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Science

Over the last century, science and its technological manifestations have altered every aspect of how we live, work and attempt to understand our world. Science and technology continue to shape our societies with governments, cultures and individuals either pursuing them actively or using their products regularly.

Prof. Rajaram Nityananda
"We seek to prepare students for a life of critical thought with the ability to question scientific ideas, communicate them to the broader culture, pursue science and contribute to science education. These principles have guided the design of Azim Premji University's Science specialization in the undergraduate programme" Read more about him

Majors offered will be Physics and Biology. Strong supporting courses in important areas of chemical and mathematical sciences will be also offered to students. Laboratory and fieldwork are important elements of the programme and not just an adjunct to the lectures. Our programme will also provide educational resources so that students who are interested in science but do not have a traditional science background can engage with science and become professional scientists.

Physics

Physics is a study that has a rich history of ideas, observations and experiments. It is also one of our most verified and reasoned methods of viewing the world. It goes beyond the limits of everyday life and attempts to understand the universe across scales: from the subatomic to the stars, galaxies and beyond. Physics provides a unifying framework that helps one make connections between seemingly unconnected phenomena, like traffic patterns and fluid flow, shock waves and the spread of rumours.

Students studying Physics as a major, will take up 8 core courses and 3 electives. Students studying Physics as a minor, will take up 4 core courses and 1 elective course.

Core Courses
  • A Physicist's Toolkit
  • Mechanics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Waves

The first course will be a primer that will help students absorb concepts much faster. Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism and Waves introduce students to the language and players: particles, fields and waves. The mathematics required will be taught alongside the physical context that it describes. These form core requirements for our physics minor as well.

  • Modern Physics
  • Mathematical methods
  • Thermal Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics

There are 4 additional courses that form the core requirements for Physics majors. Students require conceptual and mathematical sophistication to study thermal and quantum phenomena. The course on Modern physics will be heavy on ideas, and introduce them to atomic structure, black body radiation and many of the early 20th century experiments that revolutionized physics. The Mathematical Methods course will build in redundancy and reiterate some of the mathematics already seen, outside of their specific physical contexts. This will help students see connections in different phenomena, and will also help prepare students for the courses on Thermal and Quantum Physics.

Electives

Several other courses would be offered as electives. Some would have pre requisites and some may be from other disciplines. Example – Electronics, Dynamic Systems with simulations, Biophysics, Advanced Mechanics, Optics, and Astronomy.

Biology

"What is life? How does it propagate? Where do humans come from? Can life be synthesized in a dish? These questions have fascinated humans since antiquity and continue to do so today. Biology, then, is the study of living organisms and life processes.

Traditional Biology education has been heavy on classification and taxonomy and disciplinary studies are split into narrowly defined compartments of Botany, Zoology and Physiology. We take a different approach to Biology. Students will begin with an Introduction to Biology: From Molecules to study Biological phenomena across scales of space and scales of time, focusing on concepts that operate in these scales; exploring both what connects them and separates them. Students would then go on to do a course in the computer based exploration and visualization of biological data which we think is a very critical component of understanding and exploring modern biology. On completion of these two courses, the coursework splits largely into two different themes: Biology at the Microscopic Scale and Biology at the Organismic Scale.

Students studying Biology as a major, will take up 8 core courses and 3 electives. Students studying Biology as a minor, will take up 4 core courses and 1 elective course.

Core Courses
  • Introductory Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems:
    This introductory biology course will give a broad overview of biological phenomenon, and the natural world around us. We will explore diversity, organization of life on earth, and the key principles governing living organisms.
  • Introduction to Biological Data and Programming:
    This course is an introduction to the nature of Biological Data and aims to teach both programmatic and analytical ways of collecting, handling and computing over such data.
  • Molecular Biology and Biochemistry :
    The course shall cover both the properties of important classes of Biological molecules alongside various ways of synthesizing, visualizing and probing them
  • Evolution and Ecology:
    This course will help us understand how organisms and environments interact with each other and continue to evolve and adapt to a changing world. Explore how new species are formed, understand diversity of life on earth, and the evolutionary and ecological processes by which this diversity is maintained.
  • Introduction to Bio-statistics:
    Students will be introduced to the formal study of statistics while using Biological data to construct many of the case studies
  • Plants and their Interactions:
    Plants are often thought as green, slightly boring structures in the background! This course will help to uncover the plant blindness in us. We will study plants and interactions with the external world within an ecological and evolutionary framework.
  • Cell and Developmental Biology:
    The focus of the course will be an emphasis on fundamentals and a broad discussion of distinct processes that operate inside cells and organisms.
  • Introduction to Genetics:
    This course will help us explore the fundamental principles as well as the current applications of genetics.
Electives

Some of the electives offered will not require any pre requisite, while some some require that either the pre-requisites be completed or the instructors approval obtained. Sample courses – Field Biology, Animal Behaviour, Neurobiology, Cancer, Advanced Bio- statistics




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