University of Technology Sydney

35507 Mathematics Thesis 2

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science: Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The thesis is an individually supervised subject with no formally scheduled classes. Regular meetings are arranged between the supervisor and student. Students are required to give oral presentations and/or seminars during the course of the subject. Students perform an independent investigation of an area of the mathematical sciences chosen in consultation with a supervisor who is appointed by the head of department.

The subject is a continuation of 37493 Thesis: Mathematics (Honours) Part A and results are only allocated on completion of that subject.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. develop a broad and deeper knowledge of the chosen field of study
2. review and respond to existing academic literature
3. work independently on a topic in the area of specialisation
4. present talks and seminars appropriate to professional meetings or academic conferences
5. prepare a formal report on the findings and results of a project

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The Honours project is linked to the following Science graduate attributes:

  1. An understanding of the nature, practice and application of the chosen science discipline.
  2. An understanding of the scientific method of knowledge acquisition, including problem solving, critical thinking, and the ability to discover new understandings.
  3. The capacity to learn in, and from, new disciplines to enhance the application of scientific knowledge and skills in professional contexts.
  4. An awareness of the role of science within a global culture.
  5. An ability to think and work creatively and the ability to apply science skills to unfamiliar applications.
  6. The ability to develop computing skills.

Teaching and learning strategies

Your supervisor will inform you about consultation hours and the supervisor’s availability during the academic year. Your supervisor will not normally be available for advice during the six week period from mid-December until 1 February.

It is assumed that students commencing their Honours program in Autumn session will begin work on their project immediately on enrolling in the Honours course (usually mid-February). It is assumed that students commencing their Honours program in Spring session will begin work on their project at the start of Spring session (usually the first week of August).

You are expected to have regular contact with your supervisor and to maintain satisfactory progress. Consultation sessions should be complemented by regular work. The workload in each part of the project is equivalent to two six credit point subjects.

Content (topics)

The content of the project will be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the student.


Assessment task 1: Honours Seminar


The seminar is designed to offer the students the experience of presenting their progress and findings to an audience of both non-experts and experts in the field of study. This provides an opportunity to assess both their knowledge of the project area and also their ability to structure and present a mathematical seminar. Furthermore, any questions and oral feedback offered may provide further guidance to the student as they finalise the writing of the Honours thesis.

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%

You will be allocated a 30 minute timeslot. Your presentation should last around 20 minutes, to be followed by approximately 10 minutes of questions from the audience. Your ability to address the questions will also be assessed.


All members of the seminar audience with broad expertise in the mathematical sciences may act as seminar examiners, with the following exceptions: no current student (undergraduate or postgraduate) shall be a seminar examiner; nobody (directly or indirectly) involved with your project supervision shall be a seminar examiner.

You will be awarded a mark out of 100 based on your overall performance during the seminar, assessing both your demonstrated mathematical understanding and ability and also on your presentation technique. This will be calculated by taking a trimmed mean of the marks by all seminar examiners. After both the highest and lowest marks are discarded, the simple arithmetic mean will be taken of all others. Your mark will be twice the trimmed mean of the marks from your seminar examiners, all out of 50. Specifically, assessment criteria are based on your ability to:
i) engage with audience and demonstrate knowledge of the subject area;
ii) explain the scope and achievements of the project;
iii) present at a pace and in a tone suitable for an academic seminar;
iv) use audio-visual and/or whiteboard graphics or calculations/derivations to strengthen the communication of ideas;
v) respond to questions promptly and correctly.

Any student failing to present a seminar at the prescribed time shall be awarded a zero mark for this component of the assessment. This does not apply to students whose cases are covered by Section 8.3 – Special consideration of disruption to assessment in the Rules of the University:

Assessment task 2: Honours Thesis


The Honours thesis is designed to offer students the experience of writing up an extended document as a record of their academic progress on a research topic. This provides the potential to improve project and time management skills, as well as practice at writing an academic thesis. The development of these skills should aid students who wish to progress into higher research degrees or into commercial consultancy work. This provides an opportunity to assess the abilities of students, both in terms of their abilities to conduct research within the mathematical sciences and also their academic report writing skills.

Type: Thesis
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 90%

There is no prescribed word limit for an Honours thesis, although you are advised that a thesis should typically be around 70 pages, including references.


Your Honours examiners will each assign your thesis a mark out of 100. This mark will be the sum of the assessed marks for the following four criteria:

Criterion One– Knowledge of Research Field (20 marks)
Criterion Two – Methodology and Mathematical Depth (30 marks)
Criterion Three – Critical Analysis (30 marks)
Criterion Four – Communication Skills (20 marks)

In exceptional cases, where it is felt that the 20/30/30/20 weighting assigned to these criteria is not appropriate for the project, it may be varied. For such projects (for example, in the case of literature reviews of an advanced field of the mathematical sciences) a clear statement of justification and agreed new weightings, signed by both you and your principal supervisor, should be submitted to the Honours Subcommittee not later than one working day before the census date for this subject. For amended weightings of criteria, no single criterion shall be worth more than 50 marks or fewer than 10 marks.

Except in cases when the examiners’ marks for your thesis differ by greater than 10/100, your mark for the thesis component will be the simple arithmetic mean of the examiners’ marks. For cases where the examiners differ by more than 10 in their assessed marks, your thesis mark will be determined by the procedures outlined in the Faculty of Science Honours Subject Information Booklet.

Any thesis submitted later than 5pm on the due-date specified in the Subject Outline may be subject to academic penalties as determined by the Honours Subcommittee. Possible sanctions include the deduction of marks and/or ineligibility for consideration for University Awards, including the University Medal. This does not apply to students whose cases are covered by Section 8.3 – Special consideration of disruption to assessment in the Rules of the University:

Minimum requirements

In order to pass this subject you must get a final mark of at least 50.

Any thesis submitted without a signed Declaration of Originality and Plagiarism Awareness shall be assessed as incomplete and awarded an X(Fail) grade.