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Writing Milestone

By the end of the second year, each student must produce a carefully written mathematical document. This could be in any area, not just a presumed area of specialization, with any faculty member, not just a potential advisor. Such a document can be an expository paper coming from deep study of material in a reading course with a faculty member, a write-up of a project done under the supervision of a faculty member, or an existing research paper that the student has done could also count, if a faculty member agrees. In general, this is flexible, but the resulting document must be substantial. 

  • We expect that a writing project will take on average about two quarters. It should be an iterative process with multiple drafts and plenty of intermediate feedback. 
  • While working on their project, the student should form a committee of two people --- the primary advisor for this project and another faculty member. 
  • When the project is completed, this committee will write a short report and recommendation to the Graduate Program Committee on whether the student should pass. The final decision will be made by the Graduate Program Committee.
  • We expect that writing projects will be on average about 10 pages long. Shorter is fine, but the document needs to demonstrate the student's ability to write in depth about mathematics.
  • In addition to the document, faculty advisors may request a 1-page summary/reflection of lessons learned and skills gained from this experience.

A sample timeline: 

  • Summer after your 1st year: make a list of areas that interest you; spend time researching faculty webpages; narrow your list to 2-3 faculty members.
  • Autumn 2nd year: do a couple of reading courses and take some topics classes. By the end of the Autumn quarter decide on the topic for your writing milestone project.
  • Winter quarter: dive into reading.
  • Spring quarter: form the committee and dive into writing.