Initiate discussion with instructors in person. For Wilkins, Carla
Allen (292-2778, email)
will make appointments to fit your schedule. For Barrett,contact him
before/after class, phone (292-8065) or email Bring your draft
sentence outline and references to any meeting.
Use only a single source; see warning about single sources.
Use a textbook as source; find original sources.
Wait until the last minute.
Be limited to list below.
Medium papers suggestions Note: only
person per topic; use sentence outline.
These topics are the same as for the talks, but the audiences
medium paper -- non-technical peers
7/20 minute talk -- classmates in 596
For short talk, use a recent scientific idea or discovery as
springboard for limiting talk topic. Generally the more concrete and
experimental, the better.
For medium paper and talk, the topic must contain both an
idea that can be explained to a non-technical audience
and enough hard,
new science to be interesting to physics majors.
For non-technical audience, imagine a parent, a high-school friend
or a (sports) team-mate. Such a person would be willing to read a few
pages you have written. At the same time, you want them to find
something to carry away. The ideal reaction would be
"Wow! I'd heard of the topic, but never thought it could
be so simply explained. Thanks."
For your class mates, you want to convey an intriquing new-to-them
idea so clearly, they instinctly ask questions about either the
science or a possible application.
One person per topic
Note: Produce a sentence outline
before writing and discuss it with instructors.
Here are some broad areas.
Online references are helpful. But don't forget
books in the library or any college/university
library in the State. While interlibrary loans come quickly (few days),
you still should start early gathering references.
Alternate energy resources. Again a vast topic on which
instructors can help.
Genetic modification. First, you have to limit yourself to smaller
topic: plants, stem cells, cloning, ... and then search. A reference
library can be vary helpful. Probably should not undertake if you know
very little biology. Be alert to searching outside US as most research
is occurring there, except for plants.
Future of science and technology. Since you have your life ahead of
you, what do you see as interesting directions? Is the structure of
knowledge going to change profoundly -- from strong disciplines to
constantly evolving interdisciplinary areas: bioinformatics,
nano/bio-technology -- or to efforts so large they can be done only
internationally. Is there a place for the single scientist, engineers
or inventor? This is so broad that more than one topic can be found in
it. The instructors will provent collisions if you talk to them.
What else? The above list is not exclusive. Instead it is aimed at
topics that might not come to your mind immediately. Any subject on
which a policy can be formulated and which involves science/technology
is possible. Check with instructors as you are considering topics.
Your comments and
suggestions are appreciated.
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Possible Topics for Papers/Talks
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