ECEN 3070 – Edges of Science

Spring 2018




Class participation  (20%)

Most of the course is discussion-based, and so your participation is essential.  Reading the assigned material in advance is required.


Discussion Groups

In some of the class sessions at the beginning of the semester students will be divided into thee groups: Advocates, Skeptics, and Interrogators.  Please regularly check the course schedule to see which sessions are divided into these groups. 


Advocacy Arguments  (30%)

Tight argument in favor of or against the anomalous finding

Š       Describe main points that support your viewpoint (not a summary of the experiment)

Š       Include specific arguments, not generalities

Š       Be quantitative where possible (p-value, effect size, number of studies, etc.)

Š       Be concise; limit length to 1 page (1.5-line spaced typing) or less; Longer arguments will not be accepted. (Figures and references do not count towards the 1-page limit)

Š       Structure argument in a coherent and effective way

Š       Does not have to reflect your own opinion

Š       Should leave the reader strongly convinced of your viewpoint

Š       Write the date of the reading on your argument page.

Based on assigned readings on days marked with a , any additional material you find and your own ideas

Forms the basis for the advocates’ in-class arguments

At least five advocacy summaries due during the semester

Final advocacy reports due on Apr 19. You are encouraged to complete all your advocacy reports early in the semester.


Research Project                                                                    

1.     Discussion in class about projects (Feb 6). Speak with G. Moddel about your ideas.

2.     Project proposal. Outline or short description to be turned in (Feb 16). Only one needs to be turned in per project group (usually 2 or 3 students). Should include:

a.     Title

b.     Participants

c.     Goal

d.     Basic procedure (does not require much detail at this point)

3.     If your research involves human (or other living) subjects you will need to get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

a.     You will be required to first complete the Human Research Tutorial (CITI training) for Social Behavioral Research and receive certification by Feb 20. You will need a “POI number with eRA access” for the CITI training. To get that, email Mr. Morgan T. Bays <morgan.bays@Colorado.EDU> with the following information.

1.     name as it appears on their Social Security card

2.     address

3.     date of birth

4.     ethnic group (the system will process the POI without that if you write 'refused to disclose', so not vital)

Tell him you’re in my course and ask him to issue you a POI number.

b.     YOU WILL NEED TO READ AND FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE IN DETAIL: Then you will need to submit a description of your protocol and participant informed consent form for review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Follow the process described in Getting Started. You will also want to fill out an expedited worksheet here (click on Expedited). Use the templates provided for the protocol and consent documents after you’ve clicked the Expedited tab. The request can be short and to the point. Here is an example of the request (yours can be a lot shorter) and consent form. (Note that our research is not considered “classroom research.”) Submit a the protocol and expedited worksheet forms to G. Moddel by Feb 22, and to the HRC by Feb 27. Instructions for submission are here, and the documents should be submitted online here. To submit see the Submission Guidelines for Students, and be sure you route your submission to me as your faculty advisor. The type of review is most likely “expedited review.” Speak to me to determine if this is required for your project.

4.     Carry out research. You should start right after Feb 15, because you will encounter unexpected delays. Research should be totally complete by Apr 19.

5.     Project Analysis Paper. One from each student – individual, not group, work  (15%)

Š       On the topic of your research project.  See Paper Formats for a full description of what should go into this paper.

Š       Due Mar 20.                                                                                       

6.     In-class update on progress (Apr 3)

7.     Class presentation

Š       Present the project summary and results to the class during the last two weeks of the semester on date shown on schedule

Š       Can be an in-class PowerPoint presentation, or you can make a video (e.g., on YouTube), or a combination.

Š       Organize well & practice to make sure you can complete it less than your allocated time, to allow for questions.

Š       Maximum time: 20 minutes for groups projects, 15 minutes for individual projects

8.     Final report due May 8.  (35%, grade includes updates and class presentation)

Š       Although the project experimentation is a group effort, a final report should be done individually by each group member

Š       This report should include your revised Analysis Paper

Š       See Paper Formats for a full description of what should go into this paper.



Up to course home page