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Code NS 102
Term 201602
Title Science of Nature II
Faculty Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Subject Natural Sciences(NS)
SU Credit 4
ECTS Credit 6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Instructor(s) Yuki Kaneko Go?us, Sondan Durukano?lu Feyiz, Zehra Sayers, Mehmet Zafer Gedik,
Detailed Syllabus
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Undergraduate
Type of Course Click here to view.
(only for SU students)
Mode of Delivery Interactive lecture,Seminar,On-line task/distance,Recitation,Studio work/practice,Group tutorial
Planned Learning Activities Interactive,Learner centered,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Simulation

Observing and understanding the workings of nature(comrising the physical universe and living organisms)is fundamental to contemporary civilization.Technology begins with some understanding of how nature works.The natural sciences also provide a most versatile method of using the human intellect Instead of separate gateways to physics,chemistry of biology the science of Nature courses at Sabanc? Un?versity propose to selectively introduce some of the basic concepts of our knowledge of nature;to look at natural laws in their interconnectivity ;and to initiate an experience of the way science operates,sharing the method of scientific thinking with students.What are the ideas in science that would be most interesting,enjoyable or useful to know for any,college graduate?How do we probe a scientific question in practise? What constitutes an answer?What are some of the answers that we have -or don't have as yet?How do Newton's Laws of Motion work?What does it mean to have an electric or magnetic field in a vacuum?What is there in the universe?What happens when a system in equilibrium is slightly perturbed?What determines the size and structure of an atom?Why is there a Periodic Table?How does a chemical reaction proceed?What are some of the important molecules in living organisms,and how do they work?What is the structure of DNA and the mechanism of heredity?How do we analyze and determine symmetrical structures in nature,or the structures of molecules and crystals?How do populations of living things interact and change?What is biological evolution?What are the basic mechanisms for the emergence,evolution or extinction of species?What questions make up the current frontiers of science? Emphasis in the science of Nature courses will not be on conveying secondary fragments of knowledge,but on conveying to all students in both Faculties an overall sense of the way science looks at the world,at new problems and at new subjects,while making sure that students who way want to specialize in engineering or the natural sciences are equipped with the basic concepts and skills necessary for future work.Computer simulations are an integral part of the course ,requiring student interaction ,participation and feedback.This is complemented by hands -on laboratory experiments that will be important for highlighting pitfalls in the way of actual (as opposed to virtual)practice.In the last analysis,science is common sense; it is ''easy'' as common sense is easy;and it discovers a surprising display of beauty in nature.


To introduce the basic sciences as a unified concept for understanding nature. All 1st year students are obliged to take this course.

Science of Nature courses aim to initiate a curiosity and desire for learning ?scientific thinking? in students and at the same time to introduce some of the basic concepts of physical, chemical and biological sciences in connection with questions concerning the nature and our daily life.

The NS 102 course consists of two modules: ?(1) Are humans causing climate change?? and ?(2) Can we ever comprehend the workings of the brain?? Scientific methodology and fundamental concepts in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences are introduced through an integrated approach in the framework of these questions.

Upon completing NS 102 students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills for critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving through integration of different concepts and information.
2. Distinguish among scientific laws, hypothesis and theory and use them to differentiate facts from fiction.
3. Apply mathematical concepts to solve quantitative problems.
4. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the terminology, major concepts and theories of one or more fields in physical, chemical, and biological sciences.
5. Describe the role of science and technology, and develop skills for communicating scientific concepts and facts to society in general.
6. Demonstrate professionalism and ethics when using scientific approach to make informed decision in daily life situations.

Learning Outcome

Given a time dependent data, draw the best fitting line and apply this analysis to published data on Earth's temperature variations to assess if climate is changing
Make general calculations on Earth's energy balance and use data to describe the role of greenhouse effect in climate change
Relate gas laws to weather, differentiate between the components of the energy of a system and solve problems that relate the 1st law of thermodynamics to climate
Make an argument on the relation between the 2nd law of thermodynamics and greenhouse effect.
Identify Gibbs free energy as the quantity that defines the equilibrium state of a system, and give examples of situations where phase transitions affect climate change.
Apply thermodynamic and kinetic arguments to climate related problems and how alternative energy resources may help solve them
Construct P-V diagrams of simple heat engines and discuss how efficiency of engines is related to developing solutions to climate related problems.
Explain the structure of the brain as an organized collection of nerve cells, discuss the properties of a nerve cell and their membrane.
Explain the origin of resting membrane potential relating to the concepts of potential energy due to electric charges of ions and their concentrations
Using the concepts of active and passive transport mechanisms, describe how electrical signal is generated within a neuron and passed on to another neuron (action potential and synaptic transmission)
Explain the sequence of neuron communication (stimulation, action potential, synaptic transmission) and discuss the factors affecting the signal propagation time based on the circuit model
Relate the single neuron circuit to neuron communications and explain how neural network functions
Discuss various ways of measuring brain anatomy and activities, and data interpretations
Summarize how neurons in different parts of the brain communicate and make long-lasting connections

Programme Outcomes
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5
2 Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5
3 Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5
4 Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5
5 Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 5
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Arts & Social Sci.
1 Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 4
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 1
3 Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Eng. & Natural Sci.
1 Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 4
2 Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 4
3 Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 4
4 Ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 2
5 Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 3
6 Knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 1
7 Knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 3
Common Outcomes ForSchool of Management
1 Demonstrate an understanding of economics, and main functional areas of management. 1
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 1
Assessment Methods and Criteria
  Percentage (%)
Final 27.5
Midterm 27.5
Exam 15
Participation 15
Homework 15
Recommended or Required Reading

"Conceptual Integrated Science", P. G. Hewitt
"Science of Nature I", M. A. Alpar
Atkins, "The Elements of Physical Chemistry" 4th. Ed., Oxford