What's Happening in IPO

27 Nov 2017

IIM Student at Harvard University Exploring History of the Earth and Astronomy

Yash AGRAWAL, a Year 3 student of Individualized Interdisciplinary Major Program (IIM), created his own major “Environmental Geoscience” to study the mechanisms and interactions of the various earth systems, such as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, and the impact of human activity on the environment.

In Spring term of 2016/17, Yash attended Harvard University as a Visiting Undergraduate Student to explore history of the Earth and astronomy. It is a valuable opportunity to take courses taught by world’s leading experts in niche fields such as Archaeological Science or Earth History. Those courses are not currently offered at HKUST but important to enrich Yash’s curriculum to be more comprehensive. They are also useful introductions to the fields that Yash may consider pursuing his post-graduation study.

Work hard and play hard. Besides studying, Yash enjoyed the exchange life and visited different places and attractions at the United States. He embraced the free and open culture there to share ideas and experiences with people from diverse backgrounds.

Yash was inspired to create the major “Environmental” after taking an ocean science course during his first year of study at HKUST. He found that none of the existing majors at HKUST appealed to his specific interests about the earth systems, so after learning about IIM, he decided to create his own major. 

IIM offers a non-traditional, cross-school academic pathway for students with the vision, talents and character to create their own study program. Student who wants to join IIM is required to prepare a study proposal for approval by School and University-level committees. Student firstly needs to define clearly his/her own study topic. Next, he/she should identify courses from different departments of HKUST and other local universities to form a coherent study program. Student can even, like Yash, take courses from overseas institutions. Then, student is required to create the structure of his/her curriculum by sorting out the requirements of different courses and proposing a course pathway for the next 3 years of study.

To complete the study proposal, student will be guided by a four-person advisory committee consisting of professors and experts in the fields that are closely related to his/her specific major. The advisory committee will oversee student’s progress and provide advices and guidance throughout the study to ensure the study plan is properly executed.   

If you are interested in joining IIM to create your own major, please contact Mr Matthew Chik at mattchik@ust.hk for more information.

  • Yash attended Harvard University as a Visiting Undergraduate Student to explore history of the Earth and astronomy

  • Yash (left) visited different places and attractions at the United States with friends

  • Yash (left) visited different places and attractions at the United States with friends

  • Yash (middle) and his faculty advisers: (from left) Prof. King L. CHOW, Director of IPO/IIM; Prof. Jimmy FUNG, Head of Division of Environment & Sustainability (ENVR) / Professor of Department of Mathematics; Prof. Alexis LAU, Professor of ENVR and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Prof. Terrence YEE, Senior Lecturer of ENVR / Professor of Engineering Practice, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering