Vol. 7, No. 3, 2014

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Undergraduate research as a capstone requirement

Hannah L. Callender, James P. Solazzo and Elizabeth Wilcox

Vol. 7 (2014), No. 3, 273–279

If a mathematics department has a capstone course, how does undergraduate research figure into that capstone requirement? What challenges are involved when instituting undergraduate research as part of the capstone experience? These were the central questions for discussion in the undergraduate research as a capstone requirement breakout session at the 2012 Trends in Undergraduate Research in the Mathematical Sciences conference. In short, there is not one design that will satisfy the needs and goals of every mathematics program, but a department seeking to implement undergraduate research as a capstone requirement may benefit from the experiences of other departments. This article discusses the common objectives of a capstone in mathematical sciences and presents several successful models that incorporate undergraduate research in a capstone experience. The challenges and questions associated with each model are also discussed.

undergraduate research, capstone requirements
Mathematical Subject Classification 2010
Primary: 97D30
Secondary: 97D40
Received: 10 January 2013
Revised: 27 October 2013
Accepted: 19 November 2013
Published: 28 April 2014

Communicated by Darren A. Narayan
Hannah L. Callender
Department of Mathematics
University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Boulevard
MSC 60
Portland, OR 97203
United States
James P. Solazzo
Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528
United States
Elizabeth Wilcox
Department of Mathematics
State University of New York at Oswego
Oswego, NY 13126
United States