Physics 391/491: Jr/Sr Seminar
Spring 2016


Professor: Julie Rathbun
Office: Appleton Hall of Numbers 129
ext. 8661
E-mail: Julie_Rathbun@redlands.edu

Office Hours: M W 10:30 - 11:30 am, also check my schedule for times that I am availible.

Senior Seminar: M W 1:00 - 2:20 pm (Sec 01) and 2:30 - 3:50 pm (Sec 02)
Junior Seminar: M F 1:00 - 2:20 pm (Sec 01) and 2:30 - 3:50 pm (Sec 02)
all meeting in AHON 117

Syllabus for Jr Sem | Syllabus for Sr Sem

Homework:

Monday - everyone Wednesday - Seniors Friday - Juniors
Week 1

1/11-1/15

By 1 pm on January 11th, complete the following. Send answers to me, by e-mail.
  1. Go over this presentation and go over the list of important skills on the last page. Order them in terms of which you feel most comfortable with and which are least comfortable. What are the top 3 you think you need to work on?
  2. Complete the Work related values test
  3. Read chapter 1 in the textbook and this short paper. Answer the following questions and bring your answers to class.:
    1. Who is the audience for this paper? How do you know? Give a direct quote from the paper and how this demonstrates the audience.
    2. What is the structure of this paper? Make an outline.
    3. Pick a different audience. Rewrite the above sentence for that audience.
  1. Read the course syllabus.
  2. Write a <1 page summary of your senior project (this could be from your proposal last year) and include at least 3 references on this topic. Due by e-mail to the instructor by 9:30 am.
  3. Get your project advisor to e-mail me directly that they agree to advise you this semester.
  4. Read the multiple versions of a paper. Come to class with 3 examples of changes, at least one that is "big-picture" and one that is at the sentence level.
  1. Read the course syllabus.
  2. E-mail the instructor by 9:30 am with at least one of the following:
    • If you plan to do summer research this summer, pick at least three programs and send a link to the program and the due date for the application for each.
    • If you plan to do an internship, pick at least 3 programs and send a link to the program and the due date for the application for each.
    • If you are not planning to do either, what can you do this summer to help you after you leave Redlands? Give at least 2-3 ideas.
  3. Presentation from class.
Week 2

1/18-1/22

Read chapter 2 & 3 in the textbook, and 2 papers TBA. Answer the following questions for each paper and bring answers to class:
  1. What does the title tell you? Enough information? Can you come up with a better title?
  2. Does the abstract satisfactorily summarize the article? Can you find anything missing?
  3. For the paper, what exactly is the work and why is it important?
  4. What do the section titles tell you? Are they parallel?
  5. Compare these papers to each other and last week's in term of depth and emphasis of details

Presentation from class.

  1. Within the past week, you were required to meet with your assigned group. The juniors are required to write a summary of your research project based on your conversation and send it to you. You will comment on their summaries, looking at both the writing style and content of each summary. You must turn in the summaries (with your comments) electronically by 9:30 am on Tuesday, February 2nd.
  2. Read Chapter 13 in the textbook, this grant proposal, and the panel review. Answer these questions:
    1. This proposal is not exactly like the one described in the book. What are some differences?
    2. What is the problem this proposal is trying to address?
    3. What is the proposed solution?
    4. Suggest some changes to the proposal that make could address the reviewers problems
Draft an application for at least 2 of the summer programs from last week. E-mail to instructor by 9:30 am and bring copy to class. In class, we will comment on each others applications.
Week 3

1/25-1/29

Read chapter 4 & 5 in the textbook, and 2 papers TBA. Answer the following questions for each paper and bring answers to class:
  1. Which word pairs do you have the most trouble with?
  2. How do the audiences for these 2 papers compare with the previous papers we've read?
  3. In each of these articles and one of the earlier ones, find an example of imprecise language, needless complexity, or ambiguity.
By 9:30 am, e-mail me an annotated bibliography for your senior project. For each source, state where you got it (from someone or a specific search- tell where and when), what it is useful for (background, some particular aspect, a number or quote, etc.). Before 9:30 am, go to the Focus 2 site and fill out the self assessment and explore career possibilities. Come to class with your log-in information.

