Honors Program in Mathematics

The honors program in Mathematics allows students to work with an advisor during their senior year and write a thesis about an appropriate mathematical topic. Theses may be expository, contain original theoretical work, contain data analysis, or any combination thereof.

Students interested in writing a thesis in mathematics must pass the honors qualifying exam during their junior year. (Those for whom the second semester of the junior year occurs in the fall may elect instead to take the qualifying examination at the beginning of that semester.) This means interested students should take Math 350 or Math 355 early in their careers, to take an appropriate subject-specific portion of the qualifier. After passing the exam, students should consult with possible advisors to discuss possible topics and submit a thesis proposal, typically due in early April. If a student's thesis proposal is accepted, they are formally accepted to the Honors Program and should then finalize a topic in consultation with Mathematics faculty. The department will work to accommodate as many suitable thesis proposals as possible.

After intensive study of their chosen topic, each candidate will write a report in the form of a thesis which should be original in its presentation of material, if not in content. In addition, the candidate will report to the departmental colloquium on their thesis work during the senior year. Honors candidates are also required to complete MATH 345 and at least one Mathematics course numbered 400 to 489.  See Recent Theses for a list of recent theses and Thesis Regulations for thesis regulations.

The final thesis document (an original presentation of the material) is presented to the department, evaluated by the faculty, and the student gives a 45 minute presentation of (some of) the material, followed by faculty questions.

For more details, see the course handbook, or talk to a faculty member.

Recent theses and thesis regulations (including help with formatting) may be found on the sub-pages.