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Sukanya Sinha

Sukanya sees the world as an endless wonder, a world where children are excited and curious about learning science. She was the founder director of Curiouscity Science Education with the mission to enable children to look at science as a special way of viewing the world. Since 2004, she has been a visiting scientist at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.

Sukanya also writes (in English and Bengali) to share her passion for science with her readers. She was awarded the prestigious Rabindra Smriti Puraskar in 2010 for science writing in Bengali.

She has M.Sc., M.Phil. degrees from the University of Delhi and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Maryland College Park.

Fun with Math & Science

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

Albert Einstein


May 2023

How do you design a controlled experiment to test a hypothesis? How do you make a reasonable estimate of the result you expect? How do you devise methods to measure the parameters you use? How do you interpret unexpected results? How do you present your data and compare it with similar experiments done by your peers? How do you anticipate and account for possible errors?

These are questions that practising scientists must ask and answer in the course of their research in diverse fields – ranging from studying ant behavior to discovering pulsars. In this course, students will get a flavour of this scientific process through working on simple experiments related to two substances most familiar to us, namely air and water. It will also underscore the fact that there is fascinating science to be revealed even in the most mundane and familiar objects.

The course will combine striking demonstrations and hands-on explorations where students must think through the above questions, working in groups with fellow students, sharing and constructively criticizing ideas.

In this process, we will, of course, encounter mathematics as the language of science, but we will also learn to look at mathematics as an intellectual challenge in its pure, abstract form and find joy in it.

Real life applications of mathematics often have an underlying layer of abstract analysis. For example, the problem of tiling a given floor area with tiles of various shapes can pose interesting challenges in geometry and symmetry and connect with deeper results in mathematics.

The course introduces children to the ideas of elementary mathematical proofs, counterexamples and invariances through simple games and age-appropriate puzzles. They will see how familiar notions of odd, even and prime numbers lead to exciting explorations.   We are hopeful that participants will take back the idea that mathematics is not only about rigour and precision but also about creativity.

This week-long course starting May 14, 2023 will offer a unique blend of scientific enquiry and mathematical thinking, along with other sessions on Creative Writing and an Introduction to Economics & Sociology during Week 2 (starting May 21, 2023).

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