Students wishing to branch out and work on a senior thesis topic that is mostly or entirely outside of physics will have their theses graded using an alternative grading rubric customized to their field of work, provided they receive approval from the senior committee of a proposal submitted in hardcopy to the Undergraduate Administrator no later than 3pm on the fourth Monday of the fall term. An electronic copy sent to the Undergraduate Administrator will be appreciated as a courtesy, but on-time receipt of the hardcopy version is what is required.
The proposal must consist of the following points:. The senior committee may adjust or rewrite the grading rubric you propose before approving it, and the final rubric will go to your adviser and second reader as well as to you. Proposals that are approved will allow a thesis to be graded at the same standard as other Physics Department senior theses, but in a different direction.
Students who do pursue a topic outside of physics should make a particular effort to make their thesis accessible to physicists and students of physics, and this effort will be counted as part of a good presentation. If a proposal is not received on time by the senior committee or is not approved, thesis work will be graded according to the Primary grading rubric : In particular, the physics content will then be the main basis for the final grade.
A fall term draft of content as outlined in the section entitled Fall term draft is required for all theses. The oral examination will be scheduled near the end of the academic year, after you have turned in your senior thesis. You should prepare a presentation with a planned duration of 20 minutes. Use standard visual aids, i. PowerPoint or similar. Presentations should be well organized and thoughtful; in particular:. The senior committee is entitled to ask questions both about the thesis and about undergraduate physics.
The grade for the oral depends on both the quality of the presentation and your ability to answer questions. The oral examination will be assigned a letter grade by the senior committee. It is communicated to the Registrar as a PDF grade i. Jump to main content. Hamilton Colloquium Series Donald R. Hamilton Lecture Donald R. Department video recordings. Senior Committee A committee of several faculty in Physics oversees all the senior theses. Getting Started The best advice in finding an advisor is to go to several faculty members in areas of research that you are interested in, and see what topics they propose.
Fall Term Draft A draft of content to be included in your senior thesis must be turned in to the Undergraduate Administrator by pm on the Friday before Dean's Date of fall term.
The document should be written in full sentences and paragraphs, in the style you intend for the final version of your senior thesis. An outline of work to follow can be included at the end, but the main focus of the document should be on what you have understood and done so far. Formatting should be the same that you intend to use in the final version of your senior thesis; in particular, front matter including the Student Acknowledgment of Original Work, signed , introduction, main body, and bibliography should be present, with all the formatting as you intend for the final version of your senior thesis.
In short, follow the guidelines in the Primary grading rubric. Indicate clearly in the front matter that the document is a draft of content.
- Senior Independent Work: Class of 2020.
- Catalog of Princeton University Senior Theses.
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While it is anticipated that your results will be quite incomplete, do make an effort to communicate the background in an accessible fashion that starts with the fundamentals and demonstrates your understanding of the context of your ongoing work. Grading To set high goals for the thesis, and at the same time to accommodate the breadth of experience that physics majors seek, the Physics Department has a dual rubric approach to grading. Primary grading rubric The main basis for the final grade will be the physics content contained in the thesis as a document.
A substantial, professional-level contribution to some field of physics, with outstanding presentation and truly impressive content. For example, there may be original results suitable or almost suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal which physicists working in this field often publish in. Or the thesis may be a brilliantly written review paper which could usefully be shared with professional colleagues.
The advisor should have learned new things from it. This grade should be used for work that goes far beyond "doing a good job. The thesis covers some topic in physics well and goes into significant depth. It is written in a professional style with only minor flaws.
The student shows mastery of the subject. The thesis covers a topic in physics well, and in some depth. The presentation and physics content are good but leave room for improvement. The thesis covers a topic in physics fairly well. Presentation and physics content are fairly good, but some deficiencies may be noted.
The thesis addresses a topic in physics but without the depth expected for senior independent work. There may be significant errors or an inadequate presentation. The thesis contains an overview of a topic in physics, but the physics content is mostly superficial. The presentation may be inadequate, and there may be significant errors or omissions.
Senior Thesis | Princeton Correspondents on Undergraduate Research
The thesis contains a partial or superficial overview of a topic in physics. The thesis gives little evidence of understanding of the relevant physics. The presentation is sloppy, and there are significant errors or omissions. The thesis contains some correct information about a topic in physics, but it fails to show understanding of the relevant physics. The presentation is incomplete, with serious errors or omissions. The lowest passing grade. There are several ways an F can result.
One way is for the thesis to be largely incomplete and incorrect. A second way is for the thesis not to be turned in on time, accounting for any extensions granted, or for a document to be turned in without a clear written indication that it is the official version of the student's senior thesis. A third way is for the thesis to be turned in on time but with issues that prevent it from being accepted.
Examples of this last are omitting from the first two pages the title, the student's name, the abstract, the Student Acknowledgment of Original Work, or a signature following this acknowledgment. Formatting that renders the thesis unreasonably difficult to read may also prevent it from being accepted and result in an F. Alternative grading rubric Students wishing to branch out and work on a senior thesis topic that is mostly or entirely outside of physics will have their theses graded using an alternative grading rubric customized to their field of work, provided they receive approval from the senior committee of a proposal submitted in hardcopy to the Undergraduate Administrator no later than 3pm on the fourth Monday of the fall term.
The proposal must consist of the following points: Student's name. Adviser's name. The adviser must sign next to their name to indicate their endorsement of the proposed grading rubric.
Five Reasons to Love the Senior Thesis
Second reader's name. As with all theses in the Physics Department, your adviser and the second reader should both have full-time faculty appointments at Princeton University, and at least one of them should have their primary appointment in the Physics Department. A tentative thesis title characters or less. Summary of proposed work to characters. Give us a simple description of the area of scholarship your thesis falls in. For example, "Climate policy" or "Behavioral neuroscience.
Senior Thesis Guidelines
Provide an adaptation of the primary grading rubric that you feel is suitable to your thesis work. The text to adapt is the entire contents of the section entitled Primary grading rubric. Leave the second, third, and fourth paragraphs unchanged, as these sections will be applied in any case; likewise the criteria for an F cannot be changed. Changes to the rest of the text should be at the minimal level needed in order for it to be fairly applied to the work you are going to do.
For example, if you are working on climate policy, replacing "physics" by "climate policy" throughout should be a good start. Topics which have some physics content but are primarily outside of physics should include in the grading rubric some measure of how well the physics is developed and presented. Oral examination The oral examination will be scheduled near the end of the academic year, after you have turned in your senior thesis.
Presentations should be well organized and thoughtful; in particular: If you want to use a laptop, you are responsible for making sure things work! Have enough paper copies of your presentation material so that every committee member can have their own copy. Paper copies are useful even when you use PowerPoint from a laptop and serve as a backup in case of a technical glitch. Limit your main presentation to approximately 15 slides depending on your style. The student will need to answer two questions in each field for a total of 4 answers.
The student is allowed a total of three hours to answer the four questions. The oral defense is minutes long.
The examiners will respond with questions in the same language for an additional five to ten minutes. After this the remainder of the defense, roughly 15 minutes, will be conducted in English. Jump to main content. Senior Thesis The Senior Thesis is the culmination of the training students receive in the department. Gather, present, and analyze evidence in support of its claim s. Review and engage the scholarship of others on the subject. Assess critically the strengths and weaknesses of its own logic, evidence, and findings.
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