Research Methods

Scientific Inquiry Across the Disciplines

Freshman Research Initiative: Scientific Inquiry Across the Disciplines (FRI–SIAD) is a signature course that is also the first course in the FRI sequence. This course is non-discipline-specific in that each class may include students from many majors. Although specific content varies among instructors, we all strive to kindle a passion and facility for scientific inquiry and to help you develop skills for independent and intelligent experiment design, execution, analysis, and presentation.

Typical course topics may include:

Scientific Inquiry Across the Disciplines generally involves both lecture and lab times. You may be required to perform experiments on your own or in groups. Experiments are inquiry-based and will require independence, initiative, creativity, and thought. You will write scientific reports and may create an original research proposal.

Although Scientific Inquiry Across the Disciplines is designed to be the entrance to the FRI program, and will prepare you for your time in a research lab, the course is also useful should you decide not to continue in FRI. Through FRI–SIAD you will develop an understanding of what scientists do, build critical thinking and logic skills to help you evaluate information, and learn what it is like to conduct research in the laboratory. This course can help you to evaluate whether or not scientific research is a possible career path for you. After taking this course, you will be a more informed citizen who understands how science progresses, who knows how to find out more about a topic that interests you, and who can think critically about the world around you.