...?
It's these human capabilities that will become increasingly prized over the next decade. Skills like persuasion, social understanding, and empathy are going to become differentiators as artificial intelligence and machine learning take over our other tasks. Unfortunately, these human-oriented skills have generally been viewed as second priority in terms of training and education. The good news is that they can be learned and improved upon.
This course is divided into two parts – Self Management and Relationship Management. In the first part, we will understand the relevance of emotional quotient in this fast paced, dynamic, online world. We will learn to recognize our own underlying emotions and understand their impact on ourselves and others. We learn how to harness the power of our positive emotions and ways to process and manage our dysfunctional ones and our internal demons like loneliness, inability to relate with peers and bullying. Through the second part, we understand and practice how to be more empathetic by sensing emotions of others, deep listening, understanding their perspective, and taking active interest in their concerns. We also learn how to influence people to move in the desired direction, how to work in teams and how to resolve conflict. The course is designed to be experiential using elements of art, music, storytelling, theatre and movement as teaching methodology.
1. Students may be required to carry a laptop with video editing software and a video recording device which could even be a smart phone
2. They are advised to also carry any musical instrument they usually play
Instructor: Aparna Jain
Changing The World For Good
How did Venky market Goli Vadapav to make it McDonald's of India? How did Beardo survive in market when every competitor was failing? This course is all about grooming wannapreneurs to become next generation entrepreneurs in very near future, probably by the end of course itself.
Wannapreneur to entrepreneur is a uniquely designed course for young wannapreneurs, from experienced entrepreneurs themselves, to give them the taste of and learnings from entrepreneurs' life. The course, rather than focusing on business, focuses on the practices which makes good businesses and business(wo)men.
The course focuses on learning how to look for a problem, find a solution and then make a sustainable, scalable and profit-making business out of it.
Initially during the course, the wannapreneurs will be learning and practicing the tools and techniques which addresses aspects of product design and business development, including Need finding, Empathy development, Design thinking, Feedback, Business model and Revenue model. Later these wannapreneurs will create teams within themselves and convert the classroom into the offices of their startups. Our wannapreneurs will interact with the entrepreneurs spread across the globe to gain key skills like Networking, Communication, Foresightedness and Barter.
Instructor: Dhruv Gupta
Solving Big Problems In New Ways
Were the best inventions of mankind, by accident or by design? Did humans make anything before the invention of the wheel? How much has nature inspired humans to design? This journey of design thinking and experiential learning has been a key factor in shaping our modern lifestyle.
In this course, through the exploration of the history of making and craft, students will understand the evolution and importance of design thinking in everyday life. Students will take a journey from the relatively simple beginnings at the hands of cave-dwelling humans to the modern-day design culture. This approach will include a deep exploration of the world of material sciences and hands-on learning while working with various forms of craft.
Through this course, students will understand the process of design thinking, appreciate the spirit of conservation and smart use of resources. These, coupled with the progressive approach of solving problems with a "use-what-you-have" attitude are qualities that students will take away from the course. In a world of rapidly depleting resources, these values are bound to be critical. This course will provide an opportunity for students to hone their design, art and craft skills and awaken the consciously creative spirit within them.
Instructor: Shivraj Gaekwad
Unlocking The Power Of Data
Does your name affect the occupation you end up having? Do events that occurred 20 years ago have a direct effect on present society? Is Serena Williams the best tennis player of all time? How did a small baseball team get the best out of its resources?
The answer to all these questions lie in data. Choose any field and you will find that data scientists play a critical role- from answering complex questions in the sciences and social sciences to helping internet retailers like Amazon personalizing recommendations to customers based on weather, seasonal trends, past purchase history and so on.
Students in this course will source relevant data from large real-life datasets, and will go through the process of cleaning, organizing and visualizing data. All this will be in pursuit of answering meaningful questions that emerge through classroom discussions or students' prior perceptions. In the process, they will learn about the basics of research methods, probability and statistics, and develop comfort with using software tools like Excel and Python. Finally, they will develop an appreciation of what makes people ignore the reality of data, and also the way in which data analysis is applied across diverse fields.
