- First, decide whether you want to give a commercial or write a paper.
You sign up for a due date regardless of which type you're doing. You are certainly allowed to change your due date, up until 1 week prior, as long as there are still dates available.
| Type of Project||If done by 10/30||If done after 10/30|
|Commercial||105 points||100 points|
|Paper||99 points||95 points|
Reasons to give a commercial instead of turning in a paper:
- The days we have one are more fun for everybody--we have a nice break.
- It's easier to convey enthusiasm verbally, and you can include all sorts of special effects: videos, slides, music, web sites, posters. Hence, you're likely to have more fun doing it. Also, I grade on presentation as well as content, and it's easier to jazz up a talk than it is to jazz up a paper.
- It's not as nerve-wracking as you might think--it's only for a few minutes, after all.
- It can make a big difference to your grade, especially if you do it early.
Shyness is not really a reason to do a paper instead of a talk: we can come up with ways to lessen the pain of a talk.
Once you decide which you want to do, sign up right away! Don't wait until you know what you want to talk about!
- Start thinking about things you enjoy, find interesting, care about,
and would feel comfortable talking about. Choose it regardless of
whether you can see any connection between your topic and
mathematics. Your topic can be virtually anything: something related
to your major, a controversial issue or cause that you feel strongly about, a
food you love, a favorite activity of yours.
Come talk to me about your topic (or lack there of). First of all, I have plenty of ideas. Second of all, I'd like to keep track of the topics peole are doing to avoid too much overlap.
Try not to pick a topic that's too obviously connected to math.
- Once you've picked a topic, start thinking about how math is connected. Come talk to me about what you're thinking, or if you're having troubles. The best talks and papers do not discuss merely statistics or arithmetic, but something beyond that.
- Start researching your topic, and learning any necessary background math.
- Allow plenty of time. This assignment is worth 15% of your grade, and is graded not only on content but also on presentation. It's best if you start thinking of topics right away. Certainly, you should plan on spending a minimum of 2 weeks on it.
- Whether you give a talk or write a paper, your goal is the same.
You're trying to sell something that you already find interesting to your colleagues,
and show how math is connected to it, in a natural way.
Present it at the level of your colleagues. Anything that they might not know about, start from scratch explaining.
This is your chance to have fun, be creative,
bring something of yourself into a math class.