Marc David Servetnick
Overview of the scientific method, emphasizing the development of testable hypotheses, scientific writing and analysis.
This course is a general introduction to how natural scientists conduct research. It is intended as an overview of the scientific method and scientific process for science students in IAS and S&T, as well as others who are interested in scientific inquiry. It will also be useful to students interested in the application of science information in policy, planning, and other public arenas.
You will learn approaches to scientific writing, presentation, and literature searching and review that will be applicable to subsequent science courses at UWB, and to interpreting and using science in general. We will examine and practice the use of selected quantitative tools in science to foster your abilities to critically analyze scientific information, and to construct evidence-based arguments.
Student learning goals
Become familiar with basic scientific processes and how science is practiced.
Examine the steps of observation-driven investigation, including development of scientific questions and hypotheses, research design, experimentation and data collection, data analysis, interpretation and presentation.
Learn effective methods of communication in the natural sciences.
Learn strategies to find information in the scientific literature, read scientific papers, and extract important information.
Practice critically analyzing and representing quantitative scientific information.
Locate and review scientific literature related to a specific question and set of hypotheses.
General method of instruction
Lectures, problem sets, group projects, review of scientific papers and proposals, student presentations.
Students are expected to have high school or college algebra and college courses in natural science. Students should be comfortable with algebra, probability, and presentation of quantitative information in graphical and tabular form.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include problem sets, written assignments, group projects, scientific literature review, review of scientific papers and proposals. There will likely be oral presentation of final literature reviews. Grading will be based on the assignments above, as well as (probably two) in-class exams.