Introduction to Inquiry, Thinking and Research Sem IV 2015

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Introduction to Inquiry, Thinking and Research is an elective course offered to second year students of COEP in the even semester 2015.

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

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Is it related to my branch?

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

Who is going to teach the course ?

The course, to be true, will not "teach" you any new knowledge. It will rather, aim at inculcating the skills of inquiry, arguing, theory creation, various ways of reasoning, etc. among you. The course will be coordinated by Prof. Abhijit A. M. and assisted partly by a number of "inquirers" including Prof. K. P. Mohanan from IISER, Pune and others (mathematicians, historians, science educators, linguists, etc).

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.

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

Does it involve lot of knowledge about Physics?

No. 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, few 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

Also see Academic Knowledge and Inquiry course and NUS by Prof. Mohanan

One of the better options is: Ask the Non-electrical branch students, who opted for this course in the Sem-III.

What are the expectations from the students? Is it a demanding course?

We expect honesty, curiosity and hard work from students. Yes, it is a demanding course and you are expected to invest hard work; but it will not demand mugging up pages nor will it demand late night preparations for exam - it will rather demand continuous, serious mental engagement in the debates and discussions in class, regular attempts at non-trivial assignments, non-trivial quizzes, self-study, group-work, and so on.

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.