Creative Commons License Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

The Big Project

The final two weeks of the course will be devoted to a Big Project. Each student or pair of students will choose a problem to solve via a computer program. At the end of the quarter, each student will submit a poster which describes both the problem and his solution.

The Problems

I have found several good sources for mathematical and physical puzzles that must be solved numerically.

You may also choose some other problem, either from these items or from your own imagination ... but you must receive my approval to do so.

The Poster

When you have finished your project, you must create a poster on a stiff sheet of cardboard or foamboard. The poster should be very roughly 30x40 inches in size. We will hang them in the corridors of the COS, so your readers will be other students and faculty who have no particular knowledge of either the problem or numerical analysis. You must provide enough background for the reader to understand the problem, and also describe how you solved it. Graphs and figures are good. Printouts of source code are bad.

The Schedule

You are responsible for adhering to the schedule below. You will be graded on your ability to meet each landmark on time, as well as the quality of your work.
   Tuesday,  May 8:   think about a project, discuss with instructor
   Thursday, May 10:  receive approval from instructor to start project
   Friday,   May 11:  progress report, written on paper, due by 5 PM.
   Tuesday,  May 15:  progress report, written on paper, due at start of class
   Thursday, May 17:  show final results to instructor in class
   Monday,   May 21:  submit poster to instructor, due by 5 PM

Note that you must stop writing code by Wednesday, May 16. I encourage you strongly to try to complete all coding by Monday, May 14, in order to have time to analyze the results and check them over.

You are encouraged to reach each landmark ahead of schedule, of course.

Comparing Results

If you are working on the same problem as someone else, feel free to discuss your success or failure as you work on the problem. When you both have results, compare them, and make sure that they agree within the uncertainties. Exchanging ideas and algorithms is good; exchaning code is bad. Please write all your code with your own hands.

Creative Commons License Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.