Chaos and Complexity
(last updated 31 July 2013)
Text: Required: “A Graphical Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics” available in PDF form created and copyrighted by Brian Clark, Illinois State University.
Course Objective: The principal objectives of this course are to recognize nonlinear phenomena that affect our daily lives and the complexity that can develop from the applications of simple rules. We will become familiar with techniques used to evaluate nonlinear processes and the fractal character of nature. We will also see that some of the techniques applied here can help us understand problems in other disciplines, including economics and the behavior of the stock market, for example.
Grading: There are four quizzes. Each quiz is scaled to the same value. Normally, each quiz consists of a set of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. The lowest quiz score is automatically dropped. However, you must take the final quiz and obtain a score of at least 70% of your previous quiz average to drop it. If you do not achieve the minimum score, the second lowest quiz score is dropped and the final quiz score is included in your final grade determination. Quizzes account for approximately 75% of the course grade.
Homework consists of four multiple-choice assignments and five to ten hands-on activities. The three highest scores of the multiple-choice assignments and eight highest scores of the laboratory exercises count toward the course grade. Homework and laboratory exercises account for approximately 25% of the course grade. There are no make-up assignments.
The final grade for the course is determined according to
If you miss a quiz due to participation in other school activities you must notify me ahead of time. You must allow enough time so that your quiz can be rescheduled in advance of the general quiz. Make-up quizzes are more difficult than the general quizzes. If you fail to follow this policy or miss a quiz for any other reason, then your right to take a make-up quiz is determined on a case by case basis. Be sure to talk to me if you miss a quiz. Typically, you must contact me within one week. Homework and laboratory exercises are not accepted after the class period ends on the due date.
General policies: A working knowledge of algebra is expected. You are responsible for any material covered in the class whether you are present or not present. Expect to spend about six hours a week on this course in addition to the time spent in class. Only your own original work will contribute toward your grade. Students are obligated to follow the Illinois State University Code of Student Conduct. Failure to do so may result in failure of this course. Cell phones, networking devices, and other personal electronic items should be turned off and placed out of sight during class. Their presence during tests will be treated as cheating. See the instructor for any exceptions.
To be a successful student, you need to place a high priority on school. This means being at class on time and doing the assigned homework. Sometimes it means seeing the teacher during office hours to clarify misconceptions. Please arrive before the class starts. If students arrive late, then they distract the entire class.
This is a tentative course schedule. You are responsible for any changes that are made to the schedule and for material covered in class, whether you are present or not present. The reading material should be completed before we begin to talk about it in class. It is the best way for you to spot significant terms and concepts in the lecture. The laboratory exercises contribute a maximum of 80 points to your grade, regardless of the total number of laboratory exercises. Only your own work will contribute toward your grade. Students are obligated to follow the Illinois State University Code of Student Conduct. Failure to do so may result in failure of this course. Cell phones, networking devices, and other personal electronic items should be turned off and placed out of sight during class. Their presence during tests will be treated as cheating. See the instructor for any exceptions.