labs:labs_start

Phys 2660 Labs Overview

Lab pages will be password protected prior to the lab meetings. Your TA will provide each week's lab password at the start of your lab session. Solutions will be accessible each week after all labs have finished. It is a very good idea to review the solutions to prepare for your homework. If you do not finish the entire lab during your session, you should complete the work on your own before starting the next homework set.

Comments on the labs: The labs will be a continuation of each week's lecture. To prepare for each lab you are expected to have completed the weekly reading assignment and to have reviewed the class notes. On some occasions formal or informal prelab work will be assigned. The labs are not meant to be a test or a competition, they are designed to demonstrate concepts discussed in the lectures and to allow you to construct working code examples that you can reference when writing your homework solutions.

• You are expected to work in groups of two in the labs and to take turns at the keyboard. This greatly increases your efficiency at spotting problems, helps avoid false starts, and promotes helpful discussions.
• If an odd number of students is present, one student may work alone and we'll make sure to offer extra assistance if needed.
• You are allowed / encouraged to bring your own laptop to work on the lab exercises – but again you must work together coherently with a partner, taking turns contributing to completing the exercises.
• You and your partner should actively try to work through the lab exercises. But you should ask for assistance if you get stuck on a problem, especially if you find that you are not on track to complete the first of the lab exercises in 45 minutes or so.
• Also, feel free to discuss your work with neighboring groups. Maximizing the eyes on a problem is often a good step towards a solution.

TIP: If the fonts on the class webpages look small when viewed in the lab, just hit the Alt key and the plus key (Alt +) in the Firefox browser. Each time you enter this key combination, your fonts will increase in size. Use Alt - to shrink them back down. Note: If Alt + doesn't work on your computer (e.g. Windows), try Control + instead.

Date Session Solutions
18-Jan Lab 00
25-Jan Lab 01
1-Feb Lab 02
8-Feb Lab 03
15-Feb Lab 04
22-Feb Lab 05

A word on lab participation:
Labs are not tests or assignments. Good participation = actively working on/discussing the projects. If sometimes that includes working with a less (more) experienced partner and thinking about how to explain what you may already be familiar with (or asking for such an explanation), that's well and good too. If you never finish any labs in the allotted time that's bad, but if once in a while you don't, that's not an issue. Playing video games, emailing, etc. would also (not surprisingly!) be considered poor participation.

How to share lab files with your partner

You should copy the program files you developed to your partner's account at the end of a lab, there are several methods for doing this. The following is recommended.

Secure copy, scp Let's say your are working from Alice's account and want to copy the files from the lab to Bob's area. Also let's assume that all the files are in a directory called lab01.

Make sure you are one directory above the directory called lab01 in Alice's area. Then type:

scp -r lab01 bob@localhost:.

Substitute your username above. Bob will be prompted for his password. Then the whole directory lab01 (and any subdirectories inside lab01) will be copied to Bob's home directory.

Explanation of Syntax:

    1  2     3             4
scp -r lab01 bob@localhost:.
1) -r  Recursively copy entire directories
2) directory name to copy
3) username@host:  (note the ":")  You could copy the files anywhere you have an account.
4) . this is the directory on the remote host where the files are copied
"." stands for the home directory (/home/bob in this case)

localhost just means this machine.