Chinese studies and History

Ast101 final project
This assignment is still being finalized. It’ll be finished shortly. It will be due on 5 December. People doing particularly elaborate things may request extensions, which will be approved on a case-by-case basis, but no later than 10 December.
Overview
This final project is a chance for you to bring something of yourself to my class. While I hope you will take some things away from Astronomy 101, I also want you to take the things you’re learning in my class and mix them with the rest of your intellectual life. Or, to put it another way – while you may be learning a new way to look at the world in my course, I want you also to look at astronomy using the skills and methods that you have acquired from your other pursuits.
You need not choose a project related to your major; however, I encourage you to choose a project that connects this course to other skills or knowledge that you have. These projects are sorted by discipline, allowing students with particular interests to find suggested projects in their own fields.
You also do not need to choose a project from this list. These are some ideas that I have; you likely have other ideas. Your ideas are likely just as good as mine. If you want to do something else, please read many of these suggestions to get an idea of the directions you may take. If in doubt, come see me during help session and discuss your project ideas with me.
Regardless of what you choose for your project, it should be executed with intellectual skill. While I encourage you to be creative, your project should involve some skill in whatever discipline it has its roots in. Last year I got some fantastic pieces of art – and some that were made with glitter and glue-sticks. Likewise, I got some fantastic papers – and some plagiarized from the NASA website. Whatever you choose to do, do it well.
Project proposals
If you have an unusual idea that you want to implement, please send a short proposal to me or Suman so we can give you feedback and approve your idea as appropriate for our class. There are very few things that we don’t approve; in general, we’ll just be giving you feedback to make your work better.
Artist’s statement for artistic pieces
If your project is an artistic piece – a short story, poetry, visual or performing arts, etc. – you should write a companion piece (at least a half-page) explaining how scientific/astrophysical ideas influenced your work. This should be specific and connect to concepts in our course where possible: show us how the actual scientific world inspired your piece, tell us how it was created, and so on.
Group work
You may work in groups on fine arts-type projects; the idea here is that different people might have different skills that they contribute, but everyone is equally involved in the creative process. These groups should be no larger than three unless extra people are {\it absolutely} needed.
If you do so, each person should write a short summary of their contribution to the effort and submit it along with the project. I anticipate that this will mostly be done by people doing performance projects that require multiple performers, or for mixed media projects that involve different skill sets.
If you’re doing a project like this, you {\it must} send me a proposal telling me why you need multiple people.
Grading (please read this!)
These projects will be graded out of 10 points, as before. However, there is no hard upper end on the grade; a truly exceptional project may earn as many as 30 points. For those of you asking me for extra credit: this is it. The extra credit on this project may raise your grade as much as a full letter grade, but only in cases of truly brilliant work. (Last year, the highest grade was 30/10; there were two or three 20/10’s.)
Your projects will be graded on the basis of:
• creativity and (if appropriate) artistic quality
• insight into both astronomical material and any other disciplines involved
• depth of thought
• rhetorical clarity (but no points will be deducted for purely grammar mistakes)
• intellectual effort
The projects will be due in early December.
Essays should be at least three pages (1 inch margins/12 point font/space-and-a-half). However, if you have strong ideas, I’m far more interested in the expression of your ideas than in how many pages you use to describe them.
As with any academic paper, please cite your sources if you do research (which you may need to for many topics). Any citation format that allows me to pinpoint the original source is acceptable

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