Below is a list of courses where research and/or creative activities are the primary focus. Also detailed are the expected outcome for students to gain practical experience in their area of study and or preparation of work to be presented/published or exhibited.
Students can also find a list of Internships, Practica and Coops approved to meet the Liberal Arts Work requirement at the LAW website.
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY
BIO 422 Research Methods in Cell & Molecular Biology (Professor Mike Adams) The emphasis in this course is on hands-on familiarization with some of the common techniques used in molecular biology and genetics. Each week there will be a short lecture on the physical and chemical basis for a given procedure, a description of how the technique is actually performed and then the class will go into the lab and try it out. This course was featured in US News & World Reports in an article titled “10 College Courses That Will Pay Off at Work.”
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
ENG 462 Seminar II In the second semester, students will continue to engage in collaborative discourse, will report on the progress of their research, and will write and deliver their papers.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCE
EES 440 Process Geomorphology with Laboratory (Professor Drew Hyatt) is a writing intensive class for EES majors that develops a deeper understanding of geologic processes that shape surface landforms through integrated classroom discussion, field activities, and computer analyses of data collected in the Eastern Arboretum. Laboratories introduce skills used to measure stream geometries, quantify change in channel form, evaluate land-use impacts, describe changes through historical and present-day aerial photography, and collect data and samples that may be used to infer environmental change at the site. These activities include use of basic surveying equipment (compass, global positioning system, total station), a variety of sediment coring instruments, and new technologies, like ground penetrating radar (see the figure below). Students develop research skills in computing by analyzing data with digital elevation modeling software and other specialty packages. A culminating lab report and a semester-long essay draws together experiences throughout the semester and provides an opportunity to revise previously submitted written responses.
EES 450 Hydrological Research Methods Introduction to collaborative hydrological research through laboratory, computer, and/or field research projects. Activities include proposal writing, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, oral presentation, and manuscript preparation. Emphasis is placed on the process and methods of scientific inquiry.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
SLM 345 Leadership and Problem Solving (Associate Professor Greg Kane) is a highly interactive learning experience that builds leadership characteristics and problem solving skills for sport and leisure management students. This course builds theoretical foundations and provides practical experiences that enable students to develop their own leadership style. Students undertake semester service learning projects, working in small groups to identify a need in the community and developing a plan of action that contributes to their cause. Successful projects build final products and develop skills in taking logical steps, solving problems that arise and developing new leadership characteristics. Examples of recent successful activities include:
• Objective: Develop a fundraising plan, plan of action, and donate proceeds to American Cancer Society (AMC)
• Methods: Develop a group icon and brand, create an original tee-shirt, sell product to community, donate proceeds
• Outcome: Group sold 50 tee-shirts contributing $500 to the ACS
• Objective: Develop a web site for online collaboration targeting the sport management professional and student
• Methods: Develop a relationship with university information technology, obtain rights and proprietary content from older site, and create unique web site content
• Outcome: Students created the Sport and Leisure Management Think Tank containing reference lists for critical issues in sport, sport careers and internships, and links to news and articles.
DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS
MAT371 Explorations Math-Graph Theory (Assistant Professor Megan Heenehan) In this course our focus is on learning to do graph theory. Students work through a sequence of definitions and theorems leading from basic properties of graphs to deep and meaningful results in graph theory. During each class meeting students present their work to the class and their classmates provide feedback. Together the class polishes the presenters work until the entire class agrees a valid proof has been presented. Students are not allowed to use any outside resources such as textbooks and the Internet. Outside resources are forbidden because in this course students do research at their level. They do research just like mathematicians do research; the only difference is that they rediscover proofs of theorems that have already been proved. This class promotes problem solving and presentation skills, shows students what it is like to do math research, and emphasizes the collaborative nature of doing mathematics.
MAT 421 Real Analysis II is the second course in the capstone sequence of the Mathematics major. In addition to the standard coursework, it includes two research projects on problems either chosen by the students and approved by the instructor, or assigned by the instructor. The students work in groups and regularly report on the progress in class, where they receive critique and input from both the class and the instructor. At the completion of each project each group makes a final presentation, and submits a paper, which has to be written under the strict standards of mathematical rigor.
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE
CHE 430 Nanosystems Laboratory This course applies the theory and practice of basic chemical instrumentation to nanomaterials. The scope is limited to the analysis of metal, metal oxide, and semiconductor nanoparticle samples using electronic and fluorescence spectrscopy, chromatography and centrifugation separations, and electrochemical methods of analysis.
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
The goal of the required 4-course sequence below is to prepare students to be knowledgeable consumers of research. Activities in these courses also focus on research, creative and professional skills focusing on the psychology departments emphasis on the science of behavior and mental processes. All psychology majors design and carry out independent research in the culminating PSY 327 course. Students use SPSS for data analysis and conduct research in labs to give them experience with various methodologies.
Many students go on to present their research at professional conferences (examples can be found under “Completed Projects” from the home page).
PSY 227 – Behavioral Science Statistics
(prerequisite: PSY 100)
An introduction to descriptive and inferential methods used to evaluate psychological research. Topics include graphic methods, central tendency, variability, correlation , hypothesis testing, and sample distributions.
PSY 247 – Research Methods I
(prerequisite: PSY 100)
An overview of behavior research including developing hypotheses, research methodologies, library research, writing styles and an introduction to basic statistics. Students read scholarly journals and develop a research proposal.
PSY 327 – Research Methods II
(prerequisite: PSY 217, 227)
A continuation of PSY 247 with in depth coverage of correlational and experimental designs. Students carry out independent undergraduate research projects. Students gain experience conceptualizing, implementing and writing of research reports.
PSY 402/409 – Current Research In Psychology/Child Psychology
(prerequisite: PSY 217, 227)
In depth study of recent research in psychology utilizing journal articles in neuroscience, human development, learning, cognition, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior, social behavior and industrial/organizational psychology.
Students can also work on research with instructors for course credit (PSY 480 or 491) or as part of a research lab (descriptions and details is available under the “Current Projects”).