Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

PHY 495 (Senior Seminar) Guidelines

Information for Students and Faculty Supervisors

Course Objectives

  1. Develop competency in oral communication. [Physics majors use PHY 495 to satisfy the university's Oral Communication Competency requirement.]
  2. Become familiar with the tools and methods of independent inquiry.
  3. Gain acquaintance with some of the latest scientific advances in the field.

Procedures for Students

  1. Prior to the Add/Drop deadline, identify a supervising faculty member and select a topic for investigation, then register for the section of PHY 495 assigned to your supervisor.*
  2. Meet with your supervisor on a regular basis to report progress updates.
  3. Become acquainted with techniques and methods of oral presentation by observing professionals engaged in the activity.
  4. Make a 30 minute oral presentation on your chosen topic. This presentation will be advertised in advance and open to the public.

Responsibilities of Supervisors

  1. Assist the student in the selection of a topic for investigation. A suitable topic will address some contemporary problem in physics, and be one in which the supervisor has some expertise.
  2. Facilitate the organization and direction the inquiry will take, provide guidance concerning the level of detail expected, physics principles involved, sources of information, and delivery techniques.
  3. In consultation with the student, determine a time and date for the oral presentation and oversee proper advertising for the event.
  4. Assign the course grade, taking account of input solicited from faculty attending the oral presentation.

*All students are strongly encouraged to identify a PHY 495 supervisor during the term preceding the semester in which they expect to register for the course.

See sample presentations from the past.

Assessment Forms