Scientific Computing


Select an Experiment to Reproduce 

Select a research paper that makes use of a mathematical/computational model to solve some realworld problem. It needn’t make use specifically of the mathematical concepts in these two courses, but the spirit of the research should be in the same ballpark. Consider the following when selecting the experiment you will reproduce:

• Availability of the code/software – Try to pick an experiment that makes use of freely available code or extant computer software. Alternatively, contact the authors to see if they will be willing to share their code with you (they usually are).

• Availability of the test dataset(s) – Obviously, you won’t be able to reproduce an experiment that makes use of classified military data. So pick something where the test dataset(s) is/are readily and freely available. 

• Availability of the original authors – Contact the authors and tell them what you’re doing. They may be willing to provide you with assistance in validating their research. 

• Time – Don’t pick something that will take you 15 weeks to set up and reproduce. 

• Computing power – You can rent a supercomputer from Microsoft, Google, or Amazon. But don’t pick something that requires so much computing power you’ll have to take out a loan to make it run in a finite length of time! Compose a short paper where you present the title of the paper you will reproduce and an explanation of the considerations above. Format your submission according to the APA style guide. Remember that all work should be your own original work and assistance received from any source and any references used must be authorized and properly documented. Recommended length: 1-2 pages double-spaced not including front and back matter.

Prepare and Deliver a Presentation on your Experiment Reproduction 

Prepare and deliver a presentation on your experiment reproduction. Include the following: 

• The problem that was being addressed

• The techniques/procedures and datasets used 

• The experiment setup, materials, etc. 

• The original authors’ results 

• Your experience, frustrations, etc. in reproducing the experiment 

• Any deviations from the original authors’ methods or setup (and why) 

• Your results 

• A comparison of your results with the original authors. Do they match? If so, what does this tell you? If not, did you do something wrong or did they? 

• What are the logical next steps in the research? 

• Your reflection on this exercise

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