This page contains the writing assignments for the course. Details about the final group design project are on the projects page.
Design notebook guidelines (PDF)
Notebooks will be collected in lab approximately every other week.
Both of these reports should be well-structured, with introductions, body and conclusions. Points will be taken off for grammar and spelling mistakes, so proofread before handing them in.
a. Review of a current (major) engineering challenge and why it's important to society today. Stories taken from current news and events, and popular magazines (Popular Science, Science, Nature, Scientific American, New Scientist, Time, US News and World Reports, etc) related to major engineering challenges facing society today. These should be challenges that warrant new engineering technology (that needs to be developed/designed!). You should discuss critically why it's important, how it will benefit society and the environment, and what the major challenges are (engineering, societal and/or political!). Report should be 2-3 pages.
b. Ethics position paper (PDF). This position paper will convey your personal opinion relating to the ethical dilemma presented in an assigned reading. You will not be graded on your opinion, but how you convince the reader that your opinion is valid and should be considered. This should be approximately 2 pages.
Perelman, Les. "Writing a Technical Report." (PDF) (Courtesy of Les Perelman and Mya Poe. Used with permission.)
Kent, Adrian. "A Critical Look at Risk Assessments for Global Catastrophes." Risk Analysis 24 (2004): 157-168.
Calogero, Francesco. "Might A Laboratory Experiment Destroy Planet Earth?" Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 25 (2000): 191-202.
Overbye, Dennis. "Gauging a Collider's Odds of Creating a Black Hole." New York Times, April 15, 2008.
Jaffe, R. L., et al. "Review of Speculative 'Disaster Scenarios' at RHIC." Reviews of Modern Physics 72 (2000): 1125-1140. arxiv:hep-ph/9910333v3
Johnson, George. "Physicists Strive to Build a Black Hole." New York Times, September 11, 2001.
Overbye, Dennis. "Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More." New York Times, March 29, 2008.
Nizza, Mike. "Hawking Anticipates Collider's Start." New York Times, September 9, 2008.
Overbye, Dennis. "A Giant Takes On Physics' Biggest Questions." New York Times, May 15, 2005.
Dar, Arnon, A. De Rújula, and Ulrich Heinz. "Will Relativistic Heavy Ion Colliders Destroy Our Planet?" Physical Review Letters B 470 (1999): 142-148. arXiv:hep-ph/9910471v1
AssociatedPress. "Particle Collider Fires, No Black Holes Form." September 10, 2008. YouTube. Accessed August 3, 2009.
Your team will make a presentation to the class on your design ideas and how you plan to construct your vehicle. This presentation should be made in Powerpoint (MAC/Windows) or Keynote (MAC OS) and a PDF should be printed and posted to the course Web site. Each team member should present some aspect of the design.
Rethinking the design of presentation slides (PDF) (Courtesy of Michael Alley. Used with permission.)
Presentation template (PDF)
Both of these reports should be well-structured, with introductions, body and conclusions. Points will be taken off for grammar and spelling mistakes, so proofread before handing them in. These are more technical in nature than the CI reports.
a. Technical report 1 (PDF): This TR will detail the data obtained from testing the motors. Highlight the pros/cons of the motor/prop combination and present your data for thrust, etc.
b. Technical report 2: This TR will detail your data collected in the Charles River Basin and Boston Harbor areas.