Roanoke College

Independent Study

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We strongly encourage Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics students with special interests to conduct independent study projects. An independent study project provides the qualified student with an opportunity for in-depth research into their topic of choice. Topics for independent studies often come from the students, either from a topic mentioned briefly in a class or from discussions of possibilities with the faculty. Avery Makel is shown with a solar collector for his original design of a mobile solar-powered refrigeration unit for medicine storage in third-world countries.

Here are other recent topics that have been explored.

Mathematics of the Heart: April Saul studied the use of chaos theory techniques in analyzing the dynamics of the human heart rate.

Computer Science of Robotics: Thomas Lux developed techniques for localization mapping.

Physics of Nanotechnology: Daniel Ballou synthesized Goethite nanotubes.

Mathematics of Networks: Sarah Witt studied various measures of influence in social networks (Facebook).

Computer Science of Networks: Jonathan Thompson computed large matchings of planar graphs.

Physics of Galaxy Formation: David Guynn studied the influence of environment on galaxy clusters.

Mathematics of Gambling: Heather Cook studied optimal strategies in a new variant on a card game, Blackjack Switch.

Computer Science of Artificial Intelligence: Justyn Dooley investigated the analysis of directional thoughts.

Physics of Material Science: Anne Kyner analyzed Mossbauer data from planet Mars.

Examples of MCSP independent studies can be found at this link.