This is for my team at Joshi’s Learning Centre. Just to acknowledge everybody and say thanks.
To the online newbies to my blog, we had a fun ride of five days in the lush tree of life. We tasted its principles of development at an introductory level. We dared also to go a bit mathematical while we appreciated the fundamentals of the subject of Evolution.
Dishankita made it a great start as she crafted an ‘evolvable’ giraffe to be up sprung for inauguration. & the funny thing was we inaugurated twice- for each batch of biology students. Anuja ruled the first three days introducing the basics and some advanced concepts. Aryaman and me were there to support her. The fresh college students faced the concepts of natural selection, Lamarkism, Neo-Darwinism. Ameya presented on the Modern Synthetic Theory well. Himanshu helped in presenting on Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. Vedangi and Gurmeher illustrated the famous statement ‘Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny’ . We had to present all of it twice and we did it right. Anuja had been working to prepare the slides, search and add pictures to them so hard and still having energy for talking about Hollywood movies and English novels for so long with Aryaman until all others started having null faces!
After the first three days of intense inputs, there were a few who chose to get involved in the mathy jargon of evolutionary biology. After Akanksha and Samruddhi presented on Game Theory in Evolution, everybody was happy to see these two XI class students do a good job. The fourth day was my responsibility and I tried to introduce basics of dynamical systems, a little bit of maths, probability and then moved to a few simple theoretical formulations describing the building blocks of the evolutionary dynamics- reproduction, selection, mutation, and mating. The last day saw the students present on topics in mathematical evolutionary biology. We began with Simran’s awesome delivery on Evolutionary Graph Theory. She and Aryaman didn’t skip the hard math part of their topics. Then we had Dishankita present of Evo-devo. It was hard for the juniors, but I am sure they were stimulated. Himanshu presented on Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution and Molecular Clocks while we had Meet Shah, Viraj with us as attendees. We had to skip Anuja’s presentation on Evolution of Language, Aditya’s paper presenatation on Linear Model of Cancer Evolution, and Aryaman’s talk on HIV Evolution. We finished with Girija’s topic of Somatic Evolution of Cancer filled with conceptual content. I could see youngsters surge ahead into discussions while the presentations were going on. We also discussed the MCQ’s that I made for them to solve. I was so happy to offer a chocolate to Anuja for successfully solving two and half of the ‘Design Math’ questions that I posted on blog for the participants. Anuja, that was great!
This all was possible just because of the guidance and support from Acharya Sir and Joshi Sir and everybody at Joshi’s Learning Center. I can’t forget spending money on food and coffee and having fun chats with my juniors! I hope you all had fun and learnt a lot in these five days. Thank you very much for being part of it!