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Sample Questions - From Introduction to the end of Science.doc

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Natural Science
NATS 1700
Valeri Michkine

SAMPLE MIDTERM EXAM QUESTIONS – PART I PREFACE: What follows is a guide to answering the sample questions and also the sample questions. Any reference to Rosenberg’s Social Impact of Computers should be ignored. The sample questions are not exhaustive and, for the second part, further sample questions will be posted. Please keep in mind that you are responsible for all of the Coursekit articles assigned for this semester. SOME PRELIMINARY TIPS ON ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS: 1. Read the question and make sure that you understand what it is asking. Often students who rush fail to read and understand what a question asks. 2. Answer only the question that is asked. 3. Where a question says “List” or “State” it means just that. List or state in point form. No explanation or discussion is necessary. 4. Only provide and explanation or discussion where an explanation or discussion is asked for. 5. “Briefly explain” or “Briefly discuss” means a few sentences, not paragraph upon paragraph. 6. Where a question asks for a definition, provide the definition. Do not provide your definition of the definition. Since definitions are exact, the definition provided by you should be exact. 7. Look at the marks beside the question. Where the mark is small, answer accordingly. Do not spend pages writing an answer to a question that only will net you a few marks. On the other hand, a question that is worth 10 or more marks should indicate to you that your answer will not be short. I have set out the marks for questions 14, 15 and 16 below as examples. 8. Allot your time on an examination by reading over the entire examination before you begin. This will help you determine which questions are worth only a few marks as opposed to those questions which are worth a substantial portion of the examination. Such a determination will also help you allot the amount of time spent answering a question. Obviously, you do not want to spend a great deal of time on questions that have small values only to find that you do not have enough time to complete a question which may be worth 1/5 or more of the examination. 9. Trust and believe me when, a couple of weeks before your midterm examination, I tell you what materials and subjects you have know for the midterm examination. 10. Note that often I will ask a question with a yes or no answer, followed by a question that asks for an explanation. The marks you get for the yes/no question, are determined by the quality of your answer to the explanation question. See again questions 14 and 16. SAMPLE QUESTIONS QUESTION 1: New technology does not just happen or appear. It has a history and is developed over time. (a) What was the initial invention that, unknown to its inventors, was the single most important step towards the development of the new computer technology? (b) Briefly describe the development of the new technology, from the occurrence of the invention in (a). (three steps) QUESTION 2: The Internet has been hailed as the ultimate "Information Highway". (a) Is the Internet new technology? (Yes/No) (a) Briefly explain your answer QUESTION 3: (a) The hundreds of individual steps in the manufacture of chips can be grouped into between 6 to 8 basic steps or operations. List in their proper order, these operations? ( you answer may differ depending on whether you are describing the manufacture of a chip on page 24; the steps in from Sand to Silicon or the steps in The First Nanochips Have Arrived) (b) In no more than one or two sentences, briefly explain each operation in (a). QUESTION 4: It has been said that all of the benefits of integrated circuits "accrue in no small measure from the fact that the semi-conductor industry has been able to integrate more and more transistors onto chips, at ever lower costs" and that "this so fundamental in the semiconductor business that it is literally regarded as a law". (a) What has led to lower manufacturing costs in the semiconductor industry? (b) Briefly state what scientists and engineers are worried about in the semiconductor industry. (c) At present, does it appear that the principle set out above will continue indefinitely? (d) Explain your answer in (c). QUESTION 5: In the first 2 lectures, Professor Levine proposed two new definitions of "Technology", The first was proposed because existing definitions of "technology" appear to be deficient, while the second was to satisfy the critics. Later in an addendum to lectures 1, 2 and 3, Professor Levine proposed some changes to each of these definitions. (a) List the reason(s) given by professor Levine for his suggestion that existing definitions of new technology are deficient? (i.e. briefly state why Professor Levine finds that existing definitions of technology are deficient.) (b) In order to arrive at a new definition of "technology", it was suggested that we must break down the process of discovery or the process of uncovering something to its most basic level and, in doing so, we must have reference to the categories of benefits discussed some time ago. Briefly explain what the most basic level is or means and how the categories of benefits apply to it. (c) Is Professor Levine’s extended definition of “technology” provided to meet the criticisms to his first two definitions, a definition at all, or is it merely an explanation of his and/or second suggested definition? (d) (i) Is “technology restricted to human beings alone? (ii) Briefly explain your answer in d(i). (iii Based on your assessment of Lectures 1 and 2 and the criticisms set out in both Lecture 2 and the Addendum to Lectures
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