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Science Research Foundations

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera


“Scientific Research Foundations” is now taught in many universities in a variety of specialties in almost any field of knowledge – almost to everyone who receives a higher education. There is also literature – focused on self-study or accompanying relevant courses.
The feature of this author's course “Scientific Research Foundations” is in its focus on creating a picture of science in the head of a novice researcher. The “picture” is in the sense of Grenander’s pattern, not an image. This is important because pattern is a system, unlike image.
From childhood, everyone imagines a scientist –like a bore in huge glasses distorting eyes, or like an extravagant Einstein with his tongue out. This is an image, and this is also very important for choosing your future. But when it comes not to imagine, but to be a scientist, your picture of a science is to be much more consistent.
Therefore, the course contains numerous references to the experience and conceptual approaches of various eminent scientists, contains reading materials with fragments of significant scientific books. Reading such texts, having their own face and valuable in themselves as piece of literature, is exactly what can make a talented beginner a promising researcher.

The course is intended for beginners in scientific activity in the field of information security or other technical specialties: students, undergraduates, graduates from higher school and graduate students. There may be difficulties in the course for students with only secondary or secondary special education. With motivation, these difficulties can be overcome.
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  • Introduction. Justification and evidence. Definitions
    • The subject matter, the purpose of the course, features of the discipline. Science research as a process and science research as a presentation of the research result, the relation between these essences. Signs of science. Detailing of different types of justification: reasoning, reference, experiment. The analysis of the types of justification (empirical ones, indirect ones, references) and their features. The hierarchy of justifications. The determinism of the type for justifying provisions of different types.
  • Mistakes. Knowledge control
    • The comparison of logical, factual, methodological, system and speech mistakes. Self-control methods for conducting the research as well as for describing its results in a scientific text form.
  • Method, methodics, methodology and scientific direction. Researcher's work and research work
    • Applied aspects of using the concepts of "method", "methodics", "methodology", "scientific direction" for positioning in the scientific process. The scientific search and the bibliographical search. The concept of "problem" in its distinction from "question", "task", "purpose", "topic" and "subject matter" of the study. Detailed analysis of purposes, objectives, conclusions and composition, respectively - of abstracts, term papers, articles and qualification theses. Background of the issue in research and in scientific texts of various genres.
  • Background. Experiment
    • The principles of compiling the background of the issue. Types of referencing, the difference between retelling and analysis, analysis and polemics, the relevance of all the listed types of sources use. Experiment and observation. Real and mental experiment. The concept of "hypothesis". Requirements for a scientific hypothesis. Experiment planning and mathematical statistics. Signs of science in terms of experiment.
  • Scientific Discourse. Defense of a PhD thesis is not self-defense. Knowledge control
    • Scientific discourse concept. Functional styles of language (FS), scientific FS. FS and discourse. Construction of a scientific paper as a piece of literature. The main difficulties and subtleties of the defense and tips for successful outcome.
  • Scientific communication. Final examination. Conclusion
    • Forms of scientific communication, their specificity. Features of participation in scientific events of different formats. Scientific polemics. Questions to the speaker. Answers to questions of different types.

Taught by

Konyavskaya Svetlana Valeryevna

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