Mathematical & Statistical Literature and Problems Research Project
The Graduate Committee has approved the following guidelines and deadlines for the MATH 501/STAT 501 Literature and Problems Research Project required of MA/MS students. The deadlines given here are for students expecting to complete their work in Spring Term. Students expecting to complete their work during a term other than Spring Term should determine their deadlines by making the obvious changes.
The 501 seminar is Credit By Arrangement. Three credits of STAT 501 are required for the MS Statistics degree. Three credits of MTH 501 are required for Option A of the MA/MS Mathematics degree. See the courses page for instructions on how to register for By Arrangement credits.
The work in the 501 seminar will usually extend over more than a single term. Students should make their own decisions with regard to which term they register for the course, and how many credits they register for in this term. For example, a student may wish to sign up for two credits during the term they begin work on their project, and sign up for the remaining one credit during the term their project is completed. For 501 work that is not completed by the end of the term in which they have registered, the grade IP (In Progress) will be given. You must be registered for at least 1 graduate credit at PSU for the term in which you make the final presentation of your project, or the Graduate School will not issue the degree. A minimum of 1 graduate credit of registration is required in any term (including summer) when students are completing a major milestone for the degree, such as taking any comprehensive or final examination; when holding a thesis/dissertation proposal or defense; and in the term of final thesis/dissertation submission and graduation.
In this document faculty will be referred to, respectively, as the MS program coordinator, the project advisor, and the second faculty member.
- Each student makes arrangements with a faculty member to act as project advisor. In the 501 seminar, a student, working with a faculty project advisor, (1) prepares a paper which will involve the reading of one or more journal articles and (2) presents a colloquium presentation on the paper. Students are expected to work in an area in which they have already had substantial preparation including some 400- or 500- level course work.
- During the Fall Term, a student should begin making arrangements for the project. Faculty members able to supervise a student in a given area should be contacted. Students may find that they will not be able to work with the faculty member of their choice. Students who are having difficulty obtaining a project advisor should contact the MS Program Coordinator for his/her program.
- By the end of the first week of Winter Term, the student must inform the MS program coordinator, in writing, which faculty member has agreed to act as his or her project advisor and of the general area of the project.
- Once it is known which faculty member will be acting as the project advisor, the student is to locate a faculty member to serve as a second reader. The second faculty member's primary responsibility will be, together with the project advisor, to read the first draft and to approve the final draft of the paper. The second faculty member also attends and approves the student’s colloquium talk. The project advisor may or may not wish to consult with the second faculty member during the project. The student should tell the second faculty member about the plan for the project and should keep him or her informed about the progress in the project.
- By the end of the sixth week of Winter Term, the student must inform the MS program coordinator, in writing, of which journal article or articles the student and the advisor have agreed will form the basis for the project.
- If a student plans to finish the MATH/STAT 501 project and graduate at the end of Spring Term, the student must apply for graduation during the first week of the term via Banweb. The MS program coordinator will review the student's DARS degree audit if any deficiencies are found.
- By the end of the sixth week of Spring Term, the student must provide the project advisor and the second faculty member a first draft of the paper. The program coordinator will verify with the project advisor that this has been done. Continuing drafts of the paper are reviewed by the faculty project advisor and the second faculty member. When both faculty members are satisfied with the paper, the student confers with both the faculty project advisor and the second faculty member about scheduling a date for the project presentation.
- The faculty project advisor and the student notify the graduate program administrator of the date and title of the presentation two weeks ahead of this date. This staff member will request a room for the presentation and send out announcements of the seminar.
- By the end of Spring Term, the student must have presented the colloquium on the research project. The Graduate School does not allow project presentations at the time when the university is not in session (i.e. no presentations will be scheduled during the breaks between terms.)
- By the end of Spring Term, the student must give the graduate program administrator a PDF of the paper which has been approved by the project advisor and the second faculty member. This PDF will be stored electronically by the department and available upon request to other mathematics & statistics graduate students.
- The project advisor assigns through Banweb the grade the student has earned and this grade will be given to the student.
Last updated: September 2018