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CLA Math Senior Project
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Step 1: Step 1: Understand your assignment. Set your schedule. Find a supervisor. Register for Math 4995.Percent time spent on this step: 5%
Instructions
 Read through and understand your assignment
 Math 4995  Senior Project for CLA
 The Senior Project for Math Majors: BA or BS from the Math Undergrad Office
 CLA Senior Paper Guidelines from Prof. Victor Reiner
 Tips on understanding an assignment
 Find a supervisor
 Ask a math professor who has taught you in a class and/or knows something of your abilities and background.
 To get a permission number to register for the course, have this professor sign the Math 49904997W, Math 5900 Directed Study, Independent Study, Senior Project form; then you submit it to the Math Undergrad Office, 115 Vincent Hall.
 Choose to get email reminders of deadlines, to keep on schedule.
 Login on this page (Create an Account if necessary, then return to this page).
 Save your own copy of this assignment.
 Choose Edit, and click the box to receive email notifications.

Step 2: Select and focus your topic. Submit topic to your supervisor for approval.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
Instructions
 Select a workable topic on mathematics that is new to you. Good sources for ideas include:
 Proofs from the Book [full text] by Martin Aigner and Günter M. Ziegler
 other editions in the Math Library QA36 .A36
 "Theorems and Problems" in The Princeton Companion to Mathematics [full text] edited by Timothy Gowers
 What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences by Barry Cipra and others.
 The Mathematical Century: The 30 Greatest Problems of the Last 100 Years by Piergiorgio Odifreddi
 Math Talks for Undergraduates by Serge Lang
 The Mathematical Tourist or MathTrek columns by Ivars Peterson
 The Elements of Mathematics columns by Steven Strogatz
 Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games: the entire collection of his Scientific American columns
 find CDROM in the library
 or look for other books by Martin Gardner
 Math through the Ages by William P. Berlinghoff, Fernando Q. Gouvêa
 Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences edited by I. GrattanGuinness
 SIAM Review [full text] or in the Math Library Periodicals section
 American Mathematical Monthly in the Math Library Periodicals section
 Notices of the American Mathematical Society [full text] or in the Math Library Periodicals section
 Lists of mathematics topics from wikipedia
 Conduct preliminary investigation into the topic.
 Contact or visit your supervisor's office hours if you have questions.
 Revise and narrow your topic as needed.

Step 3: Find and evaluate sources to address your topic.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
Instructions
 Find sources and evidence. Get online or inperson research help with Ask Us!
 Journals or Magazines
 Search for articles on your topic in MathSciNet or (How do I find articles?)
 What are popular or scholarly (peerreviewed) articles? (PDF)
 Books and Ebooks
 Websites
 Print out at least one page from each site for your records.
 How do I find credible websites?
 As you conduct research, ask yourselfWhat can this source do for me? How will I use this as evidence?
 Gather citation information on your sources for your bibliography page (What are citations?)
 Consider using RefWorks or other tools to save citations and create your bibliography.

Step 4: Critically read and evaluate sources.Percent time spent on this step: 15%
Instructions
 Evaluate sources.
 Use critical reading strategies
 Take notes while reading. Use tools to comment or highlight digital readings.
 Try close reading or read to write strategies.
 Conduct additional research to fill in gaps as needed.

Step 5: Organize sources. Develop overall structure. Submit outline to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
Instructions
 Clarify how much of the topic you will include in the paper.
 Organize your thoughts and your paper's structure. Try the following techniques:
 Outlines
 Diagrams (Brainstorming, Concept mapping, Idea trees, Quadrants)
 Record yourself talking about your topic and ideas. Transcribe to the computer.
 Start writing segments or chunks, not necessarily the introduction. As you write you will discover more of what you want to say.

Step 6: Write 1st draft and submit it to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 20%
Instructions
 Draft segments or chunks. Concentrate on writing your rough ideas and not on revising. Develop connections between segments.
 As you incorporate others' ideas or words, be sure to cite your sources.
 Use strategies to avoid plagiarism
 Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing
 Integrating quotations from sources (PDF)
 For tips on mathematical writing:
 "How to Write Mathematics" by Paul Halmos
 A Primer of Mathematical Writing by Stephen Krantz
 Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences [full text] by Nicholas Higham
 Get online or inperson writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing.

Step 7: Revise & rewritefocus on content.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
Instructions
 Based on your draft and your supervisor's comments, continue to revise. Your goal is to explain the math clearly to a reader who has some math sophistication, but is not previously familiar with the topic.
 Get online or inperson writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing
 Use the revision checklist
 Draft your bibliography or works cited page.
 Ask your adviser which citation style to use, or consult the Krantz and Higham writing guides above for guidelines, TeX tips, etc.
 Be sure to double check the citations.

Step 8: Proofread, polish and put paper in final form. Submit final paper to your supervisor.Percent time spent on this step: 10%
Instructions
 Editing and proofreading strategies
 Style, grammar and punctuation Quicktips
 Resources for nonnative speakers
 Check citations and formatting
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