Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Mathematics and Materials Science

Yet again, the professor harped to a class of MSE grad students, "I know that those from an MSE background arent too familiar with the mathematical techniques..."

Wonder why is it always like that? In India at least, students get into IITs / BHU / NITs through gruelling exams which have a significant mathematical component (In fact, when I took up the state entrance exam in 2000 for admission to REC, the math paper carried 200 points, physics 100 and chem 100). Seems to me that its criminal to take in students based on mathematical aptitude and then fritter it all away by divorcing metallurgy courses from mathematics.

A couple of guys in our Metallurgical Engg Dept were also amongst the toppers in the Regional Mathematical Olympiad during high school. By the time we were through with the BTech program in Metallurgy, they (as well as the rest) were hard put to solve simple problems in calculus, probability and combinatorics. Till date, this remains my single bigggest greivance regarding metallurgy / materials science education.

Wonder when the metallurgists will wake up to the fact that math, when applied to meta, can actually be fun!!

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