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BSc Mathematics with Financial Mathematics / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Y2 Group Project

Unit code MATH20062
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Mathematics
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

In the Group Project, students will work together in small groups to produce two written accounts of topics of mathematical interest and give a presentation.  Students will develop skills in researching mathematics, mathematical communication, and working together as a group; these are graduate skills that are important and in demand for mathematical practitioners in both industry and research and in other numerate professions.

The project takes place in Sem 2.  During Semester 1, students who have selected this course unit choose which project they want to take.  Students are then assigned to groups of size 4—5 by project choice.  Projects will be across the spectrum of mathematical sciences and may include: traditional area/problems in mathematics; data analysis; mathematical modelling; history of mathematics; ethical and societal uses of mathematics; projects with industrial partners; interdisciplinary projects across the University.

The mini-project is intended to be an introduction to working together as a group and mathematical writing.  The group will agree, in consultation with their group mentor, a straightforward topic of mathematical interest (this could be a topic covered at A-level/high-school or in our 1st year) and write a report in a style that would be of interest to non-mathematicians, for example suitable for publication in a high-school magazine.

The main project and presentation will train students in researching and communicating more advanced mathematical ideas.  Students will have already picked a topic for the project (see above).  The presentation takes place in Week 12 in front of the project mentor and other students taking the group project.  The presentation could be an oral presentation but need not be (it could also be a video presentation, podcast, poster, etc); but it must be able to be delivered within 10 minutes and must be in a medium other than a written report. 

Each group will have a project mentor.  The role of the project mentor is to ensure that the group is on track to complete their project and is functioning well as a group, including monitoring the reflective log; the mentor is not there to provide detailed help on the mathematics or to proof-read drafts.

Each student will complete a weekly reflective log.  Students will comment on their contributions to the group project that week, their plans for the following week, and reflect on their and others contribution to the project.

 

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Mathematical Workshop MATH10001 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Foundations of Pure Mathematics A MATH10101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Calculus and Vectors A MATH10121 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Probability 1 MATH10141 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Linear Algebra A MATH10202 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Calculus and Applications A MATH10222 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Sequences and Series MATH10242 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Introduction to Statistics MATH10282 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

Aims

The unit aims to: develop students’ mathematical research skills, group-working skills, and communication skills. 

 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Researchm as part f a group, topics of mathematical interest
  • Communicate mathematics via a variety of media
  • Reflect on their own approach to studying and their approach to group work

Teaching and learning methods

Week 1: Introductory talk and ice-breaker session by unit lead on how the group project works, how to work well together as a group, signposting of resources on Blackboard (inc. how to run meetings, time-management, how to use LaTeX, how to cite sources, how to give a presentation, expectation of reflective log etc)

Week 1: Group meeting with project mentor

Weeks 2-4:  Group write the mini-project, deadline end of Week 4.

Weeks 5-11:  Groups work on their project and presentation, deadline end of Week 11.

Week 6/7: Group meeting with project mentor

Week 12:  Group finalise presentations and give presentations in front of a group of their peers and a member of staff.

Weekly in Weeks 2-12: individuals record progress in their reflective log on Blackboard.

 

Assessment methods

A short article (‘mini-project’), written as a group, on an elementary topic of mathematics, submitted at the end of Week 4.

1,500 words max, 20% weighting

A group report (‘project’) on a topic of mathematical interest, submitted at the end of Week 11

6,000 words max, 50% weighting

A group presentation on the group report in Week 12

10 min presentation + 5 min questions, 20% weighting

An individual reflective log

Form completed on Blackboard, 10% weighting

Marking:  For the mini-project and project, the marking will be a variant of the Knickrehm method: A numerical mark is awarded for each by the project mentor/second marker.  Each member of the group feeds back to the project mentor their level of contribution.  Individual marks are then weighted according to this, and capped at +/- 20% from the original mark.  The rubric is the standard Departmental project rubric.

The presentation is graded using the oral exam rubric from the Departmental project rubric.  The same mark is assigned to all group members.

The reflective log is marked out of 10.  Students gain 1 mark for each week that they make a serious attempt at completing the reflective log (capped at 10).

Feedback methods

A short article (‘mini-project’), written as a group, on an elementary topic of mathematics, submitted at the end of Week 4.

Feedback is provided in Week 5/6 from the project mentor.

A group report (‘project’) on a topic of mathematical interest, submitted at the end of Week 11

Feedback is provided at the end of the semester, following completion of the unit, from the project mentor via Blackboard

A group presentation on the group report in Week 12

Feedback is provided at the end of the semester, following completion of the unit.

An individual reflective log

Feedback is provided at the end of the semester, following completion of the unit, from the project mentor via Blackboard

Recommended reading

N.J. Higham, Handbook of writing for the mathematical sciences (3rd ed), SIAM (2020).

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 100

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mike Simon Unit coordinator
Charles Walkden Unit coordinator
Nikesh Solanki Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  

Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates

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