Math 135

Business Calculus

Spring 2009

How to Work on the Project: What is Expected Here are some words of advice and encouragement along with the rules of the game. First off, the project is a major, lengthy assignment. To do well, you should start immediately and work on it a little each day. You may need all of the time you have been given to complete the project by the due date. 1. Start today. Read the entire project to see what it’s all about. Don’t worry about details the first time through. 2. Next, read the project very carefully and make a list of any unfamiliar words or concepts you encounter. If concepts occur that you’re not sure about, you must understand these ideas before you can do the project. Even if you understand all the words and terms, do not assume the project is easy. If you wait until the last few days to start, it is doubtful you will be able to finish on time. 3. While I expect your group to work independently of others in the class, I do not necessarily expect that you can work through the project without assistance. Your first source of assistance is your other group members. I also encourage you to come and talk to me about the project. I will not solve your problem, but I may be able to give you a direction to take. Come with specific questions, and be prepared to show clear written work that you have prepared in advance. Do not simply ask how to do the problem. 4. When you have done the work necessary to complete your project, you need to prepare it in written form. The project report you turn in should have a mix of equations, formulas, graphs, and prose to support your conclusions. Use complete sentences, correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The prose should be written in order to convey to the reader an explanation of what you have done. It should be written in such a way that it can be read and understood by anyone who knows the material in this course. Correct grammar, and usage of mathematical terms, notation, and principles are important. Your project report should be typed using a word processor. For instance, you can use Microsoft Word with its built-in Equation Editor. There are a variety of computer programs (both commercial and shareware) you can use for your graphs. See me for assistance getting started with Equation Editor or any graphing programs if you need it. You will be graded on your written presentation as well as the mathematical content. Here are some suggestions for working as a group. 1. You should plan your first group meeting as soon as possible. Before the first meeting, each group member should have read the project carefully and given it some thought. At your first meeting, you should plan a method of attack and you may wish to divide the labor among the group members. Different members of the group may perform different tasks, but all members of the group are expected to understand all parts of the solution. Regular group meetings to discuss the progress of the solution are important. 2. Group projects often work well when each member spends some time working individually on the problem first, and then the group meets to discuss the various ideas of the members. I encourage you to try this. Also, while you may discuss the general ideas and strategies of the projects with students outside of your group, you should not share your results with them. 1

3. Each group will turn in one project report with each group member’s name. Also, each group member should turn in separately an assessment of the other group members’ contribution to the solution and report. This assessment should address the following questions: • Did each group member attend and participate in each of the meetings? • Did each group member complete their assigned tasks? • Did each group member read the final report? It is not automatically the case that all group members will receive the same grade on the project. Your score out of 50 points will be based upon your written presentation as well as the mathematical content according to the following guidelines: • (30 points) Mathematical Content. Your approach, procedure, derivations, and calculations should be clear, complete, and correct. • (20 points) Presentation. Your project report should include the general background of the problem along with your work and conclusions. The report should not be written up as though you were solving a series of homework problems. As part of the presentation, you are expected to use correct English grammar and correct and appropriate mathematical notation. • (Up to 5 points) Extra Credit. Any imaginative ideas, mathematical or artistic additions, historical background, etc., which go beyond what is expected will be rewarded.

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