RM 1 - R e s e a rc h M e t h o d s UGS 303 1 Pe rs o n n e...

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Unformatted text preview: R e s e a rc h M e t h o d s UGS 303 1 Pe rs o n n e l Course Instructor Dr Ruth Shear, WEL 3.153, DrRuth@mail.utexas.edu Teaching Assistant Susan Dixon susandixonta@gmail.com Undergraduate Mentors Mon afternoon: Wed afternoon: Wed evening: Thu evening: Katelyn, Akash, Alice Ashley,Valerie, Xuan Asif, Prakash, Stephanie Chris, Nehal, John 2 To d a y ’s O u t l i n e • • • • • • • • • Introductions Blackboard http://courses.utexas.edu/ Syllabus Schedules and Calendar Assessment Books Computer questions Homework One Inquiry One Hypotheses Next week in lab, starting Monday.. ** Watch for an evite to the FRI welcome picnic** Next Thursday, 5 – 7 pm. • • • 3 C omputer questions How many of you do not have access to a c omputer where you live? How many of you can bring your own laptop c omputer to lab? How many of you own a copy of Microsoft Excel? The newest version (PC)? How many of you can use Excel to make a table? plot a graph? do a calculation? How many of you have an iclicker? 4 Homework One: Re p o r t C r i t i q u e http://courses.utexas.edu/ → RM → Assignments 5 2 SAMPLE INQUIRIES: John Seilman Abstract: I will take ants in this project and ask how they follow sugar. Ants have the natural ability to follow sugar because of sensors when they look for food. In this project I will time ants as they walk down a strip of paper looking for sugar. I found that you can predict the time it takes an ant to walk down paper as y = -0.0142x2 + 0.7955x + 5.486. I will also check the effects of cigarette smoke on ants. I found that cigarette smoke severely impacts ant walking. The ant biological function is impacted negatively, and it no longer obeys the mathematical equation, but instead is random. Introduction: When Ms Longwalker gave us this project I was stumped. I did not think I would be able to research on my own. Then I remembered Feynman, and how he was just using ants, and I realized I could do it. Not only, but I could do better, since I would find the effect of cigarette smoke on ant. Finally, I would study it mathematically. I would find the function of ant motion with and without cigarette smoke to say how quickly they walked after sugar. I decided to look at five ants at three distances, and with and without cigarettes. Background The antennae are by far the ant's most important sensory input devices. They are multi-jointed, with the first segment comprising the scape, while the remaining segments comprise the funiculas. The first segment, the scape, is elongated in females. The multiple joints of the funiculas can be uniform in size, however the terminal joint is often elongated and club shaped. Under magnification one can see that sensory apparatus are located on the last two segments. These apparatus are responsible for both tactile and olfactory perception. It is for tactile perception that the last two segments of the antennae are covered in hairs. Also visible on the antennae are the four olfactory receptors: the Clubs of Fovel, the Clubs Lining the Elliptical Pits, the Champagne Cork Organs of Fovel, and the Flask Shaped Organs of Lubbock and Fovel. The Clubs of Fovel are slight pits which contain hairs separated by a very thin chitinous layer from their accompanying nerve cell. This nerve cell is very sensitive, and can be triggered by as little as a single pheromone molecule. The Clubs of Fovel also secret a substance that is in function analogous to the saliva that coats our tongues. Without the mucus analogue the ant could not 'smell.' The other three olfactory receptors are similar to the Clubs of Fovel, with structural modifications like the internalization of the hair and the deepening of the pit Experimental Design: I went outside and found 15 ants in the yard outside my house. I was careful that they were not fire ants, as these could be dangerous. I placed them in a cup. Then, one at a time I placed them in a paper strip with sugar at the end, but the ant at the other end. The distances were 10, 15, and 20 cm. I timed how long until the ant reached the sugar. The following are the times. Regular Ants Length (cm) Time (sec) 10 7.2 6.74 8.31 6 Inquiry Grading Rubric Student: CHECKLISTS AND RUBRICS 1 Evaluator: The points that can be deducted from each category add to much more than 100 because scienti c work can be rendered invalid by poor performance in any of these areas. Employ the rubric by deducting points in areas where improvement is needed. Unsafe practices or plagiarism lead immediately to a failing grade. Please note that no rubric or checklist can fully capture the full range of strengths and dif culties that describe independent inquiries. This rubric provides a guide to help you identify common misconceptions and errors, but cannot fully cover all cases. For example, if a student were to obtain a genuinely new research result of some importance, he or she might be granted some leniency in categories related to presentation. Deduct up to Idea Safety | 100 Ethics Deduct nothing from categories that are not applicable