"Communicating Physics Research" (Phys 598 PEN) Offered Again in Spring 2018

Lance Cooper

Are you working on a prelim paper, thesis, or journal paper and could use some writing assistance?  Do you want to improve your scientific presentation and writing skills?

In Spring 2018, Celia Elliott and I will again offer our special topics course on scientific writing and presentation, "Communicating Physics Research" (Phys 598 PEN). This course will offer physics grad students an opportunity to practice different forms of scientific writing and receive detailed feedback on their writing.  Additionally, there will be instruction on how to give effective scientific presentations and opportunities for students to practice giving presentations in front of an audience. Even if you have significant experience with writing and presenting your research, the emphasis in this course will be on writing and presenting to a non-expert audience, which is essential when writing proposals, publishing papers in high profile journals such as ScienceNature, and Phys. Rev. Letters, and giving colloquia and outreach presentations.  The course is open to all physics grad students, but the course is particularly suited to those students who are preparing a writing and/or presentation project, such as a journal publication, a prelim/final exam, or a thesis.  We will help you polish these writing projects as the main course assignment.

We expect to limit the class size to about 15 students so we can provide useful feedback on all the writing and presentation assignments, so please let me know (slcooper@illinois.edu) if you're interested in taking the course and register for the course as soon as possible while there are openings.

Course Details:

What: Communicating Physics Research (Phys 598 PEN)
When: Fridays, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Spring 2018
Where: Rm. 144 Loomis
Credits: 4 credit hours
Instructors: Lance Cooper and Celia Elliott

Topics and associated writing and presentation activities that will be included in the course:
1. How to write a scientific abstract
2. How to give a journal club talk
3. How to write a referee report
4. How to organize and write different sections of a research paper
5. How to give a research presentation
6. How to write a research proposal
7. How to create and present a scientific poster

Additionally, I'll offer some instruction on basic writing and research skills, such as how to use online resources, how to reference papers properly, how to create effective figures and figure captions, etc., etc.

More information: Please contact slcooper@illinois.edu for more information about the course