Your goal is to write a research article, in a style suitable for a peer-reviewed scientific journal, addressing scientific question using mathematical modeling.
The article should contain at least the following sections: Abstract, Intro, Models, Results, Discussion, References, however, more sections may be appropriate. For instance, it will make sense for many of you to have a Methods section in addition to the Models section, describing how the hypothesis will be tested (for instance, what parameters will be fixed and which varied, what macroscopic variables will be calculated and plotted, how the model will be simulated, etc.)
Use either APA or Chicago citation style. Documents must be submitted as pdf. It is okay, but not required to include any code you write in an appendix. I'm expecting around 8 to 10 pages, but could be more or less depending on the topic. Articles beyond 14 pages will lose points for lack of conciseness.
You will be graded based on
- Abstract: Concise, and yet contains a brief description of the question addressed, previous approaches, the approach of this paper, type of evidence that will be provided (simulation, mathematical analysis) and a summary of key findings. Conciseness will be the most important factor.
- Introduction: Intrinsic value or interest in the question that you address, explanation of how your article relates to and builds on previous work, and description of how your work will do something novel to address the question that builds off of previous work. Does the intro avoid getting into details about the literature that are not necessary to address these 2-3 questions?
- The model: Should be mathematically interesting, balancing simplicity with the need for explanatory power, and be explained clearly with no ambiguity. Any methods that will be used to address your hypothesis should also be clearly laid out with no ambiguity. Is it clear how the model builds on and is different from other models mentioned in the introduction?
- Results: Do the results address the question laid out in the introduction? How clearly are they explained? Are the results illustrated with plots, and are the plots easy to read and well documented with captions? Are the results presented in a well-organized manner and in a logical order? How easy are the results to follow? Ideally, a person should be able to skim this section to discover the relevant results. If the results build on previous literature, then has credibility been built by showing that those results can be replicated by fixing parameters in the new model?
- Discussion and Conclusion: Are the results summarized at the beginning of the discussion? Are the results interpreted well in relation to the original problem, and if there are multiple results, are the results discussed in relation to each other and how they fit together to address the original question? Are limitations acknowledged and presented as unanswered questions? Does the conclusion relate the relevance of the article to a broader context? Does the results section start by describing the central findings before moving into the details?
- Overall writing style:
- Are the SUCCES principles (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story) followed?
- Does the writing avoid referencing language-specific syntax of code and elements of the GUI if a GUI software is used to simulate or aid in analysis?
- If the topic sentences of paragraphs are copied and pasted into a new document, do they tell the narrative of the research?
- Is the language concise? Are unnecessary words removed (recall if a word or phrase can be removed without altering the meaning of the sentence then the word or phrase should be removed. The same test holds for removing sentences from paragraphs, and paragraphs from sections.) Are unnecessary narrations focusing on you and the work you did to get the results omitted ("First I took the partial derivatives of each component to find that the Jacobian at the fixed point can be expressed as the following matrix ..." Instead of "The Jacobian at the fixed point is ...") ARTICLES BEYOND 14 PAGES WILL LOSE POINTS FOR CONCISENESS.
- Are figures labeled, with captions to explain the figures, and are all figures referenced in the text and support the argument being made?
- Are citations used appropriately? To provide a reference to a work whose results you paraphrase. To avoid confusion, sentences which convey your own ideas or contributions should not have a citation. If a sentence has both your contribution and someone else's contribution, break it into two sentences. In scientific literature, direct quotes are usually avoided in preference of paraphrasing.
- Organization: Is it possible to scan the article to get a quick overview of the question, the method, and the findings, and also to locate specific information easily by turning to the relevant section? For instance, key equations and model definitions should be set apart in an equation environment separate from the text. Section titles should be in bold and provide a clear break between sections.
- Is it written for an audience of interdisciplinary researchers with solid math/applied math backgrounds? Does it therefore, explain any necessary background in specific fields, as well as provide any mathematical background outside of the scope of this course and its prerequisites.
- (Maybe the most important grading criterion): IS IT TURNED IN ON TIME? I will have very little time to submit final grades, so I cannot grant extensions on this assignment.