This is your proposed topic for the final ~10 page paper in this course. The proposal has two parts:
1) Write a short paragraph detailing your proposed topic for the final paper. (See comments below)
2) A list of preliminary sources. Your final paper will require at least three sources, but for this homework only two are required. Must include at least one book and one article (e.g. a Scientific American, Discover, or similar level). The reference librarian is your friend (in person or via zoom https://www.lib.washington.edu).
Discussion of final paper and sources. The key to a good proposal is to find the right balance between specific enough that you can go into detail, and not so focused that it becomes too technical. The history of computing is way to general; and the it may be hard to find enough material for Viking sunstones.
The paper proposals can come in one of three categories. Within each category, just about anything covered in this class (either to date or later in the course) is fair game, as are natural extensions. Within each category I've listed a few examples.
- How does X work? A few examples include: MRI machines, Quantum dot televisions, LIGO (gravity waves), Radio interferometers (VLA, ALMA, etc.), a historical device such as the Antikythera mechanism or the Prague Astronomical Clock.
- History of quantitative knowledge? Examples: mapping of the Pacific Northwest (including techniques used), birth of computing during the second world war (including how they worked), history of medical imaging (X-rays to MRI), development of longitude techniques in the 18th century.
- Modern techniques for understanding our world. The most challenging to formulate, and will probably require some conversation with me. Examples might include: mapping the brain in action (fMRI, PET, and other tools), tracking volcanos (GPS, satellite and arial LIDAR, etc.), measuring gravity waves (LIGO, nanoGrav, LISA).
For inspiration, look through the course syllabus as a number of topics are mentioned (including ones in coming weeks). Also feel free to bounce ideas off me after class, during office hours, or via email/Canvas.
I am open to creative proposals too. If you want to pitch a short film idea or piece of artwork, I'd be intrigued.