Math 444 - 201, 2020WT2, Jan-Apr 2021

Mathematical Research and Writing


Announcements will be posted from time to time on Canvas. Please check regularly.

  1. The course syllabus is available here.
  2. All submissions will be typeset in *12 pt font* - and from Week 4 onwards in LaTeX.
  3. Links to Overleaf,  Detexify and a free online LaTeX manual. The links to Overleaf, Detexify and the online LaTeX manual are at the bottom of the page under handouts too.


Course details

Lecture details

Lecturer: S van Willigenburg, office: N/A, tel: N/A, email:
Location: TuTh 9.30-11.00 on Zoom
Web page: on Canvas
Office hours: Mon 10-11am, Thur 5-6pm, 30 mins just after class, and by appointment (not Wednesday). You can also email me anytime.

This is a very discussion based course, so real-time attendance is needed by students.

Technical requirements

Course description

This is for students who would like an introduction to mathematical research, and are interested in exploring mathematics constructively. It is suitable for students who would like to further develop their critical thinking skills independently. In addition presentation skills and ability to professionally typeset mathematics will be developed. Prerequisite is one of MATH 220, MATH 226 and 6 credits of MATH courses numbered 300 or higher.


Your grade will be based on
Due to the intense workload of the course no extensions will be given, late Canvas submissions are not permitted, and late non-Canvas submissions will be subject to a 50% per day penalty.

Working together and academic misconduct

Homework: We have no objection to collaboration on the homework, provided that it is done in a way that maximizes the benefit of the homework to all people involved. It is our experience that you get Regardless of whether you arrive at solutions in collaboration with others or alone, the paper that you turn in with your name on it should represent your own solutions, written in your own words.

In particular, you may not simply copy someone else's homework and turn it in as your own. Similarly, copying solutions that you might find on the web or from some other source is illegal. The same applies to every result at every stage of your project.

These will all be treated as academic misconduct. We take all academic misconduct very seriously and will follow university procedures in all cases - disciplinary measures can result in expulsion.

Class etiquette

Please do the following to create the best learning experience for us all. Thank you.

Other resources

Homework (due Thursday 9.30am pdf via Canvas)

There will be weekly homework assignments due on Thursdays on Canvas as a pdf, which will augment the techniques learned in class or give an opportunity to explore mathematical research further.

Homework solutions should be typed up using good English, complete sentences, and full details. Questions should be answered in order, with your name and student number on at least the front page.

Solutions will be posted when the homework is returned, if appropriate.

Research Journal (due Friday 11.59am pdf via email)

You will email a weekly 1-2 page written account of your research directly to

Label the file preferredname_surnameinitial_Journalx.pdf.

Put your name and student number at the top of the front page.

This document will have 3 sections with the following headings.
  1. What you did.
  2. Why you did it.
  3. What obstacles you encountered, and your research plan for the following week.

Project Presentations

You will update the class on your progress throughout the term. More details are here.
  1. Week starting March 9 Project introduction (10 marks): You will motivate your project and explain what you will be investigating. Plus teach the class definitions illustrated by examples, which are necessary for your research.
  2. Week starting March 23 Project presentation (20 marks): You will give a lecture covering the points below.


Information sheet and list of potential projects.

Other handouts

Here are some more study materials I found to help, or might be interesting. 

Resources on learning
Resources on writing
Resources on Latex

Resources for group meetings, collaborating, and keeping in contact

Other useful links