IIT Delhi professor combines technology with art forms to offer holistic educational experience

An experiment was conducted where students were required to read and explain a technical paper from journal, Acta Materialia through art forms.


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IIT Delhi students presenting a techno-art description of a research paper. (Image: IIT Delhi officials)IIT Delhi students presenting a techno-art description of a research paper. (Image: IIT Delhi officials)

Alivia Mukherjee | December 4, 2023 | 05:48 PM IST

NEW DELHI: A professor from IIT Delhi's Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) has made a new step towards revolutionising technical education by fusing technical papers with art forms.

Lakshmi Narayan, professor of the DMSE divided his third-year undergraduate students into six teams of six individuals each for an experiment. Each team was supposed to read and explain a technical paper from the journal Acta Materialia utilising creative genres such as plays, music, interpretative dance shows, memes, and so on.

Students' performances were marked out of 20 and were a part of the curriculum. These marks were added to the grades for the course ‘Mechanical behaviour of materials’.

R Lakshmiarayan said “This unlocks a creative mindset more easily than routine training. I was amazed to see that each team produced a technically brilliant performance and developed songs as well. The added advantage of this is that these performances cannot be plagiarized or generated by chatGPT.”

His newly launched initiative, which combines art, technology, and soft skills, is the culmination of a series of experiments aimed at reviving the traditionally perceived 'research-heavy' area of materials engineering.

The Institute's Department of Materials Science and Engineering faculty's joint efforts demonstrate a diverse approach to technical education, challenging traditional conventions and creating a culture of inquiry, innovation, and critical thinking.

"The varied teaching methods within the department aim to break away from the stereotypical image of technical education. By embracing creativity, soft skills, and diverse perspectives, we are preparing our students not only to excel in their field but also to adapt and innovate in an ever-changing professional landscape. I would like to add here that six faculty members of the department have already been recognised by the teaching excellence awards of the Institute." Rajesh Prasad, HoD, DMSE.

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