New tech courses gain ground

New tech courses gain ground

Abhishek Singhal

Studying abroad has the unique advantage of allowing a student to pursue a multi-dimensional education across multiple majors and minors, with a focus on experimental learning and application. Such opportunities are not extensively available to students in the domestic higher education context which forces you to pick a major early and stay rooted to it irrespective of your evolving interests or external job scenarios.

Universities abroad have responded with alacrity to such requirements and have created programs that are widely based, offer opportunities for multi-subject learning and flexibility to base your education across different applied and empirical contexts.

A case in point are choices in traditional bilology-related-fields. While historically students were content with studying for MBBS, or at best Biotechnology, the entire field has changed and is rife with innovation. The focus of study these days is on three big areas — computational biomedicine, cloud biology and digital therapeutics.

Computational biomedicine is the usage of machine intelligence and developments in computer technologies like image recognition and pattern matching to human reports like x-rays, eye test results, etc. to come up with a more accurate diagnosis than a trained radiologist can do.

Cloud biology is the application of cloud computing theories to biological research. Just like in cloud computing, a bio researcher can tap into a large number of computational resources at reasonable costs in order to conduct experiments that were previously unthinkable.

Digital therapeutics focuses on treating medical situations through behavioural solutions. Egging a diabetic to focus on his eating habits, pushing him to exercise regularly are some of the ways to control Type II diabetes. The plethora of digital assistants and wearables that calculate personal data is allowing the development of this domain rather quickly.

Berkeley offers Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MET in short) programme to its undergraduate students which allow them to pursue a broad educational path.

Grounded across the applied business and tech domains, this programme remains the most favorite amongst all prospeactive undergrad students to Berkeley.

UPENN's M&T programme, UIUC's System Engineering programme, and Cornell's general engineering tracks with design specialisation remain some of the most sought after multidisciplinary programmes outside India.

— The writer is Co-Founder, UnivAdmitHelp

The jobs and coursesthat are becoming popular for study outside India

  • As technological advances increase, most domains are becoming multi-disciplinary with the new focus being on a holistic view of everything, rather than just a specialised view. Collaboration across disciplines is the norm. A great example is the domain of chemical ecology — the study of how organisms use chemicals to interact. And because the chemical activity is universal, this domain involves botany, chemistry, microbiology, mammalogy and entomology coming together to find solutions.
  • Another example is smart communities — involving computer and information science, education and human resources, engineering, geosciences, social and behavioural sciences, and economics, to design smarter living and working spaces.
  • In fact, large companies like Google (Sidewalk Labs) and WeWork are using this discipline to develop new living zones that are far more efficient and eco-friendly than current cities. In fact, in their annual letter for 2019, Bill and Melinda Gates have also identified buildings as a domain to attack and bring to near-zero emissions as it impacts climate change significantly.
  • Yet another emerging domain is data infrastructure bringing together electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and theoretical computer science communities, to harness the power of data collection and assimilation across diverse domains like climate conditions, processing industries, hazardous materials handling, etc.
  • Another way to frame this collaboration amongst domains is convergence research — the merging of ideas, approaches and technologies from widely diverse fields of knowledge to stimulate innovation and discovery in order to solve wide-ranging challenges like understanding the human body, which involves disciplines like biology, medicine, computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, or colonizing the universe — astronomy, physics, chemistry, molecular biology before architecture, material sciences, communication technologies, etc. come into play.
  • As computational power increases and the world becomes more connected, new paradigms of behavior will emerge. A lot of social research including philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, and human behavior is evolving and the discussion around morality in the context of autonomous and more powerful non-human beings is taking center-stage in a lot of places.
  • These examples suggest that education in the emerging 21st-century context has to be applied and multi contextual. It is an exciting time to be a student who is ready to learn and try new things and domains!

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