Syllabus for Spring 2013
This semester will be characterized by a group project, which will produce enough research to write a journal-style article. You will be working in groups and, every other week, will have the opportunity to share your progress with the rest of the class. There will be several milestones along the way.
- Literature search: Students can search the published literature to find articles relevant to their research topic. They should be able to identify the most important articles.
- Expertise on one project: Students will demonstrate an understanding of one biological system and the relevant mathematical models. They will demonstrate proficiency in at least one technique of model creation or analysis.
- Generating and analyzing results: Students can ask relevant questions about their system and its model. They can write appropriate code to produce and analyze results.
- Communication and teamwork: Students can perform their research within a team. Further, they can discuss their research with their classmates and present their results in both oral and written formats.
MilestonesThere are six milestones, and they are designed to provide support for you as you carry out your research. First, they break the project into manageable chunks. Second, they provide a mechanism for me to supply feedback. Third, they provide incentive for you to work together as a group. For each milestone, your group give one 20-30 minute presentation to your classmates.
Below is an overview of the milestones and of the content expected for the corresponding written reports. The oral presentations should contain roughly the same content. Written reports are due on the same day as the corresponding oral presentation.
|1, 2||Literature Search||
|3, 4||Initial Code Demonstration||
|5, 6, 7||Results Part I||
|8, 9||Results Part II||
|10, 11||Analysis Part I||
|12, 13||Analysis Part II||
GradingThe course grade will be determined as follows:
|Activity||Percentage||Graded as individual or group|
|Written milestone reports||35%||individual|
|Oral milestone reports||15%||group|
|Final write-up and presentation||20%||group|
Grading Written Milestone ReportsThe grade for each report will depends on content. I want to know what you did and what your plan is. If you ran into problems and didn't make much obvious progress, then tell me about it.
Grading Oral Milestone PresentationsThe grade for the oral presentations is based largely on your ability to communicate your research to me and to your classmates. In order to receive a high grade, the contributions of each team member must be well-integrated into a coherent presentation. This does not mean the visuals must be polished -- you should spend more time thinking about how to talk to each other and to your classmates than about making pretty slides. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to spend most of your presentation talking about failures.
Grading Class ParticipationThe grade for class participation will depend largely on your willingness to ask questions during or after another group's presentation. Part of your grade will depend upon written questions, passed to me at the end of each group presentation.
Grading the Scientific Poster, Final Write-Up and PresentationThe final write-up and presentation will be graded based on the level of sophistication of the research (design of numerical experiments and depth of analysis) and on clarity (is it well written?). The final presentation will be graded on content and polish. This presentation should be streamlined, yet understandable.
For more information about expectations and the assignment of grades, see this document.