COD Dissertations on the History of Mathematics - Material for the year 2020-2021

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Course Term: 
Course Weight: 
2.00 unit(s)
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Students may offer a double-unit dissertation on a topic related to the History of Mathematics for examination at Part C. A double-unit is equivalent to a 32-hour lecture course. Students will have a supervisor for their dissertation and will meet with them 4-5 times during Michaelmas and Hilary terms, together with the other students offering that dissertation topic. The group size will be between 2 and 5 students. The first meeting will take place in week 7 or 8 of Michaelmas term to provide them with the information needed to start work on their dissertation over the Christmas vacation and to agree the pattern of project supervision in Hilary term. In addition there are lectures on writing mathematics and using LaTeX in Michaelmas and Hilary terms. See the lecture list for details.

Candidates considering offering a dissertation should read the Guidance Notes on Extended Essays and Dissertations in Mathematics available at:

Students wishing to do a dissertation based on the History of Mathematics should contact Dr Chris Hollings at by Wednesday of week 1 with a short draft proposal. Dr Hollings will contact you to arrange a short informal interview to discuss the proposal further. All decisions made by Dr Hollings will be communicated to students by the end of week 2.

All proposals supported by Dr Hollings will then be referred to Projects Committee who meet in week 4 for final approval. With the support of Dr Hollings students must submit a COD Dissertation Proposal Form to Projects Committee by the end of week 3. The form can be found in the Dissertation Guidance -

Students whose proposal is not supported by Dr Hollings will be given the option to to submit a ranked list of dissertation choices via an online form at by 12noon on Friday of week 3. You will need to submit 6 choices, and will be given the opportunity to explain if there is a particular reason why you would like to do a specific topic. This is optional for Part C students and compulsory for OMMS students.

Projects Committee will meet in week 4 to decide upon the allocation of dissertation topics and will seek to ensure that students receive one of their top choices as far as possible. You will be notified of which project you have been allocated at the start of week 5.

Dissertations are independently double-marked, normally by the dissertation supervisor and one other assessor. The two marks are then reconciled to give the overall mark awarded. The reconciliation of marks is overseen by the examiners and follows the department's reconciliation procedure (see

For 2020-21 only an electronic copy of your dissertation should be submitted via the Mathematical Institute website to arrive no later than 12noon on Monday of week 1, Trinity term 2020. An electronic copy of your dissertation should also be submitted via the Mathematical Institute website. Further details may be found in the Guidance Notes on Extended Essays and Dissertations in Mathematics.