In order to qualify for the Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences with a Mathematics or Statistics track, a student must complete at least 32 hours of study in the mathematical sciences. A student may choose a thesis option for a portion of the program. The thesis may account for no more than 6 credits of the 32.
The first step for a thesis-option student is to identify a faculty member who agrees to be the student's thesis adviser. The thesis adviser must be a member of the Department graduate faculty. A faculty member may decline to serve as the thesis adviser and the student may look elsewhere for an adviser if a satisfactory thesis topic cannot be agreed upon.
The thesis adviser is responsible for supervising the student's research, chairing the student's thesis committee, supervising and screening the writing of the thesis, and organizing and supervising the thesis presentation.
The Thesis Topic
Once the thesis adviser and student have agreed upon an appropriate topic, the student, in consultation with the adviser, prepares a proposal which provides descriptive information regarding the topic. The proposal is not to exceed five pages (including references). Upon its approval by the student's thesis committee, the proposal is filed with the Graduate Coordinator.
The Thesis Committee
The thesis adviser, upon accepting a thesis student, registers that information with the Graduate Coordinator. A thesis committee then is selected by the thesis adviser, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the student.
The thesis committee must consist of 3 graduate faculty members and be chaired by the thesis adviser. Its members normally are selected from the Department graduate faculty; however, if appropriate for a particular thesis topic, one member of the committee may be a graduate faculty from outside the department.
The committee is responsible for reviewing and approving the thesis proposal, for reviewing and approving the thesis in final form as prepared by the student, and for reviewing and approving the presentation of the thesis.
The Thesis Presentation
The student must present and defend the thesis orally in a public session during which the student answers appropriate questions from the committee. In a format similar to that used in presenting research at a technical conference, the presentation should summarize the significant results of the thesis. For the presentation to be successful, the committee must agree unanimously that the thesis has been presented adequately and the student has acquired the knowledge presented in the thesis.