Undergraduates majoring in Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) can earn a bachelors degree with College Honors in ACMS if they participate in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, or with Departmental Honors in ACMS if they do not. In either case, the ACMS requirements are to complete the ACMS degree with a major GPA of 3.5 or better, and to write an acceptable Senior Thesis.

Students who wish to obtain a degree with honors must submit a signed thesis topic proposal form to the ACMS Advising Office by the last day of classes of the quarter preceding the student's final quarter.


Senior Thesis

1. Nature of the thesis A senior thesis in ACMS will typically consist of one of the following:

  • An expository account of a topic in applied or computational mathematics, typically focusing on some mathematical technique and its applications, or on some application area that requires significant mathematics. This would generally require obtaining material from advanced textbooks or journal articles, digesting and synthesizing this material, and putting it into readable form.

  • The development and study of a mathematical model, perhaps including computer simulation. Exposition of the motivating problem, the modeling assumptions and techniques, and a presentation of results from the model would typically be expected. Modeling problems of the sort studied in Math 381, AMath 383, or statistical modeling courses could be appropriate, but a Senior Thesis project will generally be more advanced and extensive. It is not expected that original models be developed, but a project should consist of more than a presentation of results already in the literature.

The thesis should normally be about 20 to 30 pages in length (a rough guideline) and produced on a computer typesetting system.

2. Choosing a topic Finding a topic is the student's responsibility, although consultation with faculty members is strongly encouraged. The topic must be approved by a faculty member of one of the four participating departments (Applied Mathematics, CS&E, Mathematics, Statistics) who will supervise the work (the ``supervisor''). The topic must also be approved by the ACMS Honors Committee. A Senior Thesis Topic Proposal form can be obtained from the advising office, Padelford C-36, and should be filled out and signed by the student and the supervisor. The signed form must be returned to the ACMS Advising Office by the last day of classes of the quarter preceding the student's final quarter. Exceptions to this deadline may be granted only the by the ACMS Honors Committee.

Students contemplating writing a thesis are strongly encouraged to start thinking about a topic in the Autumn quarter of their senior year.

3. Writing the thesis. Once a topic is chosen, the student may receive three hours of W-course credit for writing the thesis by enrolling in one of the following courses:

AMath 498, CSE 498, Math 496, Stat 498.

The department chosen will typically be determined by the affiliation of the Supervisor. In exceptional cases, with the approval of the supervisor, the number of credit hours may be increased. It is expected that the student will meet regularly with the supervisor during the course of writing the thesis.

4. Approval of the thesis. The student shall submit a draft of the thesis to the supervisor for comments and criticisms, and then shall submit a final version with appropriate revisions. The supervisor and a member of the ACMS Honors Committee will read the thesis and certify its acceptability with respect to both content and exposition.

In order to ensure sufficient time for this process, the student must submit the first draft no later than three weeks before the last day of classes of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate, and the final draft no later than the last day of classes. Exceptions to these deadlines may be granted only by the ACMS Honors Committee.