Bilkent University     Department of Physics

PHYS 124 - Freshman Project

Semester:Spring 2021
Instructor: Cemal Yalabık
Office: Room SA-228 Phone 1316
This will be a 100% online course! The best way to contact the instructor out of class is through email at and arrange for a zoom meeting if necessary. My Office Hours this semester will be Fridays 12:30 - 13:30 and I would prefer to have the meetings during those times, but we can arrange other times if necessary.
Assistant: Mahsa Seyedmohammadzadeh Room SA-203

About the course:
This course intends to impart to the student, knowledge and capabilities associated with basic research methods and tools needed to carry out research in Physics. The course will involve 2 hours/week of classroom instruction in which the student will be exposed to such subjects as literature and citation search through indices, planning and carrying out research procedures, research ethics, use of scientific computer tools for statistical analysis, report construction and presentation. Class hours coincide with the Faculty Colloquium times, and there will be no class on Colloquium days. The students are expected to attend the colloquia on those days.

The course will proceed in relation with a project on a specific topic in physics or a closely related area. The course will expose students to research through projects that require no prior knowledge beyond the high school level.

Teaching goals include practicing critical thinking, analyzing cause and effect relationships, planning controlled experiments, as well as gaining familiarity with useful skills such as literature search and scientific document preparation.

The project activity and classroom topics will generate regular assignments aiming to provide sufficient practice of the tools thought during class.

The grading will be based on the progress of the student's research project, which will be assessed regularly during the semester through the reports and presentation material that will have to be prepared. Students will also be graded on the presentation of their project at the end of the semester.

Homework performance will also affect the final grade.

Literature search homework 10% Due
Project proposal 10% Due
LaTex homework 10% Due Thursday, Mar. 18
Project progress report 10% Due
Numerical modeling homework 1 10% Due
Numerical modeling homework 2 10% Due
Project report 10% Due
Project presentation material 10% Due
Project presentation 20%

The homework is to be submitted through the Moodle system, in the form of a PDF file.
Please name the file in the format:

surname-ID-HW#.pdf (e.g. yalabik-34534534-Literature_search_HW.pdf)

You can view your grades through the Stars system.

Course Schedule:
First meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 15:40 - 17:30 in Zoom Room SA-Z02
Lectures:Wednesdays 15:40 - 17:30Zoom Room SA-Z02

There will be changes to this program, based on the Colloquium schedule.
Watch this web page for changes!

Week Class discussion Tasks/Assignments Lab work (Get help on your
homework during classtime) No class Introduction, description of work to be carried out
[Discussion of possible project topics]
Discussion of available personal and university resources Literature search
Planning a project
Hypothesis, analysis/experiment, evaluation
Class discussions on all of the project topics
Students come with printed material related to possible topics
Selection of general area of the project No class
Literature search homework due Introduction to LaTex
Tutorial Files
The LaTex manual
Gnuplot information
Project proposal due Lab work Latex and Gnuplot applications Latex No class LaTex homework due on Thursday Numerical modeling Project progress report due Numerical modeling applications Lab work Numerical modeling exercise Research ethics Numerical modeling homework 1 due Scientific writing
Scientific presentations
Numerical modeling homework 2 due
Posponed to April 21st No class
Project report due
(Latex generated PDF) Lab work
Presentation material due
Improvements on presentation material Presentations
Project Presentations Project Presentations

Some examples of student project presentation material from previous years