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Unformatted text preview: This is a three-credit course. According to the formula 1 credit-hour = 3 hours of work, you should be spending about 9 hours a week on work related to this course. If you are consistently having to spend more time than this on it, please let me know. The course consists of three lectures and a tutorial every week. There will be no printed lecture notes, but the text of the lectures will be made available, shortly before each lecture is given, at this website. Your assigned work for the course comprises 4 components: Grading Scheme 1. Research Paper: Counts for 40% of final grade. 2. Project: Counts for 20% of final grade. 3. Tutorial Participation: 10% of final grade 4. In-class quizzes (three of them): Count for 30% of final grade. There is no final exam. Independent Research The lecture part of the course covers a variety of topics, but does not treat any of them in depth. Moreover, some of the material presented in lectures may be deliberately or accidentally biased, misleading or false. 40% of your final grade for the course will be based on your independent research into one of these topics, the results of your research being presented as a report of about 3,000 words in length (depending on your line spacing and font size, this comes out to between 5 and 10 pages.) We can distinguish between factual reports and persuasive reports. A factual report limits itself to presenting what is known about a topic, supporting its assertions with references to published work. An example might be ``A History of the Transistor''. For almost any topic, you will probably be able to find some published work that contradicts other sources -- the fact that you've seen something in writing isn't enough to establish its truth. So even in a factual paper, you have to exercise your personal judgement in deciding the relative credibility of different sources. A persuasive report goes beyond the facts to present a particular point of view. One example would be ``Genetic Engineering Should be Banned''. This kind of report should also contain facts, but to establish your conclusion, you will have to use persuasive argument as well. From my point of view, persuasive papers are more fun to read, whether or not I agree with them. So I will require your paper to be of this type. Several resources are provided to support your research. These include a reading list (see below) and a collection of resource files. Books available from the library are denoted on the list by their call number and the number of copies in the library. Books not available from the library may be obtainable from your tutor; some are available in cheap paperback editions from the bookstore. Copies of the resource files are kept in the library's Reserve collection and in the Engineering Science library. The resource files and reading list should be seen as starting points for independent research, not as offering a complete and objective coverage of a topic....
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