Dibyendu Nandi

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Teaching

 

I offer courses every year at the Department of Physical Sciences at IISER Kolkata. A summary of the courses I offer follows.

 

Electromagnetism: A basic, 3-credit core course which introduces the fascinating, and challenging subject of Electromagnetism to first year undergraduate students. My teaching of this course is based on generous usage of the techniques of vector analysis and calculus, which many students encounter for the first time. Through the semester, the students learn to use this abstract mathematical language to understand and express the natural phenomena related to electricity and magnetism. This is a pedagogical course and goes through the basic topics of electrostatics, magnetostatics, electric and magnetic fields in matter, and ends with electrodynamics.

 

Sun-Earth System Science: A advanced, interdisciplinary 3-credit course that deals with the phenomenology of the Sun-Earth-System and discusses physical processes that are crucial to understanding natural phenomena occurring in stars and planets. Particular emphasis is put on those processes that occur in our star the Sun, and have a causal relationship with processes on our planet the Earth. Therefore, this course ranges in its scope from astrophysical phenomena to space and planetary sciences. In terms of basic physics, the course uses the tools of electromagnetism, fluid dynamics and plasma physics. A student seminar and multiple group projects related to either theoretical analysis, computer simulation or satellite data analysis is part of the required activity of this course. This course is aimed at advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

 

Numerical Analysis and Computational Methods: I also co-teach an advanced 3-credit course on computational methods along with other colleagues which is aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students. In this course we stress on the underlying mathematical foundations of computational techniques and lead students towards writing numerical codes or performing data analysis of relevant problems. This course typically covers solutions of linear and non-linear equations, numerical differentiation and integration, least-squares method, eigenvalues and eigenvectors and solution of differential equations.

 

Astrophysical Magnetohydrodynamics: In the past, at Montana, I have co-taught this graduate level course for students who need to use the tools of plasma physics and fluid dynamics, specifically to study astrophysical systems which involve the dynamics of magnetized plasma. The subject of astrophysical dynamo theory, which is close to my heart, is traditionally taught as part of this course; however, the scope of this course is vast, the major fraction of the visible universe exists in the plasma state! I may offer this course in the future again, given sufficient interest. However, this is more likely to happen following the inter-connectivity of various Indian Institutions through the National Knowledge Network such that a quorum of interested students from various Institutes performing research in Astrophysics is achieved.