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. One of the three professors for this class will be your main advisor for your project.

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 other cycles, you will present what you have accomplished in the past two cycles to one or both or the professors that you are not working with on your project. Note that you may have to meet with your project advisor outside of class to discuss your project and ask questions.

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 final presentation, 10% for participation.

The research plan is a 1 page description of the problem your project covers and how you plan to attack it. This plan should describe your goals for the rest of the semester for your project, as well as you tentative time table for meeting your goals.

Course Schedule

CycleDate Topics Due
1W 8/29 Introduce Projects
2-11 Work on Projects
3f 9/14 Present Intermediate Results
4M 9/24 Research plan
5R 10/02Present Intermediate Results
7M 10/22Present Intermediate Results
9W 11/07Present Intermediate Results
11W 11/28Present Intermediate Results
12R 12/06present Projects