Why choose to do a project?
There are several reasons why you may choose to do a project.
- Gaining research experience: projects give you a taste of what mathematical research is like.
- Developing transferable skills: the ability to collect material, organise it, expound it clearly and persuasively will be useful to many students in their future careers.
- Pursuing your interests: a project allows you to pursue topics which interest you, whether that be a particular area of mathematics or a subject related to mathematics, such as the history of mathematics.
- Demonstrating your understanding: the department recognises that some students might prefer to show their mathematical understanding and progress via a sustained piece of exposition rather than in a timed examination.
Opportunities to do Project Work
You can choose to undertake project work as one or more of the optional courses studied in Part B and the dissertation is compulsory at Part C. These options cover the whole spectrum of mathematics and include topics related to mathematics, such as the history of mathematics and mathematics education. Information on the different options is given below.
There are also opportunities to undertake extracurricular projects, such as summer projects, during your studies. These projects are an excellent opportunity to gain experience of mathematical research.
Students' Experience of Projects
Summer Projects: "My summer project has been a fantastic opportunity to experience mathematical research, and has given me a really valuable taste of what it would be like to do postgraduate study. It's been great to be able to get engrossed in an area I knew relatively little about beforehand- probabilistic models used in genetics- and to be able to explore it in a less prescribed way than I am used to with lecture courses. The project was more varied than I expected: reading papers, posing new questions, working on these questions, discussing ideas with my supervisor and DPhil students and writing up what I'd done. I would very much recommend doing a summer project!"
"I really enjoyed doing a summer project as it's a completely different way of working compared to term time lectures and problem sheets. Not only was I introduced to some interesting theory about elliptic curves, I also got some general experience writing code and working with the command line. Our project involved about 10 people so it was incredibly useful to help each other and share ideas."