This module provides experience of undertaking a deep and rigorous investigation of a specific, advanced problem in mathematical sciences under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The module develops the broad range of skills required to perform a significant independent body of work. The learner will also be required to communicate their learning, understanding and knowledge discovery through presentations and a formal written document that describe the mathematical problem solving skills applied in their investigation and their scientifically justifiable conclusions. The module therefore requires developing a deep knowledge of a particular topic related to the learner’s studies and skills in the acquisition, assimilation, and communication of scientific knowledge.
The planning, execution and writing of the project requires the learner to appreciate the importance of literature review, project management, the interpretation of data and the concise, clear presentation of scientific information. The module therefore builds upon not only the technical knowledge acquired throughout the programme but also upon the skills developed in professional development, modelling and programming modules.
Description & delivery:
The content of the project undertaken will vary with the subject matter being investigated. However, the project must explore and describe sufficiently advanced mathematical subject material as to utilise and exploit discipline knowledge associated with the final stages of the programme and its technical content must be compatible with the expectations of an honours degree level research work in mathematical sciences or industrial mathematics. The presentation, technical prowess and mathematical level of the project will all contribute to its assessment and the content and quality of all submitted work is the responsibility of the learner.
Project topics proposed by academic supervisors are allocated to learners at the start of the first semester and are reflective of the research interests of academic staff in the School, including industrial applications. Learners may propose their own topic in advance and these topics will be made available if they are judged appropriate and appropriate resources are available to provide supervision. Some project topics may be allocated to more than one learner if appropriate.
The delivery of the project is principally via supervision meetings with an appointed academic project supervisor. These regular meetings will take place during the first semester and prior to submission in the second semester. The purpose of the meetings is to provide academic guidance to learners, introduce topics, discuss and monitor progress, facilitate understanding and provide feedback. Learners must attend scheduled meetings and are expected to be well prepared and to engage with supervisions constructively and professionally.
Learners will be required to attend group delivery sessions as notified and information pertinent to each particular year will be provided by the Stage Tutor. Information and topics communicated via these methods may include: project expectations e.g. conduct; written report requirements (length; mathematical content; document layout & presentation; academic writing & referencing); expectations for presentations; project planning, timekeeping and supervision etiquette; plagiarism. These objectives are supported by learners’ prior learning of research tools and academic writing in professional development modules of earlier stages.
Description of assessment methods:
Plagiarism is extremely serious and will not be tolerated. Suspected plagiarism of any form will be dealt with in accordance with Programme and Institute practices.
Learners will be assessed (as described in the section below) across all submitted material and their engagement, conduct and professionalism. Projects will be assessed for their originality, depth, complexity and substance, the professionalism of their presentation both written and in person and the conduct and understanding of the learner.
Interim report & presentation:
Prior to semester 2 learners will be required to submit an interim report and brief presentation. The report will be between 8 and 10 pages including a title page and appendices and will be written and presented formally. The School will provide detailed instructions on the submission of the report and the document requirements which include: a short written description and introduction to the project; a detailed work schedule for project elements and tasks; a sample of the project content using the formatting and style of the final project; a brief report of preliminary work undertaken (e.g. indicative table of contents, relevant software identified, summary of mathematics learning including references and bibliography, etc.). A brief individual presentation using presentation software based on this report describing their progress will be delivered by each learner followed by questions, discussion and feedback from members of the assessment panel.
A written report will be prepared by the learner in clear academic English in the learner's own words. The School will provide detailed instructions on the submission of the report and on style: e.g. spacing; font size; length; structure (e.g cover page; abstract; table of contents; chapters following clearly demarcated themes with appropriate sections and subsections; conclusions and further work; references; appendices). Plagiarism guidelines for the programme are provided to the learner and will be strictly applied. The report will be formally written in an academic style appropriate to the mathematical sciences using appropriate professional typesetting software (e.g. Latex/MS word). Guidance and a standard template will provided. The document must be well structured: chapters, sections, subsections, equations, tables, figures, etc. will be numbered, captioned and cross-referenced. Equations must be consistently typeset (not included as images). Reference citations to prior work should be used throughout and a complete list of references and a bibliography of other sources should be included following one of the standard recognised formats (e.g. Harvard style). The report should be error free (including typographical and formatting errors) and will be assessed on the quality and clarity of its exposition in the context of the topic area, the refinement of its presentation and the originality, depth, technicality and mathematical scope of the content.
The learner will make a formal presentation of their work to academic staff using PDF/PowerPoint slides (or equivalent). The presentation should be academic in nature and summarise the objectives and findings of the work. Following the presentation, the learner will be required to answer questions from the assessment panel to demonstrate their understanding of the written material submitted. The presentation will be assessed on its quality, professionalism, engagement with the audience, technical content and the learner’s ability to answer relevant questions appropriately.
The module is delivered over two semesters.
|Module Content & Assessment