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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

PHYS3888: Physics Interdisciplinary Project

The ability to work across interdisciplinary boundaries is a crucial skill for tackling problems in our modern world. With quantitative modelling becoming widespread across industry and traditionally qualitative sciences, physicists have a crucial role to play in applying their expertise broadly. In this unit, you will gain an appreciation for the unique skills and ways of thinking that have allowed physicists to contribute to a wide range of real-world problems. This unit contains two components: (i) a lecture and interactive problem-based group-tutorial component on interdisciplinary physics, complex systems, and artificial intelligence, and (ii) an interdisciplinary project-based component. For the project component you will work in small interdisciplinary groups, including students from other 3888 units, to tackle a real-world interdisciplinary problem. For example, students may build a real-time brain-machine interface that use machine-learning techniques to extract meaningful patterns from live physiological measurements (e.g., human brain activity that is used to control computer software (e.g., a simple game). Through project-based learning, you will learn to leverage the diverse skills represented in your team, and develop skills in experimental measurement, numerical processing, and statistical modelling. Skills in identifying and solving problems, collecting and analysing data, and communicating your findings to diverse audiences are highly valued in modern research and by employers.

Details

Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Unit code PHYS3888
Unit name Physics Interdisciplinary Project
Session, year
? 
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Prohibitions
? 
PHYS3941 or PHYS3991
Prerequisites
? 
(PHYS2011 OR PHYS2911 OR PHYS2921) AND (PHYS2012 OR PHYS2912 OR PHYS2922)
Corequisites
? 
None
Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Ben David Fulcher, ben.fulcher@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Reflection tasks & peer assessment
See Canvas for details
20% Multiple weeks See Canvas for details.
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Assignment Computational assignment
Tests numerical modeling skills on interdisciplinary computational problems
10% Multiple weeks 5-10 quiz questions
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Presentation group assignment Group Project proposal pitch presentation
Proposal
10% Week 05 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO5
Online task Examined final computer lab
Individual evaluation of numerical and theoretical skills
30% Week 08
Due date: 22 Oct 2020
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Research assignment
Written assessment summarizing an interdisciplinary physics research paper
10% Week 08 Maximum 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment group assignment Final project outcome
Project report in the style of an industry report and a short video summary
20% Week 12 See Canvas for details
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Computational assignments: Students must submit completed versions of the computer tutorials run in weeks 2–6. Students have up to one week following each computational tutorial to submit their completed work.
  • Research assignment: Students must submit a report summarising a published physics paper of their choice that includes a discussion by the student about the role of physics in contributing quantitative mechanistic accounts of real-world phenomena.
  • Computer exam: In this exam (run in-semester and online), students will be tested on their knowledge of the lecture and computer lab material, and be able to use their numerical skills to solve real-world problems.
  • Project design presentation: Students must present their proposed design for the interdisciplinary project as a group.
  • Final project report: The group report summarises the outcomes from the group interdisciplinary project.
  • Reflection tasks: This is a series of reflection tasks is in the form of blog posts, assessing the student’s interaction and insight into interdisciplinary project work.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Note:

Students are to work together on the project remotely. All assessments based on group presentations will take place on Zoom, in a virtual classroom/seminar format, with no changes to the dates or weight.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

At High-distinction level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts.

Distinction

75 - 84

At Distinction level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a welldeveloped understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or a reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.

Credit

65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the unit material and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.

Pass

50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks NMR project topic development (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Developing NMR solution to a real-world problem (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 01 Introduction to Phys3888 Project Component (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
What is interdisciplinary physics? (1 hr) LO1
Working as a Group 1: Team charter, roles, how to run meetings, shared decision making (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Representing complex systems as networks (2 hr) LO1
Analysing complex networks (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 03 Formulating and simulating complex interactions as dynamical systems (2 hr) LO1
Simulating dynamical systems (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Working as a Group 2: Cultural competence, interpersonal communication (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Criticality in nature (2 hr) LO1
Measuring, simulating and analysing critical behaviour (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Building learning machines (2 hr) LO1
Simulating learning machines (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Group Project proposal pitch presentation. (2 hr) LO3 LO5
Week 06 Algorithms for artificial intelligence (1 hr) LO1
Statistical learning from data (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 10 Effective science communication: Video presentations (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Project showcase (2 hr) LO5

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand how physics knowledge and techniques can be used to solve interdisciplinary problems
  • LO2. analyse, simulate, and model real-world data using statistical and numerical modelling techniques
  • LO3. collaborate in groups, both within and across disciplinary boundaries, to design and implement a solution to a real-world problem
  • LO4. demonstrate integrity, confidence, accountability, and resilience in managing challenges, both individually and in teams
  • LO5. communicate project outcomes effectively to a broad audience.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9
We have added tutor support for the project component and adjusted the structure of these sessions, to ensure more regular supervision of all project teams. We have provided more examples of questions to test understanding of each module to aid exam preparation. Computer tutorials have been modified to ensure students get the most out of the session, including improved quiz questions and prework.

The School of Physics recognises that biases and discrimination, including but not limited to those based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and age, continue to impact parts of our community disproportionately. Consequently, the School is strongly committed to taking effective steps to make our environment supportive and inclusive and one that provides equity of access and opportunity for everyone.

The School has three Equity Officers as a point of contact for students and staff who may have a query or concern about any issues relating to equity, access and diversity.  If you feel you have been treated unfairly, bullied, discriminated against or disadvantaged in any way, you are encouraged to talk to one of the Equity Officers or any member of the Physics staff.

More information can be found at https://sydney.edu.au/science/schools/school-of-physics/equity-access-diversity.html

Any student who feels they may need a special accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Disability Services:

http://sydney.edu.au/current_students/disability/ who can help arrange support.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service: unihealth.usyd.edu.au/

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.