IIT-M Offers Free ‘Out of the Box Thinking’ Course

Targeted at one million schoolchildren and college students, besides working professionals and researchers, the three-month course will be available in online mode, free of cost, to people in India and abroad.

How does one think out of the box?

In a first, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has announced a course on ‘Out of the Box Thinking’ through mathematics.

Aiming to encourage innovative thinking and targeted at one million schoolchildren and college students, besides working professionals and researchers, the three-month course will be available in online mode, free of cost, to people in India and abroad.

“The ‘out of the box’ thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic,” said IIT-Madras Director Dr V Kamakoti.

“In this unique course,” added Dr Kamakoti, “such thinking is emphasised through rediscovering the known and unknown facts of mathematics logically with an interesting, broader perception of the manner of doing it.”

The four graded independent levels of the course will be accessible to students, professionals and researchers.

To be taught by mathematics educator Sadagopan Rajesh, founder-director of the Aryabhatta Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the course will present multiple approaches to problem solving, debunking a myth that it is only possible for a select bunch.

It will introduce new techniques in an easy-to-understand fashion, preparing users to face real-life projects with confidence and ease.

“From solving a fun Sudoku puzzle to completing an important scheduled project, the logic of working is much more important than the arithmetic involved in it. This requires creative thinking and a broader perception that is often known as ‘out of the box’ thinking,” explained Rajesh.

“If we approach mathematics with discipline and passion, not necessarily in a formal way but realise the subject with more logical and analytical reasoning, we can broaden our thinking,” Rajesh said.

“This course is a first-of-its-kind in India and will make a major impact. We will see its benefits in the next few years. The course is being offered free of cost. It will greatly benefit school and college students, especially those in rural India,” said Dr Kamakoti.

The course will be offered through the IIT-Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation, a Section 8 company of IIT-Madras, which will also issue the grade certification for students who take the examinations at a nominal fee.

The final examination will be a proctored one conducted at centres in select cities across India.

The first batch of the course is scheduled to commence on July 1 after registrations close on June 24.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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