Math/CS 299/399 Colloquium in Mathematics & Computer Science I & II Fall 2020 

Paper Project


My goal is for you to explore some area of mathematics or computer science that is of interest to you. You will write a paper that is 1000-1500 words on a topic related to mathematics or computer science that you find interesting. The topic and style of the paper is up to you, but I suggest some of the following styles:

Colloquium Topic
Expand and further explore a colloqouim topic from this semester or even a previous semester.
Topic Review
Identify a collection of sources on a topic and write a summary article on the topic.
Paper Review
Take a peer-reviewed research journal article you find interesting and summarize the interesting points.
Course Topic
Write about a topic from one of your favorite courses, but not covered in that course. For example, considering writing about a topic touched on in a homework problem or in a chapter not covered.
Historical Biography
Write a biography of a famous mathematician or computer scientist.
Classical Problem
Write about a classical mathematics or computer science problem that had a significant impact on the field.
Popular Press Book Summary
Write about a popular press mathematics or computer science book summarizing the important points of the book.
Honors Thesis Prospectus
Outline your plans for an honors thesis.
Research Plans
Provide detailed plans of a FURSCA or other research project you plan to perform.
Project Summary
Provide a detailed account of a FURSCA project, directed study, internship, or research project you have conducted.
Math/CS Contest Problem
Start with an interesting problem from either a mathematics contest (Putnam, MATH Challenge, LMMC, etc) or computer science contest (ACM, Denison, etc). Solve the problem completely and correctly. Generalize the problem and provide a solution to the generalized problem. Your paper will include an overview of the problem, why it is interesting, why your generalization is nontrvial, and your solutions to the both the original and generalized problems.

This paper must be distinct from a similar paper you may have written for another course. You should come see me to make sure you topic meets the course requirements. Unlike speaker summaries which contain both a summary and a critique, your paper focus on content. Include a bibliography of your reference material.

Your paper must be written using the LaTeX computer typesetting system. This allows you to easily include mathematical notation in text. MiKTeX is an up-to-date free LaTeX implementation for the Windows operating system.


A printed paragraph (roughly 200 words) describing the topic and scope of your paper must be given to me by the due date. You should include a statement of the importance of the topic and why it is of interest to you. After reading your proposal, I may suggest you broaden, narrow, or possibly change your topic. Once your topic is agreed upon, you will need to consult me regarding any changes you might want to make later in the term.

Submit a hardcopy of your paper.

Sources for Mathematics and Computer Science

Talk to your professors for other ideas! This is an opportunity for you to delve into an area that fascinates you.

Copyright © 2020, David A. Reimann. All rights reserved.