Why did you enroll in ISC?
As someone who is interested in all aspects of science and loves using techniques across disciplines, ISC seemed like the perfect fit for me! Moreover, previous ISC students told me that ISC taught them how to attack any scientific question and gave them a great group of friends. They told me that the ISC curriculum was truly one-of-a-kind – both in terms of lectures and labs – and prepared them for just about anything It seemed like the perfect class!
What was the ISC freshman sequence like for you?
The ISC freshman sequence was absolutely amazing. I tell all interested pre-frosh about ISC and how they have to take it! ISC was the most rewarding class I took – I was always excited for each class and what thrilling lesson the professors had planned for us. The sequence was challenging, but I was constantly learning and growing. From the problem sets that required creative solutions, to the computational questions that integrated computer science and physics and biology, to the labs that needed us to bridge theory and experimental problems, all of ISC was amazing!
How have the courses benefited you academically, and has it made you think about what you want to do after you graduate?
ISC has prepared me to think critically about complex scientific questions. More than anything, it’s given me a set of tools that I can use to attack all types of questions. It’s taught me to think critically about scientific problems, whether they be theoretical, computational, or lab-based. The course has opened up research opportunities that I never would have had before and helped me solidify my interests in using computational techniques to answer exciting questions at the intersection of biology and physics.
How do you like working with the various Integrated Science faculty and staff?
Working with the ISC faculty and staff is incredible. More than anything, the faculty genuinely care about not only our learning but also our overall wellbeing. I can’t tell you how many times I would ask a question in ISC and the professor would give me a response. I’d come in the next day, and the professor would pick up on the question I asked previously and give an even more complete response! The professor would tell us that s/he had looked up the question and wanted to give us the most holistic response possible. In particular, ISC faculty are excellent at connecting topics across disciplines; they’d link physics and biology and chemistry and computer science, and show us how the same fundamental principles exist regardless of scientific discipline.
Additionally, ISC professors would frequently connect topics in class to their own research, so that we could gain perspective for how the topics we were learning in class connected to real-world problems. They would also talk about real-world science news (Coronavirus…) and connect it to our curriculum. For ISC professors, it’s obvious that they love teaching, and they love their students.
P. S. - my AP European History teacher in high school actually told me about ISC! He said it was the pinnacle of excellent teaching, and he was absolutely right!
What is it like going through Integrated Science with a close cohort of student peers?
Absolutely phenomenal – we worked on problem sets and labs together. And beyond ISC, we became a close group of friends. We’d hang out on the weekends, and play Mafia, or watch movies. We had dinner together before exams. We’d help each other with different classes as well. We always have each other’s backs, and more importantly, we’ll have each other’s backs beyond just the first year of ISC.