All students in the second year of a Mathematics degree will complete a group project during the last two weeks of the summer term (in 2017/18 this will be from 19 May to 8 June). For the purposes of assessment, the project is attached to the module MATH2101, but it will not be in the area of complex analysis. The project must be completed in order to pass the module MATH2101.
The main aim of these projects is to give a deep understanding of a particular mathematical area/topic by means of a supervised project. They provide an excellent 'apprenticeship in research'. The project may be theoretical and/or computational and the area/topic for each student is chosen in consultation with the Department, as explained below.
The ability to carry out group work, to do research, and to read advanced books or articles on one's own is critical in terms of mathematical maturity, job prospects, and fulfils the expectations of the connected curriculum.
- Project Areas
There are five areas for the projects, each with an area leader, as follows:
(For a more detailed area description please click on the heading for your area below)
- Selection of area
Towards the end of February, students will be asked to fill in a google form, giving three preferences of area in order. Normal pre-requisites for areas are:
Area 1 MATH7202 Algebra 4 or MATH7701 Number Theory. Not normally suitable for students on Maths & Physics or Maths & Stats degrees
Area 2 MATH7102 Analysis 4
Area 3 MATH7202 Algebra 4 or MATH7112 Geometry and Groups
Area 4 MATH2301 Fluids
Area 5 MATH7501 Probability and Statistics or MATH7402 Methods 4.
Programming may be a component of some projects, but not all projects in any area will involve programming.
Students will then be assigned to areas by the project co-ordinator, bearing in mind their preferences, but also their degree and balancing numbers in each area.
- Working on the project
At the beginning of the 2-week period, the area leader gives a number of lectures (2 - 6 hours) on the topics within the area selected for this year. Each group is given a different project title and suitable readings by the area leader (e.g. a section of a book, a short article in a journal at an appropriate level). The group then works independently of other groups and of the area leader to research the topic, read material as necessary and prepare a 15-minute presentation. The area leader will have a few office hours to provide limited help to the groups.
- The presentation and assessment
Towards the end of the 2-week period, each group gives a 15-minute presentation. The audience will be the other groups in the same area, the area leader and at least one other staff member. All members of the group must contribute to the presentation. The project is assessed purely on the presentation, and the assessment is made by the area leader and the other staff member. The marks are A (5/5), B (4/5), C (3/5), D (2/5), F (1/5) and the area leader will give brief written feedback to each group.
Students who do not participate in the project will receive amark of 0 (not complete) and will automatically fail MATH2101 (although an F mark will be regarded as complete and will not lead to an automatic fail of MATH2101). If a student cannot participate due to approved extenuating circumstances, they may be asked to complete a project during the summer to pass MATH2101.