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CLA Math Senior Project
- Class: Unspecified
- This template is published for use.
Step 1: Step 1: Understand your assignment. Set your schedule. Find a supervisor. Register for Math 4995.Percent time spent on this step: 5%
- Read through and understand your assignment
- Math 4995 - Senior Project for CLA
- The Senior Project for Math Majors: BA or BS from the Math Undergrad Office
- CLA Senior Paper Guidelines from Prof. Victor Reiner
- Tips on understanding an assignment
- Find a supervisor
- Ask a math professor who has taught you in a class and/or knows something of your abilities and background.
- To get a permission number to register for the course, have this professor sign the Math 4990-4997W, Math 5900 Directed Study, Independent Study, Senior Project form; then you submit it to the Math Undergrad Office, 115 Vincent Hall.
- Choose to get e-mail reminders of deadlines, to keep on schedule.
- Login on this page (Create an Account if necessary, then return to this page).
- Save your own copy of this assignment.
- Choose Edit, and click the box to receive e-mail notifications.
Step 2: Select and focus your topic. Submit topic to your supervisor for approval.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
- Select a workable topic on mathematics that is new to you. Good sources for ideas include:
- Proofs from the Book [full text] by Martin Aigner and Günter M. Ziegler
- other editions in the Math Library QA36 .A36
- "Theorems and Problems" in The Princeton Companion to Mathematics [full text] edited by Timothy Gowers
- What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences by Barry Cipra and others.
- The Mathematical Century: The 30 Greatest Problems of the Last 100 Years by Piergiorgio Odifreddi
- Math Talks for Undergraduates by Serge Lang
- The Mathematical Tourist or MathTrek columns by Ivars Peterson
- The Elements of Mathematics columns by Steven Strogatz
- Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games: the entire collection of his Scientific American columns
- find CD-ROM in the library
- or look for other books by Martin Gardner
- Math through the Ages by William P. Berlinghoff, Fernando Q. Gouvêa
- Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences edited by I. Grattan-Guinness
- SIAM Review [full text] or in the Math Library Periodicals section
- American Mathematical Monthly in the Math Library Periodicals section
- Notices of the American Mathematical Society [full text] or in the Math Library Periodicals section
- Lists of mathematics topics from wikipedia
- Conduct preliminary investigation into the topic.
- Contact or visit your supervisor's office hours if you have questions.
- Revise and narrow your topic as needed.
Step 3: Find and evaluate sources to address your topic.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
- Find sources and evidence. Get online or in-person research help with Ask Us!
- Journals or Magazines
- Search for articles on your topic in MathSciNet or (How do I find articles?)
- What are popular or scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles? (PDF)
- Books and E-books
- Print out at least one page from each site for your records.
- How do I find credible websites?
- As you conduct research, ask yourself--What can this source do for me? How will I use this as evidence?
- Gather citation information on your sources for your bibliography page (What are citations?)
Step 4: Critically read and evaluate sources.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
Step 5: Organize sources. Develop overall structure. Submit outline to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
- Clarify how much of the topic you will include in the paper.
- Organize your thoughts and your paper's structure. Try the following techniques:
- Diagrams (Brainstorming, Concept mapping, Idea trees, Quadrants)
- Record yourself talking about your topic and ideas. Transcribe to the computer.
- Start writing segments or chunks, not necessarily the introduction. As you write you will discover more of what you want to say.
Step 6: Write 1st draft and submit it to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 20%
- Draft segments or chunks. Concentrate on writing your rough ideas and not on revising. Develop connections between segments.
- As you incorporate others' ideas or words, be sure to cite your sources.
- Use strategies to avoid plagiarism
- Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing
- Integrating quotations from sources (PDF)
- For tips on mathematical writing:
- "How to Write Mathematics" by Paul Halmos
- A Primer of Mathematical Writing by Stephen Krantz
- Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences [full text] by Nicholas Higham
- Get online or in-person writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing.
Step 7: Revise & rewrite--focus on content.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
- Based on your draft and your supervisor's comments, continue to revise. Your goal is to explain the math clearly to a reader who has some math sophistication, but is not previously familiar with the topic.
- Get online or in-person writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing
- Use the revision checklist
- Draft your bibliography or works cited page.
- Ask your adviser which citation style to use, or consult the Krantz and Higham writing guides above for guidelines, TeX tips, etc.
- Be sure to double check the citations.
Step 8: Proofread, polish and put paper in final form. Submit final paper to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
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