Date: Fri 13 April. Time: 14-17 Place: V201
Note that this is a closed-book no support-material exam. The final exam counts 55% of your final grade.
The topics the final 3-hour exam will cover are: Experimental design, science as a field of endeavor, philosophy of science, roughly in the proportions that these have been discussed in the lectures and treated in the lecture notes. The emphasis will be on understanding of the concepts, topics and issues, rather than rote memorization, but of course you should know all the key important issues by heart.
Final Exam example questions from 2015 are included below.
These are Final Exam example questions in t-701-rem4-15-3, some of which have actually appeared on prior exams.
Note that anything in the assigned reading materials may potentially appear on the final exam, but the greatest emphasis in the final exam will follow the emphasis presented in the lectures and lecture notes (wiki pages) for the course.
The Final Exam will contain 10 - 14 questions similar to the below. The percentage it counts towards the total score for the Exam will be indicated for each question.
= Scientific Research =
1. Why do we use/need statistical procedures for scientific experiments?
2. What is the difference between an hypothesis and a theory?
3a. What role does falsification have in scientific theories?
3b. Give some examples of hypotheses that are (i) impossible to test scientifically and (ii) possible but difficult to test scientifically, and (iii) relatively easy to test scientifically. For each example, explain why.
= Experiments =
1. What are dependent and independent variables in scientific experiments?
2. What is an experimental design and what are the main things to keep in mind when designing one?
3. How do we design an experiment for a hypothesis in which the standard comparison group approach is not possible?
4. What are the main differences in content and purpose between the Abstract and the Conclusion section in a scientific paper describing an experiment and its results?
= Philosophy of Science =
1. What do the concepts of induction, abduction, and deduction refer to, and how do they relate to scientific research?
2. What distinguishes a proper scientific theory from pseudoscience, according to the philosopher Karl Popper?
3a. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that a scientific theory should be “as simple as possible, but not simpler”, a principle also known as Occam's Razor. What is the relation of this idea to science?
3b. What philosophical ideas have been proposed about scientific proofs and falsifications?
4. Why does the concept of randomness matter in science?
5. What is “psudo-science” and why is it an important concept in the history and philosophy of science?
= Other =
1. How does the structure of a Grant Proposal differ from a regular (typical) scientific paper? What are the similarities?
2. What are the main benefits and difficulties in building simulations?
3. What are the main differences between mathematics and empirical research?