Mathematics Thesis

Meeting Times

We meet on Tuesdays at 11:00 AM.

Folding a tesseract

Folding a tesseract. (Fletcher Nickerson, HMC Math 2022)

Why Take Thesis?

A full year of either Senior Thesis (Math 197) or Mathematics Clinic (Math 193) is required for the mathematics major.

Senior thesis offers the student, guided by the faculty advisor, a chance to experience a taste of the life of a professional research mathematician. The work is largely independent with guidance from the research advisor. In contrast, the Mathematics Clinic Program is designed to offer students the opportunity to develop the modeling and analysis tools necessary to solve applied problems under conditions closely approximated to an industrial setting. Students work in groups under the guidance of a faculty advisor and an industrial liaison.

Fractional Newton's Method

Basins of Attraction and Julia sets of Fractional Newton’s Method for Ζ7 – 1 as α ranges from 1 to 0.25. (Ellie Byrnes, HMC Math 2021)

Junior math majors are encouraged to talk to later-year students and their faculty advisors to determine which program will best suit their needs. Students should also look through some past senior theses and Clinic projects; these are archived on the math department’s website. Be sure to also check out the list of current thesis students and links to their websites.

Sounds Great! How Do I Sign Up?

Juniors thinking about writing a thesis should go to the Capstone Research Experience page and look at faculty research areas to choose possible advisors for a thesis project.

You’ll get a copy of the Capstone Research Experience preference/application form from the faculty, or it may be linked to on the wiki—fill it in and submit it to the department for review.

Advisors and Second Readers

Each thesis student has an advisor and a second reader. Your advisor need not be from the math department; they could be from another HMC department, or even another Claremont college. However, if your advisor is not from the HMC math department, you should choose a second reader who is affiliated with the department.

The Chavin Prize

Students who write a senior thesis (or another mathematical paper) are eligible to receive the Chavin Prize.

Information about other awards and prizes awarded by the department can be found on the Departmental Awards and Prizes page.