MATH65740 Transferable Skills

This course is compulsory for all students taking part in the M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics, and contributes 15 credits to the final degree. The aim of the course is to develop the necessary skills for industry or academia, including presentation, communication, writing and modelling.

On this page you will find an up-to-date timetable, together with essential information and links about the course. Since details of the classes and projects may change during the course of the year, please check this page regularly to ensure that you have the most recent information. The course syllabus can be found here.

Feedback

Each assignment will be assessed separately, and you will receive feedback either through comments on the assignment / presentation / poster, or a marked piece of work will be returned to you. You can also get further feedback on your understanding directly from me, either at my office hour (10am–11am on Thursdays, office number 1.115: email me if you wish to come at a different time) or by sending me any questions by email. My email address can be found at my contact page.

Course components

Attendance at each of these components is compulsory.

  • Modelling projects
    • Three mathematical modelling projects are presented during the course of the year, one in semester 1, and two in semester 2. For each project, the first lecture will present and describe the problem. You will then gather into small groups to formulate the problem in mathematical language, and work together to solve it. Each group will present their work in the final session for that project. The first session will include background information on mathematical modelling in general.
  • Poster
    • Prepare a poster based on your favourite modelling project. You will present this in semester 2 at an event which will be open for anybody to attend.
  • Industrial talks
    • Speakers invited from industrial collaborators will give lectures focusing on specific aspects of importance to them in their work, and you will have an opportunity to discuss the mathematics used with the industrial contacts. These talks are held on Wednesday mornings and lunch will be provided. At the end of each semester you will be expected to write a short abstract (150–250 words) summarizing an industry seminar of the lecturer's choice.
  • Mathematical writing
  • Informal applied mathematics seminars
    • These Friday afternoon sessions, usually held at 4pm, are run by Ph.D. students and will be very informative and helpful for future careers in either academia or industry. They will also act to enhance the social environment by mixing M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.
  • Short Matlab project
    • This short course will be held in week 1 of semester 1 and presented by Dr Stefan Güttel. See the website for further details.

Assessment

  • Poster: 30%
    • This will be assessed at the poster presentation, based on the poster itself (content, accuracy, presentation), and the discussion that the academics and industrialists have with you.
  • Paper/literature report: 25%
    • Further information about this assignment will be provided later in the semester.
  • Modelling group talks: 30%
    • All three group talks will be assessed (content, accuracy, presentation), accounting for 10% each. Groups will be changed for each modelling project to ensure fairness. An element of peer marking is applied to this assessment; group members will be asked to comment about the contributions of their fellow group members and the marks may be adjusted by up to 10% of the assessed mark.
  • Industrial talk abstracts: 5%
    • At the end of each semester, you will be allocated an industrial lecture from that semester to summarize in a short abstract for a general (non-specialized) audience. Marks will be awarded for writing style, communication, and content.
  • Mathematical writing and Matlab project: 10%
    • You will be assessed on Prof. Nick Higham's short course and the Matlab course. Each will account for 5% of the final mark.

Timetable: Semester 1

The main Transferable Skills components will be held on Tuesdays between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, in room G7 of the Humanities building, Bridge Street. I have also added other classes/sessions which are important for the Transferable Skills module in the timetable below. This timetable is not complete and will change over the course of the semester, so please check it regularly!

  • Week 1
    • Wednesday 27 September, 1pm–3pm: Matlab course (Dr Stefan Güttel), Alan Turing G.105.
    • Thursday 28 September, 4pm–6pm: Matlab course (Dr Stefan Güttel), Alan Turing G.105.
  • Week 2
    • Friday 6 October, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (various speakers — brief introductions), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 3
    • Friday 13 October, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (various speakers — brief introductions), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 4
    • Tuesday 17 October, 1–3pm: How to write mathematics (Prof. Nick Higham), Humanities Bridgeford Street G7.
  • Week 5
    • Tuesday 24 October, 1–3pm: How to write mathematics (Prof. Nick Higham), Humanities Bridgeford Street G7.
    • Friday 27 October, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (Helena Stage), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 6
    • Reading week (attendance at seminar below not compulsory).
    • Friday 3 November, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (Steven Elsworth), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 7
    • Tuesday 7 November, 1–3pm: Writing skills (Dr Gareth Wyn Jones), Humanities Bridgeford Street G7.
    • Friday 10 November, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (Craig Newsum), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 8
    • Tuesday 14 November, 1–4pm: Modelling project 1 (Dr Gareth Wyn Jones), Humanities Bridgeford Street G7.
    • Hand in your writing assignment to Prof. Nick Higham by 11:59pm on Tuesday 14 November.
    • Email your Matlab assignments to Dr Stefan Güttel by 11:59pm on Friday 17 November.
    • Friday 17 November, 4–5pm: CANCELLED: Applied mathematics seminar.
  • Week 9
    • Tuesday 21 November, 1–4pm: Modelling project 1 (Dr Gareth Wyn Jones), Alan Turing Building.
    • Friday 24 November, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (Pallav Kant), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 10
    • Tuesday 28 November, 1–4pm: Modelling project 1 (Dr Gareth Wyn Jones), Humanities Bridgeford Street G7.
  • Week 11
    • Wednesday 6 December, 11am-1pm: Industry talk (Natasha Willoughby, Thales), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
    • Friday 8 December, 4–5pm: Applied mathematics seminar (Massimiliano Fasi), Alan Turing, Frank Adams Room 1.
  • Week 12
    • Nothing yet, but this might change!

LaTeX template: Beamer presentation

Here is the PDFLaTeX presentation about mathematical modelling that was presented in the first modelling session; feel free to adapt it as a template for your own presentations. Alternatively you are of course free to use your own template to write the presentation. The presentation uses the Beamer package, which is widely used among mathematics researchers.

The source files can be downloaded as a .zip file (including graphics), or as a stand-alone TeX file (excluding graphics). Enter your university username/password to get access.

Modelling project 1

The problem description for the first modelling project can be downloaded by following the link (PDF). Enter your university username/password to get access.

Literature review

You are asked to write a literature review of 7–10 pages by Friday 2nd February 2018 (week 1 of semester 2). The full details of the assignment, including a marking scheme, can be found by reading this PDF file.

The file includes a few suggested topics for your literature review, but you are free to choose your own. Clearly you are not expected to become experts in this topic! Instead, focus on one or two aspects of the topic (which should be clear in your report). Be sure to critically compare and evaluate the references that you cite — in other words, don't just list the references but identify what those papers contributed to the field, and identify in what way they are similar to, different from, or build upon other works that you cite.

You must use this LaTeX template to produce your literature review. Submission is via the Turnitin module on the Blackboard page for Transferable Skills.

You may download the writing skills talk of 7 November here.