The Undergraduate Honours Project provides an opportunity for students to pursue further study in an area of their choosing, and under the supervision of a faculty member also of their choosing. The project is typically completed in the fourth year of an Honours Program, and may be done in any of the three academic terms. At the end students are required to submit a written report and give an oral presentation of their work.
Here is a brief outline of the key steps you should complete in order to begin your project. This should normally be done BEFORE the beginning of the term in which you intend to enroll.
Decide on what area you would like to focus for your project. Typically this would be an area in which you have enjoyed taking classes, and also in which you have a fair number of upper level (3rd and 4th year) credits.
Decide upon potential supervisors. This may be a professor from whom you have taken classes in your area of interest, but not necessarily. You may consult the list of potential supervisors to see who is willing to supervise in each area.
Contact the potential supervisors to determine whether or not they are able to supervise you, and if so what sort of projects you might do.
Decide upon a supervisor and let the Honours Project Coordinator know.
If this is the first time you are registering, then you should register in section A. If you were unable to finish in a previous term, having received a grade of “IP”, and this is the second time you are registering, then register for Section B. If this is the third time then register for section C.
While there will be no formal requirements in terms of the number and frequency of your meetings with your supervisor, it is recommended that you meet on a regular basis in order to ensure that the work is at a suitable level and progressing at a suitable pace.
You should have a final draft to your supervisor and second reader no less than one week before the day of your presentation. The final copy is to be submitted to the Mathematics and Statistics main office no later than two days after your presentation. See “Deadlines” below for specific dates in each term.
In general there are no requirements and it is between you and your supervisor as to what is acceptable. However typically projects will be typewritten, and written in a manner that is accessible to an audience of your peers (i.e. other senior undergraduate students). The length is also between you and your supervisor, however a typical “median” length would be between 40 and 50 pages (at one and a half spacing).
The formal requirement is that you produce a PDF copy of your report including a title page. Copies of other reports can be found in our library to examine, 4317 Herzberg Labs. Once your supervisor has approved your final copy, provide the PDF report to our main office using a USB drive, or by email. It will be uploaded to our website for future viewing.
This is up to you and your supervisor. Possibilities include laptop and projector (e.g. PowerPoint, PDF), transparencies with overhead projector, and chalk board. Use whatever you feel most comfortable and believe will serve best to convey your topic.
Firstly, notify the Coordinator of this. You will receive a grade of “IP” (In Progress) for that term and this will have no impact on your GPA.
Secondly, you must re-register the following term. You will need to pay fees, but likely at a reduced rate.
You can only receive two grades of “IP”, if in the third term the project is still not completed then you will receive a grade of F.
Grading Criteria for MATH 4905 & STAT 4905:
A+, A, and A-
In order to merit a grade of A, a student must show a high degree of mathematical maturity, and either originality or independence, (in obtaining the source material and writing the report).The work of the project must be at the highest level and should be well written and well organized. The oral presentation must be excellent.
B+, B, and B-
A student who receives a grade of B must have a mastery of the material. The content of the project must be at a high level.The written work must be completely organized and a satisfactory oral presentation given.
C+, C, and C-
The grade of C is awarded when a student has collated material into an intelligible form. A satisfactory presentation must be given.
D+, D, and D-
A grade in the D range is awarded when the work has some major weaknesses; nevertheless, there is deemed to be enough work of interest or merit to allow the student to receive a passing grade.
This grade is given if the student shows little or no understanding of the source material.In this case, it is to be expected that the written work produced by the student too closely resembles the material that has been read.
These criteria are necessarily somewhat subjective. For my own judgment I use the following reasoning: The pass level for an honours student is 6.5 grade points, in the major subject. Thus grades in the A-B range are clear passes.
An A means that the student has taught me something. The writing is so good that an employer, or other interested person, would be very happy with the content and quality of work that might be produced.
A grade of B means that the writing and content are good; with a little bit more experience, anyone will be happy with this person’s work.
Grades in the C range indicate some problems, either in presentation or in the content itself.
Grades in the D range indicate problems, possibly both in presentation and content.