Year 2 Project 2023

Year 2 Project 2022/23



Second year students will in general have finished all their examinations by well before the end of the summer term.  You have the opportunity to take part in the second year group project during the last two weeks of term (25 May – 9 June 2023).

This is not part of your formal assessment, and it is not required that you take part in it, but it is strongly recommended that you do.  It is useful experience, can be used in CVs and in references written for you, and students have usually found it an enjoyable and interesting opportunity to study a topic in more depth, work on it in a group and present it. 

The group giving the best projects are invited to make a poster and enter a poster competition in the autumn, with prizes awarded to the winners.



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:

Area 1. Algebra/Number Theory/Combinatorics (Cecilia Busuoic)

Area 2. Analysis (Carlo Marinelli)

Area 3. Physical Applied Mathematics, eg Fluids, Mathematical Physics (Robert Bowles)

Area 4. Mathematical modelling in biology, finance, industry and society (Philip Pearce)

Normal prerequisites

Area 1 MATH0053 Algebra 4 or MATH0034 Number Theory. Not normally suitable for students on Maths & Physics or Maths & Stats degrees.

Area 2 MATH0051 Analysis 4

Area 3 MATH0015 Fluids or MATH0054 Analytic Dynamics

Area 4 MATH0057 Probability and Statistics or MATH0056 Methods 4.

Programming may be a component of some projects, but not all projects in any area will involve programming.

Selection of groups

First students are asked to give (i) preferences of subject areas (ii) whether they will do the project remotely or face-to-face on a Google form: 


Please do this by Monday 8 May at mid-day. Bearing this in mind, students will be assigned to a subject area.  Students will then be asked to arrange themselves into groups of 4 – 5 students (again filled in on a Google form). Groups should preferably consist of students who are all remote or who are all face-to-face.

Working on the project

On 25 May or 26 May, each area leader will give a lecture of between 90 minutes and 3 hours on topics within the area and groups will be assigned project titles and suitable readings (e.g. a section of a book, a short article in a journal at an appropriate level). The lectures will delivered face-to-face (location to be announced) and also synchronously online. The group then works independently of other groups and of the area leader to research the topic, read material as necessary and prepare a 20-minute presentation to be given online.

Each area leader will have an office hour to provide limited help to the groups during this 2-week period.

Expected timing of talks:

Area 1. Algebra/Number Theory/Combinatorics: Friday 26 May 14:00

Area 2. Analysis: Thursday 25 May from 14:00 (remote)

Area 3: Physical Applied Mathematics: Friday 26 May 11:00

Area 4: Mathematical Modelling: Friday 26 May 11:00


The presentation and assessment

On Thursday 8 June or Friday 9 June, each group gives a 20-minute remote 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 should contribute to the presentation.  The assessment of this project does not count towards your degree in any way.  However, it will be assessed (purely on the presentation) by the area leader and a mark out of 5 and brief written feedback provided to each group.  Groups with particularly good presentations will be invited to prepare a poster and there will be a poster competition with prizes in the autumn term.