Heather Luth's talk, see only the first 7 slides.

Week 4

2/1-2/5

Read chapter 6 & 7 in the textbook, and 2 papers. Section 1 papers are from Andrew and Jack. Section 2 papers are from Ryan and Mark. Using all of the papers we've read so far, find examples of each of the following (at least one must be from today's paper).
  1. use of "pretentious words" or "arrogant phrases"
  2. strong or weak nouns
  3. strong or weak verbs
  4. definition of an unfamiliar term
  5. using an example or an analogy
  6. imprecise language OR needless complexity OR ambiguity
Read chapter 17 in the textbook and, email a working version of your outline for your final project. Edit: Send a list of goals of what you what to demonstrate in your senior project, an updated annotated bibliography, and an outline that includes which sources will be used in which section. By 9:30 am, e-mail me a link to at least 2-3 jobs you'd like (ideally, one you'd qualify for in <5 years and one in 10-15 years). Include a short list of things you like about that job (try to tie it to the values test from last week), and a short list of skills necessary for the job (from the skills list first week).
Week 5

2/8-2/12

Read chapter 8 & 9 in the textbook, and 2 papers. Section 1 papers are from Nick and Hana. Section 2 should read one of the above papers from section 1 and this paper from Tanner. Using all of the papers we've read so far, find examples of each of the following (at least one must be from today's paper).
  1. 2 of: Redundancy, Zeros, and/or "Fat" Phrases. Discuss how to fix.
  2. an equation, discuss whether it is incorporated correctly
  1. Bring to class at least 4 of the illustrations you intend to use for your final project. This includes graphs, charts, photographs, drawings, etc.
  2. Read the following webpages:
Before class, must read research page for all physics faculty and any other faculty you might want to work with. Must also meet with 1-2 faculty members to discuss possible senior project (& summer research, if interested) possibilities. If you're basing it on a project done elsewhere, you still need a local advisor.
Week 6

2/15-2/19

Read chapters 10 & 11 in the textbook and articles TBA. textbook, and 2 papers. Section 1 papers are from Adrian and Mitch. Section 2 should read one of the above papers from section 1 and this paper from Brad. Using all of the papers we've read so far, choose 2 illustrations. Each must be from a different paper and of a different type. It would also be beneficial to choose a good example and a bad example, or one precise and one imprecise, or at least with different levels of complexity. For each illustration
  1. What type of illustration is it? If a figure, what type?
  2. Is the illustration precise? If not, what details are unnecessary?
  3. find the article text that references the figure. Where is it located? Does the level of detail match the illustration?
  4. Explain how the illustration makes the reading more efficient
Bonus: Can you find a place in one of the papers where a figure is unnecessary? How about where an additional figure would help?

TBA Pick a non-trivial problem you solved for another physics class. Imagine you are presenting this result to a group of students who've not had that class and haven't read the book. Write up your solution, including equations, illustrations, and explanatory text. Due by email 9:30. You must e-mail it to the other students we picked Monday.
Week 7

2/22-2/26

Read chapters 16 & 17 in the textbook and this paper about equations. Each student will also be assigned to read 3 of the Jrs problem solutions that were due Friday.

Title and abstract (max 200 words) of you talk and complete first draft of paper is due by e-mail before class. The paper should be e-mailed to all of your minions as well as the instructor. Write up your interview of the recent grad and send it as an e-mail to the entire class. Bring to class ready to share.
Week 8

2/29-3/4

Spring Break
Week 9

3/7-3/11

Week 10

3/14-3/18

Week 11

3/21-3/25

Week 12

3/28-4/1

Week 13

4/4-4/8

Week 14

4/11-4/15

HEY SENIORS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK AT THIS!!

Read about the lack of correlation between GRE scores and prizes in Astronomy.


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Updated 12/16/15