Welcome to the Math Senior Thesis Homepage!

Professor Nicholas Pippenger—Mathematics Thesis Coordinator.

2-2dim3, from Steve Haas's senior thesis A Mandelbrot set. (Steve Haas, HMC Math 2004; image by Brian Roney)

shearedmore, from Ben Bryant's senior thesis A thin drop deformed under windshear. (Ben Bryant, HMC Math 2003)

Why Take Senior Thesis?

A full year of either Senior Thesis (Math 197) or Mathematics Clinic (Math 193) is required for the mathematics major.

Senior thesis offers the student, guided by the faculty advisor, a chance to experience a taste of the life of a professional research mathematician. The work is largely independent with guidance from the research advisor. In contrast, the Mathematics Clinic Program is designed to offer students the opportunity to develop the modeling and analysis tools necessary to solve applied problems under conditions closely approximated to an industrial setting. Students work in groups under the guidance of a faculty advisor and an industrial liaison.

Junior math majors are encouraged to talk to later-year students and their faculty advisors to determine which program will best suit their needs. Students should also look through some past senior theses and Clinic projects; these are archived on the math department's website.

Sounds Great! How Do I Sign Up?

Juniors thinking about writing a thesis should discuss their ideas with a faculty member of the math department during the spring of their junior year. You should find an advisor, and develop a brief proposal with them explaining what you plan to do. Junior thesis proposals are due by the first Thursday after spring break in your junior year.

The Chavin Prize

Students who write a senior thesis (or another mathematical paper) are eligible to receive the Chavin Prize.

Previous years' Chavin Prize winners.

Information about other awards and prizes awarded by the department can be found on the Departmental Awards page.

Meeting Times and Places

We meet on Tuesdays at 11:00 AM in TLB 2407.