and 100 10 5 0 | 20 Motivation and time 20 10 5 2 0 Experimental Design | 20 Calibration 20 10 5 2 0 | 20 Error Inquiry is conducted in accord with safe laboratory practice, and treats human subjects in ethical manner. Inquiry has been conducted in an unsafe manner or involves illegal or unethical elements. Animals have been mistreated. Safety of human participants has been jeopardized. Example: Student wants to investigate whether girlfriend’s energy level varies as he varies the dosage of her prescription medication. Inquiry appears to have been conducted in safe and appropriate manner, but documentation is missing or some questions about safe practice are not addressed. Inquiry appears to have been conducted in safe and appropriate manner, but documentation is incomplete and some questions about safe practice are not fully resolved. Student is aware of all issues surrounding ethics and safety of experiment and addresses them fully in written report. Animals and humans are treated in safe manner, following relevant guidelines. Student has obtained all necessary release forms, and completed all necessary safety training. Student is engaged by question and progress could reasonably be expected in time allotted. Student appears to have put no effort into project and displays no interest in outcome. Or student has settled upon project that could not possibly have been completed in limited time availble. Example: in 4-week project, student wants to study how size of tomatoes grown from seeds depends upon temperature. Or student spends far too little time on project. Example: student has six weeks to complete project and puts a total of one day’s work into it. Student appears to have put marginal effort into project and displays marginal interest in outcome, or expectations concerning time required for project were very unrealistic, or student spends too little time on project Student has put effort into project but does not appear to be interested in outcome; or, project has suffered because of poor use of time. Student has worked hard on project and indicates interest in outcome and used time reasonably well. Student has worked very hard on project, displays great interest in outcome, and has used time very well. 7 Measuring instrument has been configured to take meaningful data. Instrument provides meaningless numbers due to improper usage or lack of calibration. Example: sensors that only work when placed vertically are used in horizontal position. Example: Objects weighing more than 500gm are placed on scale giving 500 gm as maximum reading and all claimed to weigh the same. Example: 400 Hz vibrations are measured with sensor taking data at 10 Hz. Accuracy of experiment is greatly reduced because of insufficient attention to calibration, range, and precision of instrument. Instrument calibrated correctly on some occasions but not on others. Some results suffer reduced accuracy because of lack of attention to calibration and range. Instrument is correctly employed and calibrated at all times. Possible sources of random and systematic error have been identified, and actions have been taken to reduce them when possible. Inquiry One http://courses.utexas.edu/ → RM → Assignments 8 UGS 303 Lab Inquiry I: Home Inquiry Your first assignment for this class is to perform an inquiry away from an academic setting and then write a report that details what you did and what you learned. It is up to you to decide what you will investigate and the format for the report. We realize that you are being asked to do an assignment before you have learned anything in this course. This effort will give you an opportunity to find out just how much you already know, or don’t know, about experimental science in action. This inquiry will also provide an interesting comparison with your final experimental inquiry later in the semester, to see how far you have come. Selecting a topic: It doesn’t matter what you do, other than it must be readily accomplished around your house, dorm, or outdoors in about a week. You must actually perform an experiment; you may not use results you collected before today. Choosing your topic may be the hardest part of the assignment. Let your curiousity and creativity take hold. The biggest part of getting a good grade on this assignment is for us to read what you have done and think “Gee, that was an interesting/creative/unusual effort”. You may bounce your ideas off anyone, but please don’t ask anyone to tell you what to do. Chronicle in your notebook how your found your idea, including the list of ideas you considered and then discarded, and how you decided which one finally would be “the one”. Your lab notebook: Use your lab notebook as a scientist would — it’s where you write your ideas when you are brainstorming, any background information you may research ahead of time, your experiment design, all data you collect, any thoughts you have — basically anything you will wish you had at your fingertips when it is time to write up your report. You will be turning in your lab notebook, in addition to your completed report, to be graded. Report format: It is fine with me if you fall