Objective: Integrate and expand on what you have learned in the mathematical
and physical sciences. To accomplish this, find an area/problem in which you are
interested and write a proposal to present at the end of this semester. You will
implement the proposal during the second semester.
You should use this course
as an opportunity to go further in your major and to understand the crucial role
of planning in successful project management. Much of the material you develop
this semester will appear in your final report at the end of the next semester.
There are two components to the
The first is important in terms of taking responsibility for your own education.
The second is important in terms of making what you know useful.
- Learn something.
- Do something with what you learn.
- Explore an area of math, physics, or computer science. Synthesize and present
- Work with a company to solve some problem of interest to them.
- Explore one of Wells' many modeling/computing needs.
- Conduct a study or experiment, which will produce data to be analyzed using
statistical, numerical, operations research, and/or computer science techniques.
Course evaluation criteria:
- Error-correcting codes
- Proof: the history, role in education,... (see Professor A. Shilepsky)
- Google (how does it work? see Professor A. Shilepsky)
- Understand and build a prototype model of some web application you use (Live
Journal, IM, Google)
- Web services: these are sites that make some functionality available via
HTTP or SOAP. E.g. see xml.amazon.com.
- Timely submissions and quality of intermediate products: 30%.
- Proposal: 30%.
- Presentation: 30%.
- Contributions to class and other student projects: 10%.
- We will use email extensively for sharing information and have an mps402
- Copies of past proposals and final papers are in Professor Stiadle's closet.
They must remain in the building.
- Slides and papers from past projects are linked from the top of this page.
- This is very different from the type of work you have done before, primarily
because you will determine its direction. I will help at every step, but
the ultimate success of your project depends on the quality and amount of
attention you give. It cannot be done without a lot of thought and work on
your part and it cannot be done at the last minute.
- Talk with faculty members in related areas early. They will evaluate
your work and contribute to the grade, so you might as well get their reactions
in time to benefit from them.
- Identify the resources you need early. It takes time to obtain books,
software, and other supplies.
- I strongly encourage you to do some exploratory work on your project
during the first semester, achieving some result, no matter how small, that
would go into the thesis. This will help you understand what is involved
and define the remaining work more accurately.
- Code, or anything you build, will always take longer to get working than
you think it should. Identify possible problems early. Implement small
increments. Document as you go. Bring me into problems early enough to help.
- Along the same lines, choose a project so that it will definitely be
complete, even if skeletal, by the scheduled finish time. Then
fill in more and more details as time allows.