Every year I face new 1st year students. I start by asking definitions of the subjects they studied till date.
Most of them seem blank. They can’t define all that they learnt in a simple sentence. Some recite the books with no understanding of what they say.
Thanks to my school, I believe there’s no use of Vidya if we don’t have the Gyan of it. I feel that the knowledge gained by a student is incomplete till it finds application in real life.
The true understanding starts with knowing what the words mean. So let’s start with the definitions
Latin scire: know
Science is Knowledge based on Experimental Observation.
There may be theories put forward by people, but if these theories are not proved by observations made through careful experiments, then it’s not an accepted part of science.
Science is the same everywhere in the universe. Hence it is Global in nature. The Vedas have this to say about this type of knowledge (Even though the word science itself is of western origin):
“If you have known a grain of sand completely, you have known the universe.”
All the 3 parts of Science satisfy this definition. The branches deal with a specific type of science.
Physics: Deals with the behavior of matter. It tries to answer questions starting with WHY.
Chemistry: Deals with the matter itself. It tries to answer questions starting with WHAT.
There are many ways of expressing but my favorite is:
Latin ingenium meaning “natural capacity or invention”.
I personally feel drawn to the word ingenious whenever I look at the word Engineer.
For me, Engineering is about using one’s genius to solve problems faced by the community. To make it a little more detailed, I suggest the students write its meaning as
“Engineering is the process of DESIGNING, MAINTAINING & IMPROVING solutions to practical problems using Science.”
There are different branches of engineering dealing with different fields of problems.
Technology is another word which is used most of the times in the same line. Let’s have a look at what the word means when divided.
Techne: art OR craft.
So Technology refers to the knowledge of art, craft or techniques used to solve the practical problems.
To sum it all up.
Science is the knowledge which forms the basis of Engineering. It is Global in nature i.e. science of america is same as the science of India.
Engineering is the process of solving problems. The process of solving a problem varies from individual to individual. For big projects some conventions need to be followed. This is to enable the work left incomplete by 1 can be continued by another. These conventions are built upon the local needs of language & understanding.
Technology is the knowledge collected as an end result of Engineering. Technology is devleoped based on local needs. It may vary from country to country.