6515 S '13
Lab Book

Lab Book

You must take lab notes in a separate note book. Lab notes are basically a scientific diary; they describe what you did every day for the course. Do not mingle your lab notes with your lecture notes.


The general purpose of a lab book is to document your work and your collaborations. If anything goes wrong, it can help you reconstruct the past and convince others of your position.

For this course, the lab book is to help you manage your partnership. You must document every meeting: its purpose, duration, accomplishments, failures, agreements.

You must take these notes on a daily basis. It is probably best if you take notes as you prepare projects or complete project steps.


Schedule the first meeting when you agree to partner up for a project. You must schedule (when/where) each meeting at the end of the previous meeting.

The ideal schedule blocks out six regular meetings per week, one per work day. Even if you agree to such a schedule, re-agree at the end of each meeting when you will meet again. See below.

First Page:

The first page of your lab book is dedicated to information about your partner. You should enter the following information on this page: name, address, (cell) phone, email address and optionally a screen name if you wish to use an IM tool. (Do not use IM to conduct pair programming sessions.) Put nothing else on this page.

Cover Page for Weekly Projects:

Create a project page for each weekly assignment. Enter on this page the title of the project, your plan (the steps you anticipate), and a time estimate (in minutes) for the project. (If you wish to learn how to manage your time properly, estimate the time it takes to take each step of your plan.)

Pages for Meetings:

Create a new page for each meeting.

The first three lines of each meeting page must record the following two items:

  1. when you met
  2. where you met
  3. what you planned to work on

The middle of the page is for recording what you accomplished during the meeting and any other thoughts you find worthwhile. The last two lines of the page should specify when and where you will meet again:

  1. when you will meet next
  2. where you will meet next

If your partner doesn't show up for the meeting, make a note. Also record what actions you undertook to reach your partner. If you sent email, print a copy and glue it into your lab book.

Conclusion Page for Weekly Projects:

Create a conclusion page for each weekly project. Record on the page how much time you planned on spending on the project, how much time you actually spent, and the ratio. Note: you won't get credit for accurate time estimates. For your own sake, you should be as honest as you can with these estimates, so that you learn to estimate how much time real project work will consume.

last updated on Tue Jan 8 12:07:19 EST 2013generated with Racket