Senior Project I MATH 491 and Senior Project II MATH 492

        1. The General Description

        2. Development over the Semester

        3. Plagiarism

        4. Mathematical Editing

        5. Grading

        6. Syllabus



The General Description

Objectives.  MATH 491 Senior Project I and MATH 492 Senior Project II are each a 3 credit required course for seniors completing their mathematical degree. The courses are used to assess the students independent thinking skills and ability to understand, write, and present  formal mathematics, as well as to develop  a sense of individual research and of mathematical creativity. Senior projects in mathematics are evaluated according to depth of mathematical content, clarity of exposition, effort, and originality.


Organization. These courses are developing approximately the  same way. The courses involve a course coordinator and project advisers.

The Course Coordinator keeps record of the projects, project advisers, collects the final written essays, organizes occasional meetings with students and the oral presentations, evaluates the written projects, and submit the final letter grades.

The Project Adviser:  At the beginning of each semester, each student has to choose a project adviser and the topics. The student works individually with the faculty adviser on a project. In order to facilitate an efficient dialog between the students and their project advisers, no more than two students can be advised by each of our faculty members. During the semester, each student sets up a regular schedule of meetings with the project adviser, at least once per week: failure to do so may result in disqualification.



Development over the Semester



Plagiarism


According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

  1. to steal and pass the ideas or words of another as one's own

  2. to use another's production without crediting the source

  3. to commit literary theft

  4. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

Plagiarism is an act of fraud and it really means to steal someone else's work and/or ideas and, more than that, to lie about it.  You have to note that "lying by omission" is  still a lie. Plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources, for example, acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and clearly providing the information necessary to find that source. However, copying most of the words or ideas from a source, whether you give credit or not, is still a plagiarism.

Mathematical Editing

Modern mathematical editing uses TeX, a programming media designed by Donald Knuth during the 1980's, to produce high printing quality of articles and books. The TeX evolved to very sophisticated versions: AMS-TeX, LaTeX, LaTeX2e, and AMS-LaTeX. We recommend the usage of AMS-LaTeX that has the most capabilities and high flexibility. The students should study independently and be able to write their project using one of these versions. There are different textbooks available for this, among which we recommend Guide to LaTeX. 4th edition, by H. Kopka, P.W. Daly, Addison-Wesley 2004 that can be found in the bookshop.

You can use on any computer from the BCC the MikTeX environment by using the path:

Programs>Applications>TeXnicCenter>TeXnicCenter

and then a window will open. After a short configuration you will be able to type your LaTeX file. Please note that there are at least three stages before producing your written pages:

If you have a personal computer or a laptop, other distributions of the TeX are available: MikTeX is freely available from the Internet to be downloaded and installed under Windows operating system, teTeX is part of any Linux operating system, TeXShop is freely available for MacIntosh operating systems, etc. Here you can download an Example file in AMS-LaTeX, and the corredsponding Example file in PDF.

Grading

This should reflect the overall activities associated with this course, following a combination of grades: the adviser evaluation (50%), course coordinator evaluation of the written project (20%), and a panel of three independent graders of the oral presentation (30%).

Each partial grade will be done on a scale 0--100. In the following table we give general guidelines for the correspondence with letter-grades:


Points

Letter-grade

90-100

A

80-89

A-

75-79

B+

70-74

B

65-69

B-

60-64

C+

55-59

C

50-54

C-

45-49

D+

40-44

D

  0-39

F

Syllabus


The following syllabus might be used:

MATH 491 Senior Project I

Week 0: Each faculty member proposes two topics for this course. The course coordinator collects and makes this information available to students.

Week 1: Time to choose the topics and the adviser, by direct contact and discussions.

Week 2 -- Week 5: Independent study closely monitored by the advisers through weekly meetings; understanding TeX and its capabilities.

Week 6 -- Week 9: Independent study monitored by the advisers through weekly meetings; typing the written presentation; preparation of the material for the oral presentation.

Week 10 -- Week 14: Finishing the written project and submitting it; finishing the preparation for the oral presentation; holding the oral presentation of the project.

Week 15: Correcting and improving the final project and submitting it as a PDF file.

MATH 492 Senior Project II


Week 1: Time to discuss the choice of the topics, by direct contact and discussions with the adviser.

Week 2 -- Week 9: Independent study monitored by the advisers through weekly meetings; typing the written presentation; preparation of the material for the oral presentation.

Week 10 -- Week 14: Finishing the written project and submission; finishing the preparation for the oral presentation; holding the oral presentation of the project.

Week 15: Correcting and improving the final project and submitting it as a PDF file .


Page maintained by Aurelian Gheondea (course coordinator); last update October 24th, 2011.