IMSc Open Day (March 10, 2013)
Update: Watch out for the livestream of the event, here: http://ekalavya.imsc.res.in/stream/
This is a heads-up to anyone in Chennai regarding the IMSc Open Day, on March 10, 2013. It’s a Sunday! This will be a day-long affair, morning to evening, open to the public. If you’re a school/college student, you may either nag your parents to take you to the event, or show up on your own. If you’re neither, feel free show up anyway. It will be fun. Indulge your curiosity, and feel free to tinker around with the many science demos that will be set up on the day. If this is enough to convince you (or kids you know) to show up, spread the word and go to the homepage and register! If not, read on.
Once upon a time, I indulged in a long rant on education (science education in particular), where I argued why those in academia must reach out to the public, especially children. The Open Day is one such effort we are making at Matscience and it would be hypocrisy on my part if I do not spread the word around. The idea is to have a day-long interaction with the public where anyone can walk in and attend any of the events and also interact with members of the Institute.
The events typically kick off with short public talks on some aspect of math, physics, and computer science by researchers in the respective fields. These talks are meant to be accessible to school students. An example of what such talks might be like is this lecture by Jam (RamanuJam) on playing games (meant for high school kids!):
Jam’s inimitable talk!
After the talks, you can walk around the Institute and inspect the math and science demos that will be set up at various places on the campus. There may also be a treasure hunt! There will be an event called ‘Ask the scientist’ where you can ask some scientists/mathematicians all the random questions that catch your fancy. You can also catch unsuspecting graduate students (yes, the ones with that distant look in their eyes) who, I am sure, will be happy to feel relevant for once. They might tell you how exciting science is and will be glad to indulge your curiosity as long as you don’t ask them, “How’s research?”, or worse still, “When do you graduate?” Those are questions they may not have good answers to, so be nice, and avoid those questions. For they may provoke them into rants you may not want to hear on such a happy day! Then again, if such a thing happens, don’t be scared. They are normal people (more or less) and will be nice to you if you offer them free food (perhaps you can get some along from home?) or just ask them what their favourite method of procrastination is. They are seasoned experts in both of those departments.
‘Elephant’s toothpaste’, they called it.
I’ll be organizing the Science Quiz at the end of the day, by the way. So feel free to drop by if you like science trivia and puzzles of the logical kind. There will be prizes! The quiz is open to school and college students. There will be five teams, each with two school students and one college student. Of course, there will be a written preliminary quiz to choose teams for the main quiz. The audience will get to answer questions that all the teams pass, and will be rewarded for the same. There may also be questions exclusively for those in the audience. To give you a flavour of what the event looks like, here are some pictures from 2011:
Quiz in progress
If all this doesn’t convince you to show up, there will be free food! Register here! See you on the 10th. Cheerio