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WHY DO A PROJECTBesides the obvious advantage of having one fewer subject to revise during the finals, doing a project brings about substantial benefits. A project will be invaluable when applying for a job. You can demonstrate your experience in researching and communicating technical material, both orally and in writing. A project will express your independence, maturity, and style, speaking on your behalf more convincingly than any set of grades, thereby putting you ahead of competitors. You will mention it on your CV, and refer back to it during job interviews; it will strengthen an application for post-graduate studies.
To get a feel of what a project involves, we suggest you view recordings of MSci students giving talks on the module page.Note that departmental funds are available (subject to approval) to support various aspects of project work, such as visiting researchers at another university, financial institution or laboratory. Again this adds to the narrative of independent work that you may wish to put to employers next year.
PICKING A Project (from the repository, with friends or outside MATHS)
Before the start of a project module, the most important thing is to find a supervisor. Do this as early as possible, ideally before the start of Semester 1.
Look at the list of suggested projects and interdisciplinary projects and go and speak to the supervisors of ones that appeal. If you are interested in an area of mathematics which doesn't seem to be represented on the list of projects then contact the lecturer of any relevant modules and ask if they can suggest some project related to their module.
You may approach the supervisor jointly with a friend (or friends) who may be either a final year BSc student or a final year MSci student. You will meet your supervisor together, work through the literature together, and explain material to each other. Your dissertation will still be produced independently, and the specific examples/applications that you report will be your own; your supervisor will help with suggestions for variations. The presentations of joint projects will be timetabled in blocks, so that your talks follow each other, and you may introduce and refer back to each other. However, you will be assessed entirely on the quality of your own presentation.It is possible to organise a joint project with a friend (or friends) in other departments. You must ensure that their supervisor agrees, and that you can find a co-supervisor in the School of Mathematical Sciences, who will mark your project. In an interdisciplinary project, you will typically emphasize the mathematical aspects of the investigation, and even if less advanced mathematics is used, you will gain the novelty of interdisciplinarity. The proven ability to collaborate with colleagues with different expertise is a most impressive quality from an employer's point of view.
However you choose your project, to make it official you must email email@example.com, cc'ing your supervisor(s), with the agreed title of the project. You must also register for he relevant course (MTH6138 for BSc tudents and MTH717U for MSci students.
...by attending the special lectures listed below. If you can't come to them (e.g. due to a clash with some other module) please let us know.
The assessment consists of a presentation (20%) given in late March and a dissertation submitted in late April (80%). As long as you make a decent attempt at the presentation, it can only increase your mark: if it does not then we will ignore it and the dissertation will count 100%.
List of possible projects
The list of projects available can be found in the project repository. This repository agglutinates projects at the third year, MSci and MSc levels. You may search by supervisor, if for example you feel you would work well with one of your current or previous lecturers. You can also search by research area, if you feel you enjoy some areas more than others. Alternatively just browse through the list of titles and see if anything sounds exciting.
The following sessions have been scheduled for the first semester to help you write a good project and make a good presentation.
- Week 4: Introduction to LaTeX – Dr W. Mannan: 19th October, 0900-1200, GC201 (You must bring a laptop with some form of latex installed*)
- Week 5: Writing and speaking mathematically I – Prof. F. Vivaldi: 26th October, 0900-1200, GC201
- Week 6: Writing and speaking mathematically II – Prof. F. Vivaldi: 2nd November, 0900-1200, GC201
- Week 8: PPT/Beamer and Plagiarism – Prof. F. Vivaldi: 16th November, 0900-1200, GC201
*If you have a problem with this then you should let the module organisers know immediately.
Attendance at these sessions will be registered.