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Final Project Guidelines

**Your Final Project**

This course fulfills the Liberal Arts Quantitative Literacy requirement. All courses fulfilling the Quantitative Literacy courses require the completion of a Final Project.

The Final Project is a short paper (5 pages of text, double spaced, font at 12pt or less, leave the margins where they are- I can definitely tell when they’ve been increased, and yes you can use pictures but they don’t count as your text), or movie (3-5 minutes long), that you create and turn in to Turnitin.com. You will receive instructions for posting to Turnitin.com at a later date. The Project must have a quantitative aspect; it must include information of a quantitative nature. No matter what you are majoring in, an ability to communicate and work with quantitative information will enhance your career. The goal of this project is to practice and improve that ability in the form of a short paper or movie. Other formats must be approved by your Instructor. PowerPoint, and similar formats, are **NOT** allowed. You will *not* be presenting your Project.

Your grade for this project does not depend on demonstrating math skills. Critical thinking, creativity, the generation of original material (text, photos, graphics, computer-generated media of any kind), and the *accuracy and clarity of quantitative communication* are the most highly valued elements for this project. Again, regardless of your major, these skills are a necessary part of succeeding in the real world. As you decide what to do for this project, pretend that this is somehow part of the job you would like to have after graduating. Perhaps you want to pitch an idea to a team you’re working with on a much larger project.

**Principal Criteria**

There are three principal criteria for this presentation:

- That you spend some time furthering your current math-related knowledge and understanding or skills.
- That you present your knowledge and understanding, and/or demonstrate your skills in a professional manner.
, that you include quantitative information: any use of numbers, physical units, changing units, charts or diagrams (preferably that you make) labeled with the proper units and numbers, scientific notation or powers of 10, ratios, linear or logarithmic scales, any relevant formulas, statistics, or calculations.*Most importantly*

**Possible Final Project Topics**

You may already have a math-related topic of interest that is not covered in this course. Or you could go further into something that we covered in the textbook or that was only briefly covered in the modules. Either way, you will need to learn more about the topic on your own and present what you have learned. The best option is to explore and describe how math is used in your major, giving specific examples.

Another option is to complete an original statistics project. For example, you might go out and collect your own data (either physically or by using the Internet) and then use Excel or the spreadsheet in Google Documents to process the data. Your focus could just be on the presentation of descriptive statistics, as presented in Ch 7 (that would be a worthwhile exercise for several different majors), or you could come up with a hypothesis and collect data to support it — or refute it. Statistical correlations are easy (and fun) to do if you are competent in using a spreadsheet, such as Excel or Google Spreadsheets.

For 3D, animation, or visual effects majors, some more advanced topics are scripting, topology, texture mappings, and non-linear geometry. Any computer arts major could learn more about the mathematics related to computers and computer applications. Some computer-related mathematics topics include linear or matrix algebra and Boolean algebra.

Remember, anything is fine *as long* *as you use quantitative information as part of your communication.* Preferably, you will choose something that you are interested in and that will benefit you in some way in the future. Ideally, you will take on a topic that develops your knowledge and skills in your major, and get a bit of guidance from your instructors in your core courses.

1 For example, “A Flash-based interactive tutorial describing the key concepts and step-by-step calculations involved in Bridger’s Introduction to Biomechanical Modeling of the Spine (2009, pp. 59-63).” Or, “My paper describes the fates of the Universe resulting from the possible values of the density parameter, (Ω), and explains how the physical evidence, to date, supports the hypothesis that the Universe will not collapse.”

2 For example, “My paper shows some cases where numbers are used to achieve the correct lighting in photography and also image editing.”

3 For example, “My report is about color.”

Excellent (A)

Good to Acceptable (B-C)

Barely to Not Acceptable (D-F) Quantitative Information

• Frequently employs quantitative information (e.g. correct physical units/conversion of units, scientific notation, orders of magnitude, ratio and proportion, correct computations, correctly interpreting or generating data and graphical information)

• Course’s core concepts and principles correctly used in a central role

• Topic (e.g. academic research, tutorial, thesis, solution to a problem, description of a phenomenon) very well defined1 and cogently and frequently supported with key definitions and course core concepts and skills

• Graphical quantitative information and images highly relevant, original work; strongly supports topic

• Excellent integration of graphical and numerical information to support text or narration

• 5 or more pages of original text (not counting images), double-spaced, or equivalent effort in multimedia

• Completely adheres to the Liberal Arts Guidelines for Evaluation of Online Written Work

• Some inclusion of quantitative information (e.g. correct physical units/conversion of units, scientific notation, orders of magnitude, ratio and proportion, correct computations, correctly interpreting or generating data and graphical information)

• Course’s core concepts and principles incorporated in a supporting role

• Topic (e.g. academic research, tutorial, thesis, solution to a problem, description of a phenomenon) fairly to well defined2 and somewhat supported with key definitions and course core concepts and skills

• Graphical quantitative information and images fairly relevant, copied but with citations; supports topic

• Good integration of graphical and numerical information to support text or narration

• 2-5 pages of original text (not counting images), double-spaced, or equivalent effort in multimedia

• Mostly adheres to the Liberal Arts Guidelines for Evaluation of Online Written Work

• Little or no use of quantitative information (e.g. correct physical units/conversion of units, scientific notation, orders of magnitude, ratio and proportion, correct computations, correctly interpreting or generating data and graphical information)

• Course’s core concepts and principles incorrectly represented or missing

• Topic (e.g. academic research, tutorial, thesis, solution to a problem, description of a phenomenon) poorly defined3 and/or poorly supported with key definitions and course core concepts and skills

• Graphical quantitative information and images missing, irrelevant, or copied without citations

• Poor integration of graphical and numerical information to support text or narration

• Less than 2 pages of original text (not counting images), double-spaced, or equivalent effort in multimedia

• Rarely adheres to the Liberal Arts Guidelines for Evaluation of Online Written Work Course Material Topic Choice and Usage Graphs and Images Integration Page Count Written Guidlines