Note: Students opting for the course will need to carry a laptop with them
See Awesome Stuff, Make It Yourself
Makers are enthusiasts who use technology to learn about it. They use cutting edge technologies and create objects and interactive applications that solve all types of problems - providing convenience, enhancing the user‘s health, providing entertainment etc.
The objective of the course is to create the right conditions for students to explore the Maker within them and foster a set of mental attitudes towards responsible innovation. A robust spirit of inquiry, willingness to take untried paths and the openness to see things in new ways will be encouraged. Students will go through an orientation in the first part of the course and learn basic maker skills. This course will expose students to the emerging world of Internet of Things (IoT) and allow them to ideate, build and deploy working prototypes. The students will use the Embedded Python computing environment, on the Raspberry Pi - a low cost Embedded Linux Computer.
The course will take the student on an accelerated journey towards learning Python using algorithms and developing the confidence to translate problems into flowcharts and code the desired outcomes using Python. The students will be provided with the complete ecosystem to enable them to bring their ideas alive and create working prototypes for real world applications.
1. Students opting for the course will need to carry a laptop with them
2. Students opting for the course will have to pay Rs. 10,000/- toward material costs
Instructor: Rupin Chheda
Discovering Your Writing DNA
Why do we remember the stories we read or hear? Is it because of what happens in them, because of the words used, or because they made us remember something from our own life? Where do writers get the inspiration to write the books that entertain, enthrall or inform us? If you have ever wondered about such things, the three weeks you will spend in the summer discovering and sharpening your own interest in writing will be very enjoyable.
Clarity and maturity in writing is often accompanied by greater levels of self-knowledge. The more a writer understands his or her own emotions and how they change and fluctuate in response to events and people, the better they can describe these in words for an audience. The best writing demands a high degree of control – in the way words are used, in what is revealed first and last, in the way a poem, essay or story is constructed. While children are being given some insight into this in their learning of the language in the school classroom, there are aspects of a writer's craft that need to be demonstrated to children with examples of the best writing, and encouraging a greater awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses, hopes and desires.
Budding writers often start out as avid readers. But as we devour books by well-known authors, is there a danger that we will end up writing exactly like them? What is the way to remain uninfluenced by all those authors whom we admire a lot? A writer's journey is often about the struggle to develop a voice and a writing style that does not look like a copy of some famous original work.
Writing is done not only with the aim to publish and influence others, but also to reaffirm your individual take on things, your unique voice and observation of the world around you. This course is meant to help you understand yourself better and express yourself more clearly. The best part is, the way to this is through lots of shared reading, discussions and games, and opportunities to create your own body of work at the end of the summer.
Instructor: Scharada Dubey
Design, Build, Analyze, Fix, Optimize
Do you think that engineering is a profession for technical people and not creative types? And that engineers work only on mathematical equations and building machines? But engineers do a lot more than that! They ask questions to understand problems, imagine new possibilities, and work on creating solutions. In fact, the word engineer comes from the Latin word ingeniatorum‘ which means one who exercises creativity!
The objective of the Intuitive Engineering course will be to invigorate young minds with the force to tackle challenges in engineering. The course is carefully crafted to allow students to learn engineering in a very hands-on and practical manner. The course includes a series of hands-on activities with increasing complexity to help students learn the process of solving problems and designing. The course offers an assortment of activities which will satiate the students' appetite for creativity, deep thinking and making.
Engineering presents itself with various challenges. The art of applying engineering solutions to real-life problems needs both skill and practice. With this this in mind, we will familiarize the students with different facets of engineering including mechanical and structural complexities to electronics. The different modules in the course are technology-assisted and pedagogy-driven. The course is meticulously designed by the experts and every module ensures experiential learning. The key to the course is to make the students think like engineers.