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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.

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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.