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    Independent Science Research Course Syllabus

    Course Wiki:

    http://physics.hpa.edu/groups/independentscienceresearch/

    Student Weblogs:

    http://physics.hpa.edu/users/

    Goals/Topics

    Our goals in this class are to develop independent projects, present them lucidly both in person and on paper, and to learn valuable elements of team research.

    Class Format

    Our class meets in teams and solo on class days, where we will touch base at the beginning of each class, reporting progress, updates, resources needed and team reports. Your main venue will be your weblog, which should have a daily update every time we have class, with a summary entry every Friday. So, if we meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday, there should be four entries: one for each daily progress report, and a weekly overview that I will read over the weekend to help you plan out the next week. The format of your weblog is flexible but here is your audience: (1) me, and (2) students following your work later one, perhaps in another lab. You are expected to write in complete sentences, include graphics or screenshots where needed, and any attachments (files, programs) you might need. Think of it this way: if you were following your weblog, could you duplicate your work?

    Your first weblog entry should be your project proposal, with an abstract at the top. This will be your first graded assignment.

    You will also be the creator of a wiki, or set of resource pages outlining the tools and resources you are using, for example if you are using the EEG headsets, you will work on a wiki so that others can learn how to use these tools. This should include documents, links to software and hardware used, supplies and a clear set of diagrams and/or videos that someone could use to follow your awesome work.

    Resources

    You will have special access to some very advanced and often expensive tools in the monlab (short for monitoring lab). You are expected to use these with care, and abide by the acceptable use policy of the school, which says among other things that these tools are to be used only for class related activities. Since this is an advanced class with special tools, you will have access to more resources than most students. We expect you to do all of your testing and use of any skills you learn in this class for good, anything that violates the school acceptable use policy will be referred to the Dean of Discipline.

    Expectations

    Students are expected to bring their own notebooks and writing tools to every class, with no exceptions. Phones are not permitted in class, except for calculator use. Any phone use during class will result in the phone being collected and turned over to the Dean of Discipline.

    Reports are expected to be turned in on time, and there is no credit for late work, including weblogs.

    Grading

    Daily weblogs account for 9 points each, the weekly summary 30 points, and quarterly project reports 100 points. All should be posted on time on the weblog. If you are absent, make sure to create an entry for each class day, with a simple entry describing your absence, so I don't count it as a zero. See the wiki for more grading details on the class wiki above.

    Access

    The best way to reach me is before or after class, but any questions about grading has to be taken care of outside of our class time, out of respect for others in the class as well as your privacy. My email is bill@hpa.edu, and I can answer your responses up until about 7 PM most evenings.