Chaos and Complex Systems

Fall 2006
Course Overview

The final project should be an in-depth exploration of some area of mathematics or physics related to chaos and complex systems. In your project you should strive for depth; avoid doing a broad survey. We should meet soon to discuss possible topics.

  1. Week Two: Meet with me to discuss possible topics. Do initial research, obtain references.
  2. Week Three: Continue to research and obtain and read references. By the end of the week, submit an initial bibliography. This bibliography should include at least five references.
  3. Week Six: Initial pre-presentation (see below) on Monday 16 October.
  4. Weeks Seven-Eight: Continue research, meeting with me at least once.
  5. Week Nine: Continue research. Submit abstract for final presentation by Thursday 8 November.
  6. Wee Ten: Presentations. Submit final annotated bibliography.

Initial pre-presentation
This is an initial presentation in which you introduce your topic. You should give your audience a sense of what you'll be doing the next several weeks and the questions you'll wish to address. There are several goals for this initial presentation.
  1. Force you to choose a topic early rather than later.
  2. Let other people in the class know what you're up to; get feedback and ideas from others.
  3. Give you a chance to practice giving technical presentations. You'll get feedback on your presentation from both me and classmates.
Since the pre-presentation is intended for people in the class, it will likely be rather technical. Presentations will be around 10-15 minutes. You should use overhead transparencies. Powerpoint is not allowed unless you convince me that there is some compelling reason for you to use it. We may have to prolong class or schedule an evening session so we can have all the presentations on the same day.

Final Presentations
During Week 10 we will give presentations in a session open to the community. In a few weeks we will decide on a format. The session will involve some combination of talks, posters, and papers.

Annotated Bibliography
This should be a list of all the references you consulted over the course of the project. I do not care what format you use, as long as it is consistent, complete, and clear. In addition to giving bibliographic details, you should give a 4-5 sentence description and analysis of each reference. This annotation should usually summarize the reference (unless it's obvious from the title), state how much you used the reference and how useful you found it, give an indication of the technical level of the reference, and give any critical reactions or assessments of the reference. There are many excellent guides to annotated bibliographies -- just google "annotated bibliography" and you'll find them.