Bilkent University     Department of Physics

PHYS 124 - Freshman Project

Semester:Spring 2022
Instructor: Cemal Yalabık
Office: Room SA-228 Phone 1316
Office Hours: Thursdays12:40 - 13:30 Room SA-228
All other times (if available -
call 1316 to check)  
Room SA-228
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 Colloquium times, and there will be no class on Colloquium 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.

Attendance requirement
If a student misses more than 6 hours of class, (s)he will need to compensate this by completing assignments which will take much longer time to do, or the grade will be an F.

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 and attendance will also affect the final grade.


Literature search homework 10% Due
Project proposal 10% Due
LaTex homework 10% Due
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 Thursday, May 5
Project presentation 20%

Assignments are 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. 9, 15:30 - 16:20 in Room SA-Z03
Lectures:Wednesdays 15:30 - 16:20Room SA-Z03
Laboratory sessions:Tuesdays 13:20 - 16:30Room B-???

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
(Tuesday Afternoons) 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 No class Latex and Gnuplot applications Latex Latex and Gnuplot applications Numerical modeling LaTex homework due No class 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 No class Project report due
(Latex generated PDF) No class
Presentation material due on Thursday Presentations Project Presentations Project Presentations

Some examples of student project presentation material from previous years