Requirements/prerequisites: Students must find a member of staff in College willing to
supervise their work and must agree the arrangements with the course
coordinator as outlined in the rules below. Please consult the
coordinator for suggestions about suitable
topics and supervisors.
Duration: 10 credits
Number of lectures per week:
Assessment: Written thesis (which should normally exceed 40 pages)
and viva presentation
Description: Rules adopted for Senior Sophister Projects by the School of Mathematics.
1. Basic Rules
Senior Sophister students may choose to take a project/thesis module (MA4492), provided that the agreement of the MA4492 module coordinator is explicitly given and that a member of staff is willing to supervise the work.
The basic standard of the work should correspond to a 10 credits of advanced level modules in depth and difficulty. Ideally the topic should touch on something in the recent research literature (paper in a journal or a preprint) or involve a novel implementation or calculation.
A written thesis must be submitted and the students concerned will also be asked to make an oral presentation of their work. Where relevant, any computer source code should be submitted. The external examiner will assess the marking of the projects along with examination scripts.
The Chairman of the School of Mathematics will appoint a module MA4492 coordinator for each academic year.
Students and their project/thesis supervisors should arrange to meet on a regular basis to discuss the progress of the work.
Work on the project must commence before the second week of Michaelmas term in the Senior Sophister year and the agreement of the MA4492 module coordinator should be obtained by this time. Students may opt to discontinue the project before the end of Michaelmas term and change to a regular (advanced) course.
The supervisor of the project/thesis should warn the student during Michaelmas term if the work is not proceeding satisfactorily.
Theses/Projects should be completed and submitted three weeks before the end of Hilary term and subject to a subsequent viva voce presentation held before the end of Hilary term.
Theses must be submitted to the module MA4992 coordinator who will give each student a receipt. The coordinator will keep a copy receipt counter-signed by the student and will arrange for the thesis to be examined (normally by the supervisor and one other member of staff). Each thesis must include a statement signed by the student that the thesis is their own work except where due citations are given.
3. Marking Criteria
Theses/projects should be marked according to the following criteria
|(i) Reading type project||(ii) Implementation type|
|w×p||weight w||p%||p%||weight w||w×p|
|0.20||Clarity of exposition and style of writing||0.20|
|0.30||Understanding of the material||Understanding of the problem and the background||0.25|
|0.25||Difficulty of the topic||Appropriate research method?||0.15|
|0.10||Originality (students own approach to topic)||Originality and difficulty of the problem and progress||0.25|
|¬ Total %||Total % ®|
Did the student make a comprehensible presentation which summarised adequately their main achievements? Used the time available well? Did answers to any questions show mastery of the material?
Is it there? Is it formatted in a recognisable style used by journals in the field (with author names, source [journal or publisher], date, pages)? Is it adequate in coverage?
Is there clarity and precision in the explanations given? Is there a clear development of the ideas? Is the terminology clearly laid out?
Are the ideas explained and developed in a way that makes it clear that the student has understood them?
(i) Difficulty: is this a challenging topic for the student as compared to the standard of sophister modules? Has the student made contact with recent published literature?
(ii) Method: has the student gone about the project in a sensible way? Modified strategy in the light of early results or difficulties encountered?
In case (i), can you see the students own viewpoint? In case (ii), did the student succeed and was it a substantial accomplishment?
Start with an abstract, then an overall summary and then some background.
Oct 19, 2010