Introduction to Inquiry, Thinking and Research

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Introduction to Inquiry, Thinking and Research is an elective course offered to Second Year Non Electrical Branch students of COEP in the odd semester 2014.

The course aims at fostering very important skills of "inquiry" among budding engineers, to nurture their personality and engineering acumen.

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FAQ

Is it related to my branch?

Yes. It is related to all branches. Inquiry is a part of each discipline of science and engineering.

Is this course only for those who want to do research ?

No. It will definitely help greatly to those want to do research, however knowing the process of inquiry is important for any good engineer. It will help you solve the real life practical problems better.

What is this course all about?

The course will not give you "new knowledge" or test your existing knowledge. This is a unique course, designed to "create abilities" and "test abilities".

Science has evolved historically because of the naturally curious nature of human beings. The process of discovering new knowledge starts with asking basic, fundamental questions about things around us. The process of seeking answers also involves making rational arguments, gathering and presenting facts, creating statistics, doing some mathematics, creatively thinking new theories, etc. This is common to all branches of knowledge.

This course is about developing the skill of inquiry through a series of informal discussions among students, Prof. Mohanan, faculty members, some scientists, historians, mathematicians, etc.

Isn't it a final year or M.Tech. elective offered to second year students by mistake ?

Absolutely no. Experience with school children with the same course has been fantastic. See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCApqaCflm3mVTnfh9VBfAPg

Does it involve lot of knowledge about Physics?

No. The course is being shown offered by Physics department only for the technical purpose of being listed under some department. The course content is generic for all fields of knowledge. Problems of physics may be discussed in the course as part of general discussions about inquiry.

Do I need to be a 9 pointer to opt for this course?

Absolutely No. However you should have a genuine interest in knowing about inquiry and research. You should be willing to put in the efforts expected by the instructors.

The Syllabus has a long list of reference books. I am scared.

You will have to,read the material prescribed in the class, which may include some articles, papers, small books, etc. The list given in syllabus is list of reference books, for those who want to venture more and increase the depth of understanding. Knowing more always helps. However the course does not assume you to have read these books or will read all these books.

How does it help in my career? Will it get me a better job?

Yes. Being a good inquirer helps in all domains of knowledge.

I Want to know more. Where do I go?

Have a look at these videos on youtube: K P Mohanan's Scied Youtube Channel

My question has not been answered here. What should I do?

Contact Prof. Abhijit on "abhijit . comp @ coep . ac . in" or call him on +91 9422308125.

Session 4 (Non Mohanan Session)(What was Done in the session)

The session was conducted by Abhijit as Mohanan was unable to conduct the lecture.

The Session began with the problems of the students, which mainly revolved around the CoEP Wiki editing and what we are supposed to do on wiki.

Then we moved on to revising the various types of inquiry we discussed in class starting from mathematical inquiry(definition of straight line and circle), the pragmatic inquiry(definition of success) and then moved to conceptual inquiry(what is a solid?). We finally discussed about the assignment which was given to the students.We had a short debate about Heliocentric theory and geocentric theory.

We also discussed a more of a bit about the caste system and the definition of caste in today's sense, and finally the definition given by Abhijit had no counter-arguments and was the end of the session. The definition of Caste was A closed group of people bound together by marriage relations