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The University of Southampton

MATH3032 Mathematical Investigation and Communication

Module Overview

The module consists of three parts : 1. Introductory/revision lectures on the use of mathematical resources for original research, report writing, oral presentation skills and associated report and presentation software (1 week). 2. Group research project (in suitably sized teams) on a topic from a list of provided topics, followed by submission of a group report and an oral presentation. All group members will be expected to play a significant role in the mathematical input, report writing and oral presentation (5 weeks). 3. Independent research project, undertaken from a list of provided topics, followed by submission of a type written report up to 15 single sides of A4 (5 weeks). Although the presentation and report skills form an essential component of the assessment, students should note that a significant proportion of the final marks will be for the mathematical content or the mathematical problem-solving skills demonstrated. The final mark will be made up from the written individual report (60%), written group report (25%), and oral presentation (15%). The mark assigned to the group report and presentation will be received by all members of the group, unless there is good evidence for the need to vary it. The ability to organise yourself (both independently and in collaboration with others) and to work to a strict deadline will be of great importance in this module. Staff members will deliver the programmed lectures and provide general advice throughout the module, but the ultimate responsibility for the mathematical research work, report writing and presentation will be down to the students, either individually or collectively as a project group.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research information from a variety of sources and organise and present it in a clear and coherent manner both orally and in written form
  • Write an original report on a mathematical topic
  • Apply, extend and transfer mathematical knowledge and/or problem-solving skills to new contexts
  • Undertake a short mathematical project working as part of a group
  • Appreciate the need to manage effectively their own time
  • Contribute to the production of a written report and an oral presentation


Instruction Report writing; structure and format, including the use and display of mathematical formulae, use of references and quotes, bibliographies. Research methodologies and techniques, including using a variety of media such as books, journal articles, the library and the internet. The art of making oral presentations: creating clear and convincing slides, with correct layout and any of visual materials. Presenting within a specified time limit, maintaining good contact with the audience. Group research project and presentation Group work: undertake research into a mathematical topic and jointly compile a written project report. Share the preparation and delivery of an oral presentation summarising the group project. Individual research project Experience of researching a mathematical topic individually and writing a short report on it

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, small group work, self-study, private study and project work

Independent Study145
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Belbin RM (1997). Management Teams : Why They Succeed or Fail. 

Maitland I. Managing Your Time. 

Precise reading lists will depend upon the topics and direction chosen by particular individuals or groups of students. 

Treacy D. Successful Time Management. 

Hind D. Transferable Personal Skills : A Student Guide. 

Hardingham A. Working in Teams (Institute of Personnel and Development (IP&D). 

Rozakis LE. Presentation Skills. 

Higham NJ (1998). Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences. 

Leigh A. Persuasive Reports and Proposals. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Individual report 60%
Oral presentation 15%
Written group project 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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