back on your experience with laboratory courses or science fairs in deciding on a format, but I am requiring no specific format, and no specific length. You decide. Report requirements: Please use a computer to create your report so that it is legible. If you submit a handwritten report we will reject it and make you type it up. Put your name in the header and number the pages in the footer of the document. Submit an electronic copy of your report (either a word or pdf document) on the Blackboard assignments page by the start of class on the due date. Print a copy of your final report, place it in your lab notebook binder, along with all your notes taken while working on this 9 read what you have done and think “Gee, that was an interesting/creative/unusual effort”. You may bounce your ideas off anyone, but please don’t ask anyone to tell you what to do. Chronicle in your notebook how your found your idea, including the list of ideas you considered and then discarded, and how you decided which one finally would be “the one”. Your lab notebook: Use your lab notebook as a scientist would — it’s where you write your ideas when you are brainstorming, any background information you may research ahead of time, your experiment design, all data you collect, any thoughts you have — basically anything you will wish you had at your fingertips when it is time to write up your report. You will be turning in your lab notebook, in addition to your completed report, to be graded. Report format: It is fine with me if you fall back on your experience with laboratory courses or science fairs in deciding on a format, but I am requiring no specific format, and no specific length. You decide. Report requirements: Please use a computer to create your report so that it is legible. If you submit a handwritten report we will reject it and make you type it up. Put your name in the header and number the pages in the footer of the document. Submit an electronic copy of your report (either a word or pdf document) on the Blackboard assignments page by the start of class on the due date. Print a copy of your final report, place it in your lab notebook binder, along with all your notes taken while working on this inquiry. (These notes may be handwritten.) Submit your binder in the box outside DrRuth’s office (WEL 3.153) by 3 pm on the due date. Safety: You will make the decisions on where and how to perform this inquiry so it is difficult to be too specific, but I caution you to use good sense with respect to health and safety issues in all of your data acquisition efforts. This is a serious warning. Use common sense. One year, a student in this class decided to produce explosive devices in his dorm room. Not a good idea. Grading: This is your first inquiry and I prefer you not to feel encumbered by the need to give me exactly what you think I want. This will be hard for those of you whose lives have and continue to revolve around grades. But the good news is, whatever grade you earn initially, if you don’t like it, I will let you redo it to earn a better score. For now, what will we look for to give you a high mark? Cleverness, enthusiasm, solid critical thinking and reasonable effort. Dates: Assigned Thursday, Aug 26th. Due in class, Tuesday, Sep 7th. UGS 303: Inquiry One Fall 2010 10 Th e S c i e n t i f i c M e t h o d State a hypothesis; i.e., a falsifiable statement about the world • • • • • Design an experiment to test the hypothesis Perform the experiment Analyze the data Can you confirm or disprove the hypothesis? Refine or correct the hypothesis and repeat 11 We cannot prove a hypothesis, we can only disprove it. PROOF Scientists don’t set out to “prove” a hypothesis. They test it. You can only reject, or fail to reject, a hypothesis. BELIEF Scientists don’t “believe” that something is true. They infer, deduce, test, observe it. 12 If you formulate a single hypothesis in an attempt to explain an observation, you are closing your mind to alternate explanations, and you may introduce a bias into your work. • • • • When you observe a phenomenon, first describe your specific question. Then develop a working, testable, hypothesis that may be able to explain the phenomenon. Think of other alternative hypotheses that may also explain the phenomenon. Consider other variables that may also affect the phenomenon and think of ways to exclude their effects (i.e. controls) 13 Does increased phosphate in streams alter algal productivity? H0: Increased phosphate has no effect on algal productivity. H1: Increased phosphate increases algal productivity. H2: Increased phosphate decreases algal productivity, when phosphate is high enough to become toxic. H3: Increased phosphate is associated with increased nitrate and both are necessary to maximize the production of algae. What about the effects of precipitation, water temperature, seasonal effects, water flow rate ? 14 Next week in lab Information gathering about YOU Lab Activity One: Termite lab Developing and testing hypotheses Watch for a survey appearing this weekend to find the b est times for our office hours... 15 ...
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