User:Steven J. Koch/307L ideas

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Dynamic page listing of ideas

Permalinks to 2008 formal report final drafts (before any comments from me)

Roughdrafts 2008

Permalinks to final reports 2007

Ideas for next year

  1. Improvements to grading scheme (takes too long to grade all reports)
    • Also break it up into components
    • Have fixed deadlines and take off points for lateness (almost everyone is behind by end of semester).
  2. Enforce primary lab notebook from the get-go
  3. Early wiki editing assignment (graded)
  4. Figure out how to incorporate extra data (re-taking with improvements) into the course. At least in the formal report.
  5. Rough draft should count for a little bit of a grade (keep in mind that rough draft is usually very low grade).
  6. Have students mark pages with {{___ Grade this}} or whatever, so I can sort with DPL
  7. Elsewhere on OWW, lab report guidelines:


  1. Bevington from
  2. Coordinate priorities with Bill Miller
    • Error analysis in 307L
    • How to write a report is a key priority
  3. For reports: suggestions of improvements to the experiments. This is both educational and practical: it will develop skills used in future research and also, there will be occasions when we can actually implement the student's suggestions.
  4. Data analysis possibilities
    • LabVIEW
    • Excel
    • R or other freeware

Thoughts about changes to course

  1. Extra credit for converting the lab manual for a particular experiment to wiki format...thinking about adding points to the final formal lab writeup.
  2. Rough draft due after three experiments. Lab 3 ends on October 17. Formal report is due December 5 or somewhere around there.
    • Allow students to repeat the experiment that they are writing up only if they turn it in by rough draft due date and only if it's available.

Topics I'd like to cover

  1. Basics (of course, need to designate these / see Gold's course)
  2. Central Limit Theorem
  3. How to calculate a mean and error in the mean from a group of independent measurements (and why do we do it this way?)
  4. Maximum likelihood
  5. Simplex method / optimization
  6. Research Ethics (Giving credit; when to not include data; recording everything; etc.)
  7. Science 2.0 (versus 1.0)
  8. Physics careers after u-grad


  1. Learning how to do experimental physics --application and testing of theories, but no focus on memorization or complicated derivations -- everything can be looked up.

Poisson Data

Media:07Koch.xls Media:K100MS.xls Media:K100MS.ASC Media:KOCH1.ASC Media:Koch 1 second Poisson..xls