Comments and Clarifications on Final Project Information
The final project description in the module refers to the project as a “short presentation” but the grading rubric (attached below) clearly states that for an A it must be 6 or more pages, double-spaced, or equivalent effort. So, in most cases students write a research paper. Although most students choose to write a paper or create a PDF it can be presented in another creative format that fulfills the length requirements. Regardless of the chosen format, the presentation needs to include some visual aids such as tables, graphs and or charts. The grading rubric refers to “6 pages or equivalent effort” because sometimes students put forth a great deal of effort on another aspect of the project besides the six pages of well-written text. For example, collecting their own data or creating original images, a website or a budget, doing in person interviews etc. Still, whatever project type you choose you must explain your work and it’s relevance to or use of math in detail, in your own words. For example, you cannot simply develop a budget for a movie or an art gallery and then only write a short paragraph or two introducing it and expect more than a C- or D+. However, if you develop a budget for a personal project and you explain the project, its relevance to you, each aspect of your budget and wrap it all up with a conclusion, that would be a set up for an A+ paper.
In general, if your essay has a main point or thesis and supports that point with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion, as well as clearly explains relevant visual information like tables or graphs then I am far less likely to worry about the exact length of your paper. The bottom line is that if your project is thorough, well thought out and shows your ability to interpret and present numerical information in a meaningful context then you are likely to earn A.
Although it is recommended to choose a topic that is related to your major you do not have to. I encourage you to do so but the most important thing is that you chose something that is interesting and relevant to you so that you will be motivated to do your best work. For example, students have submitted excellent projects on sports, gardening, budgets for projects and survey results for a variety of topics that they found interesting. The list of topic choices attached at the bottom of this page was written by the course writer and is just a suggested list. It happens to gives many examples of topics that relate to technical fields and computer arts. If something on this list resonates with you then go for it but don’t let this list intimidate you if your major is non-technical or non-computer related. A student in any major needs to be able to communicate and work with quantitative information – illustration, fashion design, advertising, motion pictures, screenwriting, photography you name it. As a student in your major you are best able to find interesting, applicable topics for this project. If you do choose a topic that relates to your major your paper still needs to make sense to any reader. Do not assume that I, or “your audience” has knowledge in your field. Some more non-technical topic suggestions include:
A selection of related examples of how math is used in your field.
A research paper on a topic relevant to your field. Ex: "The Use of the Golden Ratio in Classical Art." or "The Tallest Building in the World"
A budget proposal for a project related to your artistic field like a film budget, a photo shoot or starting a business such as an art gallery.
Research, presentation and analysis of employment, salaries and job prospects in your field.
For fashion majors, presentation on how math is used in properly sizing a garment or in marketing and sales. Math involved in crochet or knitting. Analyzing trends in fashion.
For photography majors, the math involved in photography including determining aperture setting, shutter speed and composition.
For film majors, analysis and comparison of money made by certain major motion pictures or movie genres. Analysis in trends in the film industry.
For graphic artists, the math involved in design choices or kerning and typography.
You do not need to carry out complicated mathematical calculations for this project. Simple, straightforward use of numbers is fine. The main point is to show your ability to apply and clearly communicate and present quantitative information in a meaningful or practical context, not to demonstrate your ability to calculate formulas and equations.
A few lasts tips for the A: When you include numerical information such as a table, graph or chart it must be properly labeled and titled. You must also explain the data you are presenting and relate it to your thesis or point of your project. Far too often students think numbers speak for themselves. They do not. You must "speak” for the numbers. As stated above, one main point of this project is for you to clearly use and explain quantitative information. Don’t forget that your job is to apply and integrate the numerical information to support your thesis, not just put the numbers in a nice looking table.
My topic : As a student in Fashion Design, Mathematics can be helpful to me in many ways, such as precisely sizing clothes, presenting the models of garments, as well as in marketing and sales. For example, one can present her designs to others more vividly by drawing two-dimensional models on paper, thus mathematical tools and analyse will be useful in downsizing the real measurements to the model by utilizing a proper scale.
Possible Final Project Topics
You may already have a math-related topic of interest that is not covered in this course. Or you could go further into something that we covered in the textbook or that was only briefly covered in the modules. Either way, you will need to learn more about the topic on your own and present what you have learned. The best option is to explore and describe how math is used in your major, giving specific examples.
Another option is to complete an original statistics project. For example, you might go out and collect your own data (either physically or by using the Internet) and then use Excel or the spreadsheet in Google Documents to process the data. Your focus could just be on the presentation of descriptive statistics, as presented in Module 8 (that would be a worthwhile exercise for several different majors), or you could come up with a hypothesis and collect data to support it — or refute it. Statistical correlations are easy (and fun) to do if you are competent in using a spreadsheet, such as Excel or Google Spreadsheets.
For 3D, animation, or visual effects majors, some more advanced topics are scripting, topology, texture mappings, and non-linear geometry. Any computer arts major could learn more about the mathematics related to computers and computer applications. Some computer-related mathematics topics include linear or matrix algebra and Boolean algebra.
Remember, anything is fine as long as you use quantitative information as part of your communication. Preferably, you will choose something that you are interested in and that will benefit you in some way in the future. Ideally, you will take on a topic that develops your knowledge and skills in your major, and get a bit of guidance from your instructors in your core courses.
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