Group Project Assignment(s)
Assignment: Your group must choose one of the "Group" problems in the book and solve it, write your solution up in a formal paper and present it to the class. In addition each student must write a short (< 1 page typed) narrative detailing his/her participation in the project. Your problem choice must be approved and no two groups can work on the same problem. Problems will be approved on a first come first served basis. Presentation dates will be assigned. You may chose, alternatively, to look for an appropriate problem in another source. I must approve the problem choice in this case as well. For accounting purposes, you must reserve a problem by reaching me in my office or in class (when I will have the list with me--a message on my OFFICE answering machine will reserve the problem IF IT HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN TAKEN)
Purpose: To encourage and promote independent and group thinking and work. To provide some valuable experience in problem solving in a group setting, formal mathematical writing and presenting to a peer group.
Format: Presentations can be informal but should be thorough. Your exposition should be directed at the other students in the class and should be clear to them. Papers should be written in journal format. For examples look in The College Mathematics Journal, available in the seminar room or the library.
Length: The papers should be long enough to cover the problem statement, background and solution and should contain references. For example, if you choose a problem from the text book, the text book should be referenced and a footnote should appear on the problem statement. If you use another text to help you get going, reference it, etc. If in doubt about references, consult the Holt Handbook or ask me. Most papers should be 3 to 5 pages.
Grading: Weight will be given to the complexity of the problem and the elegance with which it is solved. Superficial analysis and or relatively simple problems will receive lower grades than will the more difficult problems or particularly elegant solutions. Narratives will be graded on form, style and content. Included in form are grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as the physical presentation of the paper. Included in content is proper citation of sources, accuracy, interest and mathematical or scientific value. Included in style are readability, transitions and all the intangible things that make a good piece of prose. The presentation will contribute approximately 20% to your grade the paper 70% and the remaining 10% the accompanying narrative. These percentages are somewhat arbitrary and may vary from project to project. Projects will be graded holistically, in other words I will not give you three separate grades, only one. However, it is possible (although unlikely) for two people from the same group to receive different grades.
Deadlines: Initial discussion of the first problem choice should occur as soon as possible. Problem choices must be approved by October 5 Presentation dates and final due dates will be announced in class.