Final Projects


The topic selection takes place on a Google Sheet (link will be provided later) in which you can select from a list of topics or come up with your own topic.
Ideally, there will be 1 topic per student but certain topics are very broad and can be done in a team of 2 (with a clearly separated focus).


The final project consists of 3 main deliverables:

  1. Paper (~3-5 pages)
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • In-depth discussion of specific problem/material system/concept
    • Conclusion
    • References
  2. One homework-type problem with the solution
  3. 20-25 mins presentation (~10-13 slides) + 5 mins questions
    • Focus on explanation/overview
    • Summarize the specific problem/material you selected

Whenever relevant, use concepts we covered in class (e.g., entropy change, enthalpy, phase diagrams,…).

The homework-type problem will be submitted alongside the paper.

Please use the docx template that will be provided on Canvas.


There are two checkpoints to ensure that the project is on track:

Checkpoint 1 (early November): Topics should be chosen and finalized. Ideally, the topic should be narrowed down and a focus should be set on the broad topics. Please, send me an email with the topic title and the specific focus you envision.

Checkpoint 2 (mid/late November): An abstract draft should be written and the main literature resources selected. The main problem or material system should be clearly identified. Please, send me an email with the abstract draft and a list of the main resources that you plan to use. Also, if not already done at checkpoint 1, clearly detail what your focus will be.

Paper Due and Date of Presentations: The papers will be due roughly one week before finals week. Depending on the number of students there will be one or two days during finals week for presentations.


I will be evaluating the project based on the following criteria and score them from 1 to 5 (1 - poor, 2 - below average, 3 - average, 4 - above average, 5 - excellent).

  1. Paper
    • Clarity of writing
    • Quality of literature scope
    • Use of figures, equations, and illustrations
    • Use of thermodynamics concepts
    • Main topic selection
    • Quality of topic discussion
  2. Homework
    • Problem selection
    • Quality of how well the problem aids the learning of the chosen topic
  3. Presentation
    • Clarity of explanation
    • Quality of slides
    • Time management
    • Handling of Q & A

You can choose between three grade-weighting schemes [Paper grade weight % / Homework grade weight % / Presentation grade weight %]:

A: 40/20/40
B: 50/20/30
C: 30/20/50