The primary goal of this project is to increase your understanding of the fundamentals of experimental design. With this in mind, pick a subject that interests you (preferably one with some engineering flavor) and plan, conduct, and analyze the results of a factorial experiment. The experiment should use at least two factors each of which should have at least two levels. When planning your study, pay particular attention to the lectures on experimental design and regression analysis.
After you have completed your experiment, make a thorough but concise report
of your entire investigation. Your report should include, but is
not limited to, the following:
1. An abstract or summary which highlights the goals and major findingsSimply attaching a ream of computer printout is not what is meant by including an appropriate statistical analysis. The main body of the report should include only the end products of any statistical calculations in the form of tables or graphs. However, example calculations and computer printouts should be included in an appendix so that your reader can see how your end products were produced). Any appendices should be referred to explicitly in the text. Do not leave the reader guessing why appendix material is included. Write the report as if a busy engineering manager were going to read it. That is, keep the statistical jargon to a minimum and use it only where absolutely necessary. Make sure that all of your major statistical findings are stated in a simple enough way that a non-statistician can understand the results.
2. A table of contents
3. A description of the reason for your study
4. A statement of how you expected the study to turn out a priori
5. What you did and how you did it (include enough detail so that your
instructor could replicate the experiment if she wished without having
to ask you for more details)
6. A listing of the raw data you obtained and a description of how the data
7. Appropriate statistical analyses of the data (include both graphs and
8. A statement of the subject matter implications of your study
9. A discussion of further questions (if any) raised by your study
This project should not be based on a laboratory exercise that you have completed or are completing for another class (unless you can convince your instructor that you were responsible for the planning and execution of the exercise). This project need not require a huge time investment in the collection of data. However, it does need to show careful planning, good logic, and the use of data collection and analysis concepts discussed in this course.
Please note that the requirements here involve genuine experimentation. A completely observational study or an analysis of data collected by someone else will not be acceptable. For example, do not plan to conduct an opinion poll or make an analysis of this year's published NFL yardage, passage, scoring, etc. You will probably have less trouble with the project if the response that you consider is quantitative as opposed to being categorical and is derived from some physical measurement as opposed to say a 1 to 10 ranking by an expert.
Attached to the group written report, each team member will include a separate sealed envelope giving his or her assessment of the percentage of total team effort provided by each group memeber. In the event that it becomes evident that the project workload was wildly unbalanced within a team, your instructor may assign different individual project grades within a team.
The team score for the project will be assessed according to the following chart:
Summary and table of contents 5% Reason for study and a priori beliefs 5% Description of data collection 10% Appropriateness of data collection plan 10% Presentation (and annotation if needed) of raw data 10% Statistical analysis 20% Subject matter implications and questions for further study 10% Professional appearance of report 10% General readability of report 10% Appropriateness of project topic 10%