Applied Mathematics

Honors

Honors in Applied Mathematics and related concentrations

Concentrations

  • Applied Mathematics (APMA)
  • Applied Mathematics & Biology (APMA-Bio)
  • Applied Mathematics & Computer Science (APMA-CS)
  • Applied Mathematics & Economics (APMA-Econ)

Outline of requirements

  • Excellence in grades
  • Completion of an in-depth, original research project carried out under the guidance of a Brown-affiliated faculty advisor
  • Completion of an honors thesis describing this research 
  • Completion of two semesters of independent study courses while working on the honors thesis

APMA requirements

  • Be in good academic standing by the end of the seventh (or penultimate) semester.
  • Earn grades of A or S-with-distinction in at least 70% of the Brown University courses used for concentration credit, excluding calculus and linear algebra, or be in the upper 20% of the student's cohort (as measured by the fraction of grades of A or S-with-distinction among courses used for concentration credit, excluding calculus and linear algebra) by the end of the seventh (or penultimate) semester. (Since S-with-distinctions do not appear on the internal academic record or the official transcript, the department will consult directly with the Registrar’s Office to confirm a student’s grades in concentration courses.)
  • Secure a faculty advisor and at least one second reader for the proposed honors thesis project. One of the advisors/readers must be an Applied Mathematics faculty member. 
  • Meet regularly, as agreed upon, with their honors thesis advisor and provide regular written drafts on the thesis project.
  • Complete an honors thesis that is approved by the faculty advisor and second reader(s) prior to the deadline in the students eighth (or final) semester. Deadlines and guidance about the honors thesis are described below. 
  • Email a copy of their approved thesis to Jean Radican ([email protected]) in Applied Math for archival purposes prior to the deadline.
  • Give an oral presentation of the honors thesis at an approved venue, usually the senior thesis day in Applied Mathematics.
  • Complete two semesters of independent study courses while working on the honors thesis, such as APMA 1970/1971 or BIOL 1950/1960 or ECON 1960/1970 or CS 1970. For A.B. students, neither of these courses can be used for concentration credit elsewhere in the concentration. For Sc.B. students, these courses can be combined to fulfill the senior seminar, capstone, or research course requirement of the concentration, but they cannot be used to fulfill other concentration requirements. These extra independent study courses are included in the calculation of quality grades described above.
  • Obtain permission to pursue honors from the department by submitting a completed Honors Declaration Form to Jean Radican ([email protected]) by the deadline (usually at the beginning of the seventh semester). The Honors Declaration Form requires signatures from the thesis advisor, second reader, and concentration advisor, as well as, a brief description of the proposed thesis research. It also requires a preliminary check of eligibility requirements, including the fraction of quality grades.

APMA-Bio requirements

  • Be in good academic standing by the end of the seventh (or penultimate) semester.
  • Earn grades of A or S-with-distinction in at least 70% of the Brown University courses used for concentration credit, excluding calculus and linear algebra, or be in the upper 20% of the student's cohort (as measured by the fraction of grades of A or S-with-distinction among courses used for concentration credit, excluding calculus and linear algebra) by the end of the seventh (or penultimate) semester. (Since S-with-distinctions do not appear on the internal academic record or the official transcript, the department will consult directly with the Registrar’s Office to confirm a student’s grades in concentration courses.)
  • Secure a faculty advisor and at least one second reader for the proposed honors thesis project. One of the advisors/readers must be an Applied Mathematics faculty member and one must be a Biomed-affiliated faculty member. 
  • Meet regularly, as agreed upon, with their honors thesis advisor and provide regular written drafts on the thesis project.
  • Complete an honors thesis that is approved by the faculty advisor and second reader(s) prior to the deadline in the students eighth (or final) semester. Deadlines and guidance about the honors thesis are described below. 
  • Email a copy of their approved thesis to Jean Radican ([email protected]) in Applied Math for archival purposes prior to the deadline.
  • Give an oral presentation of the honors thesis at an approved venue, usually at the senior thesis day in Applied Mathematics or in Biology.
  • Complete two semesters of independent study courses while working on the honors thesis, such as APMA 1970/1971 or BIOL 1950/1960. One of these courses can be used to fulfill the research course requirement of the concentration, but they cannot be used to fulfill other concentration requirements. These extra independent study courses are included in the calculation of quality grades described above.
  • Obtain permission to pursue honors from the department by submitting a completed Honors Declaration Form [link] to Jean Radican ([email protected]) by the deadline (usually at the beginning of the seventh semester). The Honors Declaration Form requires signatures from the thesis advisor, second reader, and concentration advisor, as well as, a brief description of the proposed thesis research. It also requires a preliminary check of eligibility requirements, including the fraction of quality grades.

APMA-CS requirements

  • APMA-CS concentrators can choose to pursue honors within either APMA or CS, but their primary thesis advisor must be in the department that they choose.
  • APMA requirements are described above.
  • CS requirements and deadlines can be found here: http://cs.brown.edu/degrees/undergrad/concentrating-in-cs/honors/
  • Students pursuing honors in CS must email a copy of their approved thesis to Jean Radican ([email protected]) in Applied Math for archival purposes.

APMA-Econ requirements

APMA Deadlines

 

Steps

Deadlines

Task

Declare honors

End of 3rd week of 7th semester

December 2021 graduates - 5pm Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Submit a completed honors declaration form to the Division of Applied Mathematics. Return the form to Jean Radican. (Email submissions are fine. Allow time to collect all of the signatures.)

Submit thesis

May 2021 graduates - 5pm Friday, April 2, 2021

Submit final written thesis to advisor, 2nd reader(s), and Jean Radican. 

Present thesis

May 2021 graduates - 5pm Tuesday, April 6, 2021

(Virtual) presentation with advisor and reader(s) present.

Ensure that your advisor and reader(s) email Jean Radican with approval of the thesis within 24 hours of the deadline.
 

Honors Thesis Guidelines: 

Mathematical Content:

  • Research problem: The thesis should be written on a mathematical problem or on an application that is approached using mathematical techniques. The thesis should demonstrate that the research question is significant and important. 
  • Thoroughness: The thesis should put the research problem into a broader context, address it in a convincing and thorough manner, and use mathematical approaches that are sound, feasible, and appropriate to the research problem.
  • Depth: The thesis should involve mathematics at the level of 1000-level APMA courses and should demonstrate a solid understanding of the mathematics used in the thesis.

Writing Quality:

  • Organization: The thesis should have a clear and coherent organization that effectively develops the central idea. There is an introduction that includes a clear statement of the research problem and an outline of the research method. Throughout the paper, arguments are presented clearly and in logical order, and the conclusions are precise and concise. The thesis does not contain awkward or unexpected transitions.
  • Clarity: The thesis must be clearly written; in particular, the mathematical content must be clear to the intended audience. It should be clear from the writing that the student has a correct and complete understanding of the mathematical content of the thesis. Assertions are clearly stated and well supported.
  • Citations: All sources used in the thesis should be referenced and cited completely and correctly: it should become clear what information from other sources has been integrated into the thesis and where that information came from. The bibliography should also contain an accurate and reasonably complete list of related works and papers.
  • Grammar and Orthography: The thesis should be properly formatted and free of errors of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The tone should be professional.

Applied Mathematics Honors Declaration Form