In the MIT Department of Mathematics’ Undergraduate Seminar in Theoretical Computer Science, which is taken primarily by juniors and seniors, students write a term paper on a topic of their choice. To do so, they must find and read sources, including mathematics research articles. Attached are a suggested reading strategy (student resource) and an in-class activity designed to introduce students to the reading strategy and to familiarize them with some of the common features of mathematics papers that facilitate the finding of information within the paper. Course lead: Zachary Remscrim Communication lecturer: Susan Ruff

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This single category term-paper rubric describes an A paper, a B paper, and a C paper. Grades are based primarily on readability and clarity. From MIT’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →Guidance for TAs for how to assign grades on a term paper draft. Includes a single-category rubric for the draft (based on effort and completeness) as well as a single-category rubric for the final paper (based on quality). This second rubric was used to supply an “advisory grade” in addition to the first-draft effort/completeness grade. From MIT’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This rubric for short writing assignments is used to help ensure that multiple TAs grade writing consistently with each other. From M.I.T.’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This annotated proof illustrates how to format a theorem and proof and how to use guiding text to communicate the structure of the proof. Comments about formatting assume that students may not be using LaTeX. The text is an excerpt from the lecture notes for M.I.T.’s Principles of Applied Mathematics, on the topic of the pigeonhole principle.

Read more →This peer critique assignment includes a list of questions for students to consider as they critique each other’s writing. Included is a rubric that will be used to grade the peer critique. From MIT’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This e-mail to graders in a large communication-intensive math class provides guidance for how to recognize plagiarism and what to do if they read a term paper that they suspect contains plagiarism.

Read more →Guidance for TAs about grading a short writing assignment that students will revise. We also met as a group to compare grades to ensure consistency. From M.I.T.’s large lecture-based class, Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This student handout gives guidance for explaining algorithms clearly. Advice includes knowing the knowledge level of the audience, stating the algorithm’s purpose before going into details, indicating the structure of the explanation, defining new terms in context, viewing a draft from the point of view of a reader, asking for peer feedback, and proofreading. From MIT’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This assignment guides students to choose a term paper topic that will enable them to “add value” beyond what is provided in their sources (e.g., explaining the material clearly to an audience of students, synthesizing the presentations in multiple sources, etc.). The assignment, which is from M.I.T.’s Principles of Applied Mathematics, includes a list of suggested topics in discrete applied mathematics.

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