To develop the ability to carry out an extensive independent investigation of a mathematical topic of choice, and to present a clear account of the findings.
To learn how to write mathematics in a clear and concise way, using established conventions.
To write a mathematical dissertation, using the scientific typesetting program LaTeX.
To prepare a formal mathematical talk, and present it to an audience of peers and academics.
Module learning outcomes
Be able to acquire mathematical expertise in a largely autonomous fashion, making use of available mathematical literature as a stimulus to independent thought.
Be able to synthesise mathematical information from a number of different sources.
Be able to critically evaluate mathematics encountered in the existing literature.
Be able to create a synopsis of mathematics learned over an extended period (6 months).
Be able to communicate mathematics clearly and concisely, as a written narrative and in the form of a poster.
Be able to fluently use LaTeX.
Be able to prepare a mathematical talk using PowerPoint or Beamer.
Be able to deliver a talk to an audience of peers and academics.
Students can choose the mathematical topic that they want to investigate, either from an extensive list of titles offered by the Department, or by coming up with a topic of their own. Project choices are made at the beginning of Autumn term and supervisors allocated shortly afterwards.
In the AuT there are lectures and computer practical classes that teach mathematical research and presentation skills, including mathematical writing and the use of LaTeX. Two formative assignments in AuT are available to help students further develop LaTeX skills learned earlier in the degree. A written assignment and a presentation (each worth 5%) in AuT assess progress made on introductory aspects of the project.
Most of the independent investigatory work takes place in AuT and SpT, the organisation of which is largely the responsibility of the individual student. An initial meeting with the project supervisor at the beginning of AuT is supplemented by weekly or fortnightly meetings during SpT, to ensure that steady progress is made.
A first draft of the project dissertation is presented to the project supervisor at the beginning of SuT, and the supervisor will present constructive feedback shortly afterwards. The deadline for submission of the final version is Monday of Week 4. Students are then invited to present a talk summarising their dissertation, in Week 8.