Frontiers of Science & Technology

Dates: July 8 - July 21, 2018

The Frontiers of Science & Technology (FST) session of the Yale Young Global Scholars Program explores innovative developments at the forefront of science and technology. Students examine cutting edge research to better understand underlying scientific principles, consider ethical challenges or limitations in practical applications, and analyze impacts on society. Topics may include artificial intelligence, gene editing, big data, cyber security, and renewable energy.

If you are intrigued by any of the following (or related) questions, you will probably be interested in the FST session.

  • If feasible, should we edit human genomes? How could this be used and what impact would this have on society?
  • How is your information used on the internet, and what levels of privacy and security should be expected?
  • Should artificial intelligence be used to solve human problems? What makes human intelligence different from artificial intelligence?
  • How efficient are renewable energy resources, and what are the limitations towards using renewable energy technologies in developing nations?

Excerpt from YYGS: Sciences student blog:

“Each day at YYGS was filled to the brim with activities, from engaging interdisciplinary lectures, to thought-provoking discussion sections, to fascinating seminars. Without an abundant physics or chemistry background, I was reluctant to participate in lectures and discussion sections. However, it soon became clear that YYGS was a welcoming environment for me to ask questions and absorb all of the new information. I came to realize that instead of limiting myself to material covered in school, I should feed my curiosity about fields such as nanotechnology, robotics, and astronomy.” - Carene, Rwanda

FST Programming Elements

The YYGS program emphasizes an open, exploratory, and collaborative approach to learning. The curriculum helps develop analytical thinking, intellectual flexibility, written and oral communication, and teamwork skills.

  • Lectures. YYGS features lectures by renowned Yale faculty and leading practitioners in their fields. Lectures are intended to expose students to a wide array of new ideas, perspectives, and exciting new research, as well as challenge them with first-year university level material. Past YYGS lectures have included:
    •  “Learning from Nature How to Make Solar Fuels” by Professor Gary Brudvig, Benjamin Silliman Professor and Chair of Chemistry; Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Director of Yale Energy Sciences Institute
    • “The essential physics of anthropogenic climate change” by Dr. Frank Robinson, Research Scientist in Geology and Geophysics
    • “Biochemical crosstalk at the host-microbe interface” by Professor Stavroula Hatzios, Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology 
  • Breakout sessions. Following the lectures, instructional staff lead smaller breakout sessions (typically 10-15 students) to further explore topics related to the content of the lectures. Breakout sessions give students a more individualized opportunity to delve deeply into the topic introduced by the lecturer. Undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff facilitate conversations on the day’s lecture, and students are expected to voice their opinions, formulate thoughtful questions and responses, debate varied perspectives, and consider possible follow-up experiments.
  • Seminars. Seminars are interdisciplinary standalone classes (typically 10-15 students each) that are designed and taught by undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff, with assigned readings made available to YYGS participants prior to their arrival at the program. Students give their preferences for seminars in advance and are expected to come having closely read and analyzed the assigned material. Past seminars have included:
    • “Printing the 3D Kidney: Tissue Engineering of the 21st century” by Kevin Hwang, Recent graduate in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Ethics, Policy, and Economics
    • “Autonomous Cars: How does a machine learn how to drive?” by Olivier Trottier, Graduate student in Physics
  • Capstone. Over the course of the two-week program, students will also work in Capstone project groups (4-5 students each) to identify problems in a specific topic, conduct rigorous background research, and propose impactful solutions to their peers and instructors. Assignments are designed to develop critical thinking skills and encourage innovation, as well as emphasize teambuilding, analytical problem solving, and communication in a group of diverse peers. This project culminates in a group presentation at the end of the session.
  • Simulations. Simulations are modeled on real-world events and provide opportunities for students to work in small groups to respond to evolving challenges, gain experience in crisis simulation and response, and design potential solutions to these events. Students are assigned to roles within the simulation universe through which they actively participate in and shape the simulation outcome, thereby facilitating hands-on learning. The simulated challenges students face are designed to build leadership, teamwork, and analytical problem solving skills.
  • Research Showcase and Science & Engineering Tours. Researchers from across Yale University are invited to give short presentations on their research. This event is meant to give students rapid-fire exposure to different types of research taking place. Students will then be able to give preferences for a laboratory that they are interested in visiting during the Science & Engineering Tours.
  • YYGS Family Time. YYGS Family Time is a unique opportunity for students to meet and bond with a small group of 7-8 students, who are mentored by a YYGS instructional staff member throughout the two weeks. Families engage in icebreaker games, talk about the ups and downs of the program, and otherwise serve as surrogate “families.” YYGS Family time is an important building block of community at YYGS.
  • Speaker Series. If desired, students can audition to give a short talk on a topic of their choosing. Selected speakers will deliver their talks to a combined audience of students and instructional staff in both sessions. In this way, students have the opportunity to speak in front of an audience of almost 500 people and share their ideas and passions!
  • Talent Show. At the end of­ the session, YYGS hosts a talent show f­eaturing student participants. This is an excellent way ­for students to showcase their talents and cultural heritage.

Sample 2017 Schedule

  • A sample schedule from last year’s session is provided here: 2017 Schedule