Independent work in the junior year consists each term of either a junior seminar or a paper written under the supervision of a faculty member. The seminars involve topics outside the regular course offerings of the Department that are particularly suitable for some independent investigation by the students in the seminar.
Students work either individually or in small teams on separate projects, with lectures to the entire seminar on their work and a final paper summarizing that work. Typically the seminars consist of a half dozen or so students.
The Department normally offers three seminars each term, depending on student and faculty interest. Students with particular interests are encouraged to talk to faculty members some time before the term begins about possible topics and instructors.
There is a meeting at the beginning of each term of all the juniors and the faculty members offering seminars that term to discuss the topics and organization of the seminars and to answer any questions that might arise. The seminars are scheduled at the convenience of the students and faculty involved. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one junior seminar, to have the experience of working together with other students and presenting lectures about their work to the seminar.
Students interested in a junior paper in place of a seminar should consult the Advisors for Mathematics Majors and talk to faculty members about possible topics and arrangements. Writing a paper normally involves regularly scheduled meetings with the faculty adviser, at least weekly during the term.