Famously rigorous first-year science curriculum to be revamped with focus on data analysis

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The Integrated Science Curriculum (ISC) will not be offered this school year, as it is undergoing a “revival” of the integrated science curriculum, such as the Lewis-Siegler Institute’s (LSI) Integrated Genomics. website.

Originally developed in the early 2000s, ISC typically offered the first-year cohort the opportunity to study two semesters of introductory physics and chemistry and one semester of molecular biology and computer science in a crowded, four-course program.

The ISC is expected to return in its new form in the fall of 2024 for the program’s 20th anniversary. According to Martin Wohr, associate professor of molecular biology and ISC faculty member, the changes are primarily aimed at increasing focus on the intersection of biology, chemistry and data science.

“We believe that the starting points of modern research … require robust, early computational and statistical methods in addition to an understanding of physical principles,” he wrote in a statement to the Daily Princetonian.

The new curriculum still meets entry requirements in chemistry and molecular biology and provides a foundation in calculus-based physics. The computational component of the course will be replaced by a new program that emphasizes scientific computing and data-driven thinking, Wuer said.

Among students, ISC was considered one of the most challenging academic programs offered by the university.

While students have historically pointed to the value of the curriculum for those looking for an unconventional approach to science, they have also pointed to its difficulty. “Anyone who decides to take integrated science is crazy in some way, shape or form,” said Jane Young 11 A report On ‘Prince’ from 2009. “Sometimes you feel like your life is falling apart, but people always help you get it back together.”

Six years later, in his blog about ISC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Avaneesh Narla ’17 writes about the curriculum, saying, “It’s one of the most educationally challenging endeavors I’ve ever undertaken.

This name has been around for years. Will Roberts, 26, who was the last member of the first year group to attend the original curriculum, proved the difficulty once again.

“ISC was more difficult than the course I took at Princeton, but it was incredibly rewarding and interesting,” he wrote to ‘Prince’. “The huge range of topics meant we had to move really fast and the labs needed a lot of work to prepare and write.”

The data on curriculum redesign shows no sign of making it any less challenging.

According to Wur, the changes aim to “[stay] It is true to ISC’s vision” and “ensure that Princeton remains at the forefront of science education while continuing to bring talent to the forefront of scientific research.

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The program web page The LSI website says that more than 400 students who have completed ISC have gone on to research careers in academia and industry.

This focus on STEM strongholds is echoed in leadership across the university. President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 listed strengthening STEM as a top priority for the next five years of his presidency. Interview Last year with ‘Prince’.

Isabelle Connolly is a news writer for ‘The Prince’.

Associate News Editor Tess Weinreich contributed reporting.

Please direct any correction requests to him Corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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