Senior Seminar Information (Class of 2024)

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the senior seminar topics are Writing Mathematics with Data and Mathematical Exposition.

To ensure the senior seminar experience is an enriching experience it is necessary to keep class sizes relatively small and even. To help the department place students into seminars, each major who plans to take a senior seminar submits a proposal by NOON on the first day of Short Term (deadline to has been extended) of the junior year. Some details:

  • The proposal is a LaTeX document, a template, to be filled out carefully by the student.  The proposal should be approximately one page.  It should describe which senior seminar you prefer to take, and why. For help with LaTeX, visit the What is LaTeX page.
  • As a hypothetical example, here is a sample completed proposal in PDF format as Bernhard Riemann would have submitted it.
  • By noon on the due date, the completed proposal is to be uploaded as a single PDF to the Senior Capstone Project Google form.
  • The PDF file should have a useful, descriptive name. Riemann would’ve named his “BernhardRiemannSeminarProposal.pdf”, for example.
  • It is a good idea for juniors to discuss the choice between thesis and seminar with faculty members before writing a proposal.
  • The Department meets to consider all thesis and seminar proposals. The Department Chair will notify students of the results of the meeting by the middle of the short-term.
  • The course descriptions for the Winter 2024 senior seminars are below.

MATH 4? Writing Mathematics with Data.

The ultimate goal of this course is for students to produce data-driven mathematical articles that are ready for publication in a variety of venues that value both content and exposition. From the start, the class reads and analyzes articles from several such venues, identifying the features that are common in many of the most enjoyable articles. Mathematical topics of focus will be applications, involving data, of ideas from Bates courses including Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and more. We derive additional motivation and context through discussions of metacognition, models of scholarship, and frameworks of learning. In all, this senior seminar serves as a culmination of the math major by means of synthesizing ideas, creating a new scholarly product, and communicating results to an audience beyond our classroom.

MATH 4? Mathematical Exposition.

Students in this seminar will explore a series of deep and interesting mathematical topics through readings. We will work collaboratively to understand the mathematics at hand, and we will discuss and probe what makes mathematical communication effective. We will enjoy mathematics, and use writing and other media to share the joy of mathematics with the people around us. The tentative topics to guide our semester are: communicating advanced math for the general public and math communication for primary, secondary, and undergraduate students. The mathematical topics will come from a variety of areas such as number theory, geometry, and series.

This course is designed to help students realize and cultivate their potential to broaden participation in, and appreciation of, mathematics.