Internet Project Introduction

The SME LIGHT Internet Project extends over the entire year. During the fall quarter, you will set up your web space on leland, introduce yourself virtually to the class, and start making a record of your experiences in your new favorite course, "Light in the Physical and Biological World." Of course, you can also put other stuff on your web page . . .

What Will I Put On My Web Page For SME LIGHT?
  1. Virtual Introduction

    The very first thing you will do on your web page is introduce yourself. Your "bio" should be up on your page by Tuesday, October 5th. It should include a description of yourself, your background, and your interests, as well as links to web pages that you like and to your friends' web pages. It could include pictures too. To see examples, check out mine or Sharon's. You could also click on the Last Year's Class menu item and look at the bios of last year's class.

    Please write a bio that you are comfortable having your SME classmates see. If you wish to keep your bio hidden from non-SME folks, then you should consider the options given under the privacy section of this page. You will need the class username and password to access this section; check with a TA to obtain these.

  2. Reflections

    The five SME problem sets that you will do this quarter are due on Thursdays (October 7, October 21, November 4, November 18, and December 2, to be precise). The three SME web reflections that you will do this quarter are due on the in-between Thursdays: October 14, October 28, and November 11. These reflections will be one or two paragraphs in length. In your reflections you may pose scientific questions that come up when you think about light, comment upon scientific articles in newspapers, on the web, or in magazines that are relevant to the course, or describe scientific phenomena that you encounter in your life that have some connection to what we are studying. We will provide articles, magazines, and online science resources if you wish, or you may use your own. You can find some online science resources by clicking on the Science Links menu item.

    The reflections are meant to be very unstructured and free-form. We are looking for originality, creativity, and the quality of your thinking, especially as it is evidenced in the questions you pose. We have provided some sample reflections in case you want to look at them, but you should not feel restricted by their formats.

    Your first reflection should be about your personal opinions and your background. Some of the questions you might explore in the first reflection are the following. Feel free to write about one or two of them, or don't write about any of them and instead introduce your attitude about science in whatever way you see fit.

    • What do you bring to the course and what was your motivation for choosing it?
    • How do you feel about science?
    • Do you think science is necessary? Why or why not?
    • If you think science is boring, what makes it boring?
    • How could we make science more fun and interesting for you this year?
    • How does science affect your life?
    • What kinds of things do you hope to learn this year?
    • What do you think "scientific truth" is?
    • What are your feelings about the "science" of creationism? (This debate is very active one at the moment: try searching for "scientific creationism" on yahoo.)
    • Are there issues of scientific ethics that are meaningful to you (the use of animals in research, toxic waste disposal, designer drugs, chemical accidents)?
    • What are your feelings about the use of statistics in scientific arguments?
    • Who should foot the bill for basic scientific research?

    Your second reflection can be a continuation of any of these topics or something totally new. Check out the sample reflections for examples and/or the science links for extra inspiration if you need it. Finally, your third reflection will be a response to one of your classmates' reflections. More details on that to come.

    You may organize your reflections in any manner that you choose (chronological, reverse chronological, grouped by subject, linked from pictures, etc) but they must be organized. We may want to use some of them as topics for class discussion.

  3. Lab Projects

    During the course of the year, you will be expected to summarize and display some of your lab projects on the web. For example, this quarter, you will build and take photographs with a pinhole camera. You will display your photos and camera design on your web page so that the whole class can see these and comment on them. At the end of the quarter, you will write a short (one-paragraph) description of how you calculated the speed of light using only a television (I'm not kidding) on your web-page.