HONR 238W

# HONR 238W Assignments

Please turn in two copies of all homeworks and reading responses: i) a hardcopy and ii) a PDF attachment to my email address with "HONR" in the subject line. I will return the hardcopy to you with comments and will keep the electronic copies as a record of your responses.

## Homework Assignments

 ASSIGNMENT Due Date HW #1 Feb. 25 HW #2 Apr. 1 HW #3 May 6

Numerical Calculations:

• For approximate calculations, you do not need to report all digits that the calculator shows! Be guided by how well you know the inputs to a calculation. For instance, if a car gets about 26 miles per gallon of gas based on how it is driven, reporting extra digits (e.g. 26.294721) is meaningless and too precise.
• Most importantly, show intermediate steps in any computational problems to indicate that you know what is going on. If you get a problem wrong, this provides an opportunity for partial credit.

## Midterm

Solutions for Quantitative Problems.

Early in the semester, three or four of you will join each of the following task forces and together will work to learn more about one of the following topics:
• Oil and Natural Gas
• Coal
• Nuclear
• Renewables
Later in the semester, your task force will divide its topic into logical and roughly equally-sized subtopics, one of which you will take charge of. Try to choose subtopics in a logical way such that your task force covers the entire topic.

## Class Debates

We will have five formal debates during the class and I will inform you of the debate topic about two weeks in advance. As you will have prior knowledge of the topic, I will expect you to prepare in advance. The debate structure will follow the outline below.
• Divide into four groups of 3-4 students.
• Group discussion of major points for and against each side (10 min.)
• Random drawing to determine group roles: Side 1, Side 2, Judge A, Judge B
• Further group discussion of specific arguments (5 min.)
• Random drawing to determine roles: Lead Speaker, Rubutter, Note Taker
• Random drawing to which side goes first
• Lead Speaker for Side 1 (5 min.)
• Lead Speaker for Side 2 (5 min.)
• Rebuttal from Side 1 (5 min.)
• Rebuttal from Side 2 (5 min.)
• Discussion amongst Judges to decide which side won (5 min.)
• One sentence statements and votes from each Judge (5 min.)
• Prof. breaks any ties
I will allocate times for you to discuss collectively the major points for and against the proposition. The role of your group and your role within the group will be determined by random drawing. For example, in the first debate, one group will argue that pesticides like DDT should be regulated by the government, one group will argue that they should not, and the two remaining groups will judge. Unlike in competitive debates, we are not looking for rapid presentation of many points, but rather a clear presentation of the key points. Each side begins with an opening argument and then responds to the other side with a rubuttal. After the debate, each of the judging groups confers separately, and then each individual judge decides who he or she thinks won the debate. A judge's should select as winner the group that he or she feels presented their side best, and not necessarily the group whose arguments he or she agrees with. I will poll the judges individually for their statements and votes. With five debates, and three participants on each side, we will arrange things so that all students take on at least one and no more than two speaking roles in the debates. These count toward your participation score. The debates will take place roughly every two weeks on dates noted in the lecture schedule.