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General information

The course Onderzoeksmethoden is given as part of the bachelor program on Computer Science (directions "Game Technology" and "Informatics") at Utrecht University. The course takes place in the first period on Tuesday and Wednesday; see the schedule below for an overview. Presense is mandatory because there is no exam. The course starts on Tuesday, 12/09/2017.

All teaching material will be in English, as well as the requested report and presentation. The lectures might be in Dutch but on request will also be in English.

The course has the following learning goals:

  • set up a research project;
  • conduct a literature survey;
  • perform a research project in a scientific manner;
  • write a scientific report;
  • give a scientific presentation.

Lecture material

Lecture Notes

Other

Below, you can also find the presentation on "Giving presentations" and a corresponding score sheet.

Example papers

Below you will find links to 6 student papers of the course Research Methods of last year 2016. These papers are a sort of examples for student papers in this year 2017. The papers are:

These papers received in 2016 a very high quality assessment. Especially the following criteria were used for the assessment:

  • Relevance and challenge of the research question, as well as whether the research question was well-defined,
  • Correctness of the method used to find a solution (probability and statistrics, reproducibility)
  • Quality of the paper (especially the explanation of the material, and the conciseness of the text).

Observe that the correct use of the English language was not assessed; this can be observed in some papers.

The paper of Gosen and Makatipu has an additional quality because at the end it explains and proves a structural cause for the unexpected long-term statistical behavior of the considerd algorithm.

Course overview

The main line of this course is to address these learning goals by letting you carry out your research project. In this edition of the course, the central topic will be various aspects of Monte Carlo methods

In more detail, what is expected from the students, working in groups of max. 3:

  • identify a research topic
  • write a program
  • generate the required data
  • report the findings in a report and in a presentation.

Schedule

This is our preliminary scheudle.

Week Date Time Room Topic Speaker Deadline
37 12/09 15.15-17.00 RUPPERT-BLAUW Gerard Barkema  
  13/09 13.15-15.00 BESTUURS-LIEREGG Gerard Barkema  
38 19/09 15.15-17.00 RUPPERT-BLAUW Introduction to probability theory Debabrata Panja  
  20/09 13.15-15.00 BESTUURS-LIEREGG Gerard Barkema  
39 26/09 15.15-17.00 RUPPERT-BLAUW Gerard Barkema
  27/09 13.15-15.00 BESTUURS-LIEREGG Introduction to hypothesis testing Debabrata Panja  
40 03/10 15.15-17.00 RUPPERT-BLAUW Gerard Barkema  
  04/10 13.15-15.00 BESTUURS-LIEREGG Gerard Barkema  
41 11/10 13.15-15.00 Group1: BBG-385
Group2: LANGEVELD-G219
Group3: DDW-0.36
Group 4: BBG-315/317
   
  13/10 9.00-10.45 Group1: BBG-077
Group2: BBG-385
Group3: BBG-401
Group 4: BBG-017
 
42 18/10 13.15-15.00 Group1: BBG-385
Group2: LANGEVELD-G219
Group3: DDW-0.36
Group 4: BBG-315/317
 
  20/10 9.00-10.45 Group1: BBG-077
Group2: BBG-385
Group3: BBG-401
Group 4: BBG-017
Status Report
43 25/10 13.15-15.00 Group1: BBG-385
Group2: LANGEVELD-G219
Group3: DDW-0.36
Group 4: BBG-315/317
Group Project Presentations    
  27/10 9.00-10.45 Group1: BBG-077
Group2: BBG-385
Group3: BBG-401
Group 4: BBG-017
Group Project Presentations    
44 01/11 13.15-15.00 Group1: BBG-385
Group2: LANGEVELD-G219
Group3: DDW-0.36
Group 4: BBG-315/317
Group Project Presentations    
  03/11 9.00-10.45 Group1: BBG-077
Group2: BBG-385
Group3: BBG-401
Group 4: BBG-017
Group Project Presentations  
45 07/11 15.15-17.00 Group 4: BBG-017 Group Project Presentations    
08/11 13.15-15.00 Group1: BBG-385
Group2: LANGEVELD-G219
Group3: DDW-0.36
Group 4: BBG-315/317
Group Project Presentations    
  10/11 9.00-10.45 Group1: BBG-077
Group2: BBG-385
Group3: BBG-401
Group 4: BBG-017
Group Project Presentations   Final Report

Reports

The reports are expected to be written in English, in the style of either a “Science report” or a “Nature letter”, with a SOM (Supplementary Online Material) discussing the statistics (determination of error bars, etc.)

Presentations

You need to give a 20-minute presentation about your research assignment, which will be assessed by using the following score sheet. The time includes 1 minute to setup the presentation, a 15-minute presentation, and 4 minutes of feedback and Q&A.

The course is split into four groups/clusters, and you give your presentation to the other members of your group/cluster. Note that presence at other peoples presentations is mandatory. The schedule for these presentations can be found below

Schedule for the presentations

Each cluster has a responsible teacher. Please voice any presentation time complaints to the teacher assigned to your cluster.

Grading

The final grade is based on the report (70%) and the presentation (30%).

Grading of the report:

  • standard grade is 6.0;
  • If the topic is unique (i.e. does not fully overlap with the topic of another group of students), the grade is changed by +1.0;
  • If some aspects are especially good, the grade is changed by +0.5 or +1.0;
  • If some aspects are below standard, the grade is changed by -0.5 or -1.0.

Particular attention is paid to:

  • Is the statistics (presented in the SOM) solid?
  • Are there proper references to existing literature?
  • Is the report following the style guide of the journal (Science or Nature)?
  • Is the research describes in sufficient detail to allow for reproducibility?

Lecturers and contact

The main lecturer is prof.dr. Gerard Barkema. The other lecturer is dr. Debabrata Panja.
He, dr. Sergey Sosnovsky, dr. Frank Staals and dr. Marinus Veldhorst are also responsble for the presentation part of the course.
Teachers' e-mails can be found on their webpages.