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IUPUI faculty to participate in science symposium in India


October 12, 2012

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis faculty will convene with colleagues at the University of Hyderabad in India for a symposium Oct. 12 and 13 to explore topics of importance to both institutions: preparing college students in the 21st century, exploring partnerships in doctoral education, and bridging academic research and social transformation through interdisciplinary collaboration.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie visited the University of Hyderabad in 2010. An agreement of friendship and cooperation was signed in 2011. That opened the pathway for IUPUI and the University of Hyderabad to build on a number of active science research collaborations that were already in place.

“The University of Hyderabad is the leading institution for post-graduate education in India,” said delegation leader Ian McIntosh, director of international partnerships at IUPUI. “Building on a foundation of collaboration in physics and mathematics, we are now exploring the potential of research partnerships in public health and medical research, computer science, chemistry and other fields.”

The fields represented by 10 IUPUI faculty attending the symposium, “Unleashing Innovation in the 21st Century,” are physics, teaching and learning, translational science, business, mathematics, computer science and medical research.

“We often hear that the students will need “21st-century skills” to succeed in the modern workplace,” McIntosh said. Among those skills are being able to solve complex problems, to think critically about tasks, to effectively communicate with people from a variety of different cultures, to work in collaboration with others, to adapt to rapidly changing environments and conditions for performing tasks, to effectively manage one’s work, and to acquire new skills and information on one’s own, he said.

Symposium participants will address what it takes to ensure that all university students acquire these skills, McIntosh said.

Participants also will explore partnerships between their universities’ schools, departments and units to advance basic research across multiple disciplines and find innovative ways of partnering in doctoral student training and professional development of junior faculty.

They will also discuss the importance and the challenge in finding common ground and interest in a collaborative model at an institutional level to solve real and pressing social problems.