MS 498 - Senior Research

Professor: Erich Friedman

About the course:

This is the continuation of Senior Research. I will meet with you individually in my office every week to meet with you about your project. Please come see me soon to set up a time when we can meet. This semester I expect you to work on the problem you have chosen last semester. You will give a presentation about your research during the last week of classes. At that time, you should also hand in your final paper. A rough draft of your final paper is due a few weeks earlier.

About me:

My e-mail address is My web page can be found at My office is Elizabeth 214-2. My office hours this semester are:

About you:

You will need to have a working knowledge of mathematics. You should know how to experiment, conjecture, and do proofs. You should be good at problem solving, and applying knowledge from other courses as needed. You will need to be able to express mathematical ideas in written or oral form..

About your grade:

A Paper will describe your problem and contain your results. You will graded on both style and content. You should be mathematically precise and concise. The first draft will be due on Friday, April 17th. I will return it with comments and revisions, and a final copy is due at your presentation.

A Presentation of your project will occur on either Monday, April 27th or Wednesday, April 29th. It should be 15-20 minutes long. You should describe the problem you worked on, and summarize the results. You don't necessarily have to prove everything here - often you will do a simple example and sketch the idea of the proofs. You should make overheads, including lots of pictures, or prepare a PowerPoint demonstration. You should be ready to answer questions from the audience of math majors and faculty.

Meetings with me every week, allow me to evaluate the mathematics you have done. I might suggest things to try or correct minor mistakes you have made, but you will be doing most of the mental work.

About 2/3 of your grade is the project itself, and 1/3 of your grade is your paper and your presentation. A grade of "A" means that you have done a superior project: you have made significant progress on your problem and demonstrated some mathematical maturity in presenting it. A grade of "B" means that you did an average job on your project: you made some progress on your project, but not as much as you could have. Your paper or presentation may have holes or mistakes. A grade of "C" or lower means your project was unsatisfactory: you made little progress on your problem, or made major errors in your paper or presentation.