The Integrated Science Curriculum (ISC) will not be offered this academic year as the intensive science sequence is “activated,” according to the Lewis Sigler Integrative Genomics Institute (LSI) Website.
Originally developed in the early 2000s, ISC pursues content traditionally covered in two semesters of introductory physics and chemistry and one semester of molecular biology and computer science in a condensed four-course program The opportunity has been provided to a group of first year students.
ISC will return in a new format in fall 2024 to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary. Martin Wühr, associate professor of molecular biology and member of the ISC faculty, said the changes are primarily aimed at increasing attention to the intersection of biology, chemistry, and data science.
“We believe that the nascent field of modern research requires a consistent understanding of physical principles, as well as a rigorous and early introduction to computational and statistical methods,” he wrote in the Daily Princetonian. said in an emailed statement.
The new curriculum not only provides a calculus-based foundation in physics, but also meets introductory chemistry and molecular biology requirements. The computational component of the course will be completely overhauled and replaced with a new program that emphasizes scientific computing and data-oriented thinking, Wühl said.
Among students, the ISC has long been considered one of the most challenging academic programs offered by universities.
Students have historically pointed to the curriculum’s value for students seeking an unconventional approach to science, but they have also pointed to its difficulties. “Everyone who decides to take integrative science is crazy in some way,” Jane Yang ’11 said. report “At some point, you can feel like your life is falling apart, but people always help you pick it back up.”
Six years later, in a blog post about ISC published by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Avaneesh Nara ’17 called the curriculum “one of the most academically challenging endeavors I have ever undertaken.” It was,” he wrote.
This reputation has been maintained over the years. Will Roberts ’26, a member of the last group of first-year students pursuing the original curriculum, was reminded of its difficulty.
“ISC was the most difficult class I ever took at Princeton, but it was also incredibly rewarding and interesting,” he wrote to “The Prince.” “We had to move very quickly because of the wide variety of subjects, and it took a huge amount of work in the lab to prepare and then write it up.”
The available information on curriculum redevelopment shows no signs that the curriculum will become less difficult.
Wühl said the purpose of this change was to “[stay] True to ISC’s vision, it ensures that “Princeton University continues to bring talent to the forefront of scientific research while remaining at the cutting edge of science education.”
of the program web page LSI’s website claims that many of the more than 400 students who have completed ISC have begun their research careers in academia or industry.
This focus on strengthening STEM is also reflected in leadership across the university. President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 cited his STEM enhancement as a top priority for his next five years as president. interview Last year it was with “Prince.”
Isabel Connolly is a news writer who writes for The Prince.
Deputy News Editor Tess Weinreich contributed reporting.
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