Investigation of real research data
Research Methods: Data Skills
This part of the project deals with the investigation of ‘real’ research data.
Development of a lighting design tool (case study), using simple techniques available in Microsoft Excel ( Attached).
The data you are supplied with consists of 30 days of simulated hourly natural light levels arriving at sensors P1 and P3. Those hours for which the level of natural light is zero are omitted.
The components of natural light arriving at each sensor is categorized into four types:
• Direct sky
• Direct sun
• Indirect sky
• Indirect sun.
Two methods of simulation were used: a ‘high’ resolution method and a ‘low’ resolution method. Data is provided for both.
In all, you are provided with 16 time series of data: four categories of light arriving at two sensors, each simulated using two methods (low and high resolution).
A research question that the data can help to answer is: to what extent is it acceptable to use low-resolution techniques to simulate natural light, and when must higher resolution be used? It makes sense to economize on computing power and time by using low-resolution techniques where this does not adversely affect the results.
You may also find it interesting to consider:
At what time of year was the data obtained?
You should also comment on some or all of any interesting oddities or regularities that you find in the data.
The coursework is as much about demonstrating skill analysis and in reporting the results of analysis, as it is about exploring this particular set of data.
The report is to:
Examine the supplied data using appropriate techniques and draw any conclusions that seem interesting to you.
Please also use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply techniques taught in the lessons in appropriate ways, and to interpret and convey the results correctly and effectively.
Notes on Coursework A: Data Skills
1. A Microsoft Excel file will not be accepted as a submission for this assignment
2. You should present your findings in a short technical report, including such items of analysis and statistical output as are of interest in order to illustrate a point made in your text, and to provide evidence in support of any conclusions that you wish to draw.
– The balance of text, tables and graphs in such a report is important, and requires careful consideration.
– In general, all graphical or tabular material should be seen as supporting points made in the text.
3. Please do not assume that the format in which Microsoft Excel automatically produces output is the correct format for an academic or technical report – this is rarely the case!
– Graphs should be formatted so as to present the information in a clear and uncluttered way, in line with guidelines provided in the lessons.
– Tables should be clear and uncluttered; direct copying and pasting of Excel output will rarely be the best way to achieve this!
4. All information in graphs and other illustrative output should be fully evident when reproduced by a mono (black and white) printer or photocopier. All work submitted will be assessed in mono (i.e. will not be viewed in colour).
5. Graphs and tables should be numbered and given brief informative labels, e.g. “Table 2: summary statistics”.
6. For clarity and for the convenience of the reader, each graph or table must be inserted close to the text that first refers to it.
When analysing the data, you will want to examine them in a number different of ways, in order to become familiar with the information that they contain. You will then want to present what you have found in a way that helps a reader to gain a sense of the data and of your conclusions from analysing it.
– Typically one begins with appropriate graphical summaries and simple summary statistics in tables and (where appropriate) uses these to inform hypothesis formation and testing.
– You will also wish to take the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to use techniques taught in the lessons.
8. The project should not exceed 4 pages in length, with body text no smaller than 10 point and margins no smaller than 20mm.
9. Citation of publications is unnecessary for this assignment – this is fine.
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