Science of Nature II (NS 102)

2019 Summer
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences(NS)
4
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Emine Süphan Bakkal suphanbakkal@sabanciuniv.edu,
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English
Undergraduate
NS101
Interactive lecture,Seminar,On-line task/distance,Recitation,Studio work/practice,Group tutorial
Interactive,Learner centered,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Simulation
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CONTENT

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.

OBJECTIVE

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
Relate work done on a system and heat transferred to the internal energy of the system and solve problems that relate 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
Discuss the properties of cells that constitute brain (neurons and glial cells), and describe how ions can diffuse across cell 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 diffusion and membrane potential, describe how electrical signal is generated within a neuron (stimulation and action potential), and how it can be modeled with an electric circuit.
Discuss the parameters in the neuron circuit model and relate them to the signal generation and transmission in actual neuron
Based on the circuit model, discuss the factors affecting the speed of neuron signals, and relate the single neuron circuit to neuron communication
Discuss various ways of measuring brain anatomy and activities, and data interpretations and limitations
Summarize how neurons in different parts of the brain communicate and make long-lasting connections

PROGRAMME OUTCOMES


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


1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 4

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 1

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 5


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


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 10
Assignment 10
Participation 10
Homework 15

RECOMENDED or REQUIRED READINGS

Readings

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