2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: An advanced-lab model for liberal-arts colleges: Capstone research projects
Abstract: In many Liberal-art colleges physics faculty are expected to do significant teaching and carry a productive research program. It is very challenging to have a successful research program when it is relegated to the summer months. In an effort to include research into the academic year, Colgate University's advanced lab curricular component consists of capstone research projects. The projects are not part of dedicated advanced-lab setups, but rather they are designed by the participating faculty members. This allows faculty to craft student projects around their own research or laboratory. It also enables faculty to engage with students in research projects, and may benefit from the student's past summer research experience. What the program loses in breadth it gains in depth. Students confront facing a challenge and a problem whose outcome is not known, and thus get a taste of scientific research. In the process they use electronics (a curricular requirement), shop work, and other experimental techniques to reach the project's objectives. Students are also expected to give talks and present a final paper in journal format. Our course format has changed over the years. Currently it consists of a mandatory component during the spring semester of the senior year and an optional for-honors component the following semester.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Contributed Presentation: Download the Contributed Presentation
Session: Session II - Syllabi Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Enrique J. Galvez
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
Phone: (315) 228-7205
Fax: (315) 228-7187