Capstone Experience

Process for Completing the Capstone Experience in Mathematics

All mathematics majors are required to complete a capstone experience in mathematics.

The components of the capstone experience are as follows:

1.) Each student must complete a research project. The project should involve significant independent mathematical work.  The nature of the project might vary; possibilities include, but are not limited to

(a) a contribution to the field of mathematics or its applications; or

(b) an expository or survey study of an existing topic; or

(c) a significant and new contribution to a project from an industrial, governmental, or business institution; or

(d) a newly developed mathematical software package.

The student, in collaboration with his or her mentor or other members of the faculty, will choose the most appropriate project for himself or herself.

2.) Each student must write a research paper on his or her project. The paper will be formatted and typeset according to standard mathematical communication conventions. In particular, the paper will include an abstract, an introduction written to the general audience and containing all pertinent background material, and a set of references.

3.) Each student must give a 20-minute colloquium presentation on his or her project. These talks will be open to the public.

4.) Each student must pass Math 403. The class, offered in the Fall semester, will give students an opportunity to learn about the methods and techniques of mathematical scholarship. It will also provide a venue for being engaged in each others' work.  (Students planning to be off-campus during the Fall semester of their senior year should contact the department chair as early as possible.)

The timetable is as follows:

On or before January 31 of junior year: Each student must submit a survey form to the Mathematics Department in which they declare their interests in selected project ideas and/or members of the faculty they wish to work with.

On or before February 15 of junior year: Each student will be assigned to a faculty mentor.

On or before March 31 of junior year or October 31 of senior year: Each student must submit a research proposal to the department. The proposal should indicate the goals and objectives of the research and the possible methodologies employed. 

Fall or Spring of senior year: Each student must enroll in Math 403.  As part of the course, students will

(a) give an informal presentation on the status of his or her work, and

(b) give his or her formal colloquium talk.