10th November 2008 - Science Theory and Experiments

During the past two months I have been busy attending courses on the AAU campus. In particular, the courses: Design and Analysis of Experiments and Theories of Science.

With the course Design and Analysis of Experiments, I found a new passion for the very basics of mathematical modeling of the world, while at the same time revisiting some of the learning on regressional analysis that I got from my first Ph.D. In addition, this course gave me an epiphany with regards to the use of randomization to effectively compensate for the inevitable presence of noise when conducting experiments. No doubt that this will benefit the experiments I am to conduct going forward, since I already spent a significant amount of time trying to manually reduce noise. In retrospect, this could simply have been eliminated or detected, and thus eliminated, through randomization. A great course that will help make my future research better and more efficient! ;-)

Referring to the course above, I should mention the book "Design and Analysis of Experiments" by Douglas C. Montgomery which was used during the lectures. This book is an excellent introduction and guide to the field.

The course Theories of Science, was an exciting tour de force through the evolution of science. In computer science, I have pretty much stuck with a straight critical rationalism approach, which to me makes sense since the experiments conducted in a computer environment can be relatively well confined. Honestly, I do not envy some of the social sciences where bias and different paradigms come to play such an important role, that an entire chapter of the thesis needs to define which paradigm and theory is being applied -and why… This being said, the course certainly broadened my mind with inspiration. This was one of those courses where the mind kept wandering and ideas popped up during some dense and interesting lectures by an inspiring professor.

A lot of theory, so now it is good to be back to do some real research again! ;-)

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Updated 2008-11-20

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