MAT 3010 Final Project

Goals and Objectives: Each student will research a topic, become "experts" on the related history and mathematics, and will communicate this expertise in many different contexts. This is to be an individual project and the topic must be pre-approved by Dr. Sarah or Dr. Rhoads. These assignments must exhibit effort that is appropriate for your background and major.

Sample Topics: You may choose a topic that we discussed in class (which will require you go in much greater depth that we did) or a topic that we didn't discuss in class. Some examples: history and mathematics of a field of mathematics (topology, geometry, algebra, differential geometry, probability, statistics, etc...), history and mathematics of a technique (logarithms, quadratic formula, numerical algorithms for pi or a square root, solving equations numerically, etc...), history and mathematics of a topic ( Pascal's and harmonic triangles, continued fractions, etc...), or the history and mathematics of a person. Your topic must be one that you haven't studied in a previous project and such that the level of mathematics is appropriate for your background.

Assignments (see the main web page for due dates and submission formats):

  • Project Bibliography Create a substantial bibliography of useful book and web references for your topic. After each bibliographic entry, you must summarize what is contained in each reference.
  • Timeline and References Provide as complete as possible a listing of the major discoveries or ideas in the mathematical topic you've chosen and present the listing in an attractive display. A maximum of three pages will be allowed so that someone else can quickly read your timeline and get a basic understanding of the events. You should use many different sources (to try to get as much information as possible) and submit a bibliography (subset of your project bibliography) of all of the sources you used in the timeline. Your grade will reflect your effort.
  • Worksheet and References You can choose to make your worksheet so that it is aimed at a high school student, undergraduate, or graduate student. Your self-contained worksheet will include both history and mathematics and will contain activities that will engage the class with the mathematics. Use the worksheet checklist as a guideline.
  • Poster Your poster should be an effective presentation of your timeline and worksheet along with a reflection on what you found interesting/surprising in the project (was there something in the history that is unique? Was there something in the mathematics that surprised you?) You should be prepared to answer questions on your project.
  • Grad only paper This grad only paper will delve into the mathematics more deeply and address how the methods have changed over the years with examples that illustrate the changes.
  • All work must be in your own words. Give proper reference to ideas from sources.