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.
Real world examples, challenging writing exercises and the integration of technology within the text, make it accessible to all students.