Contact Information

Instructors:Kris Nairn Lynn Ziegler Jim Crumley
Office: 239 PE 215 PE 107 PE

Course Information

Class: 2:40 pm Day 1
Web Site:

Course Description

This course is meant to give you a chance to work on interesting things that you wouldn’t get to do in a typical, math computer science, or physics course. You will be working on cross-disciplinary problems and learn skills from all three fields.

In this class, you will work on one project with your group for the entire semester. At the end of the semester you will present your results.

Note that this course meets concurrently with the MapCores (sophomore) Problem Solving Seminar. Also, on some class days we will have observers from the MapCores FYS class who will come to listen to your solutions. Finally, note that you will be presenting a poster on one of your projects during Scholarship and Creativity Day in April.

Course Goals

In this course you will gain:


Most of you will be working with a team of people when you gain employment after graduation. Teamwork is most effective when each member has a different skill set so that determining the resolution to a given problem arises as a result of good communication, a strong understanding of the required background information, and creativity. The goal of this course is to help you hone the skills necessary for collaboration with others within the workplace.

Your groups will be comprised of two or three people, depending on the particular assignment. When any member of the team does not effectively teach the others what they know about a particular concept, the entire team suffers and tends to produce below par results. We want the class to be a platform for the free exchange of ideas.

Every two cycles, you will present to the rest of the class what you have accomplished in the past two cycles.

Your team will do an oral presentation for your project at the end of the semester. We expect everyone in the group to participate equally, including participation during the oral presentations. In some cases this will be easily accomplished because each team member will present a different portion of the project. For example, it is not appropriate to have someone only do the introduction or conclusion. For each cycle, you will typically have 2-5 hours of work to do outside of class. We expect you to email us if you have questions prior to arriving to class.


The grade for this course will be based on your group’s solutions to the problems, your presentations of those solutions, and our observations of your groups while they are working. The grading will be broke down as follows: 10% for research plan, 50% for work on project and intermediate progress reports, 30% for posters, 10% for participation.

Course Schedule

CycleDate Topics Due
1M 1/16Introduce Projects
2-11 Work on Projects
3W 2/01Present Intermediate Results
5F 2/17Present Intermediate Results
7T 3/13Present Intermediate Results
9R 3/29Present Intermediate Results
11M 4/19work on posters
W 4/25Scholarship and Creativity Day poster session
12F 4/30free day