Senior Research Project

FALL, 2003 Course Information

Course Coordinator:

Prof. Lifang Hsu
Office: RH 236, Phone Number: 445-4371,

Course Description

Course Format


Important Dates

Other Information

How to Succeed

Time: W.3:30 PM 4:30 PM.

Course Description: MTH495 is a required course for senior mathematics majors. This course involves the completion and presentation of a research project in the student's area of concentration. Prior to registration for the course, a student must submit a proposal and have it approved by the department chair. Students may work in teams of two or three on projects; however, team projects will require commensurably greater scope than individual projects.

Course Format: You will meet with your advisor at least once a week during the semester, more if you agree that it is necessary. All seniors will meet as a group with the department faculty twice during the semester, once around mid-term and once at the end of the semester. You will do oral presentations at both of these meetings. The mid-term presentation will be a progress report, and will also serve as practice for the final presentation. All members of a group will participate in both presentations. Each presentation is 15 minutes long for each group.

Grade: Here is how your grade will be determined. All of the faculty members in the department will read your final paper and attend your two presentations. You should be prepared to respond to serious and detailed questions about your project at your final presentation. After the final presentations, the department as a group will determine your grade. Your advisor will, of course, contribute opinions about your work to this discussion, but a good grade on this project can't be achieved by effort alone.

If you are working in a group, you will be asked to have (among yourselves) a frank discussion of the relative contributions of each member. The results of this discussion will be passed along to the department, and will be taken into consideration in assigning grades. Do not assume that everyone in a group will receive the same grade.

Tentative important dates:

Mid-term presentation: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM, Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Final report due: 5:00 PM, Friday, December 5, 2003

Final presentation: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Tuesday, December 9, 2003

For your information, here is the distribution of MTH495 grades in 2000 fall - 2002 spring:

3(A-) 4(B+) 6(B) 2(C) 2(D)

Copies of all reports are retained in MTH495-researved materials section of the Noreen Reale Falcone Library.

A list of some possible senior research projects can be found in the folder "MTH495-Topics".


How to Succeed:

1. Ask your advisor to suggest some reading to be done over the summer.

2. You can adjust or change your topic, or even your advisor, if necessary, but in any event you should be prepared to start serious work immediately at the beginning of fall semester. This is a substantial endeavor, and you should plan on working on it steadily throughout the semester. MTH495 carries three hours of credit. Plan on spending as much time on this project as the class time and study time you would devote to any senior-level three-hour course. Make sure you learn something new, something you did not see in a class, and something with substance. Your final report should include relatively difficult mathematics or computer science.

3. NEVER, EVER put off. Set a definite period of time each day that you will devote to your research. Arrange regular meetings with your advisor at least once a week. Get each part done on time! Get regular feedback from your advisor.

4. Submit the bibliography, papers, outline, and first draft to your advisor to be evaluated by October 1. It will help you to polish your progress report and be prepared for the mid-term presentation.

5. Submit the final draft of report to your advisor one week before the final report due date, so your advisor can read the final draft and indicate corrections which must be made before the polished final report is submitted.

6. Be persistent, but patient! If you follow the above suggestions your experience in this course will be a rewarding one.