Fall 2021 - MATH 498 D100

Communication and Research Skills in the Mathematical Sciences (1)

Class Number: 1245

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM

  • Corequisites:

    MATH 499W. Students must have an approved project prior to enrollment.



Students will develop skills required for mathematical research. This course will focus on communication in both written and oral form. Students will write documents and prepare presentations in a variety of formats for academic and non-academic purposes. The LaTeX document preparation system will be used. Course will be given on a pass/fail basis.


This course will be delivered online. You are expected to have access to a reliable internet connection. You will need a computer from which you can download course materials and activities and watch live and/or recorded lectures and participate in live tutorials or workshops.

You will need a camera to take photographs of your work. A phone is acceptable.

Learning Objectives

Main Outcome:
At the completion of this course, the successful student should be able to transform and reorganize mathematical ideas across different communication formats.   Additionally, at the completion of this course the successful student should be able to: 
  • Produce professional quality mathematical documents and presentation materials respecting the conventions and requirements of chosen format;
  • Produce a 30 page thesis document based on their research;
  • Present a mathematical topic in a clear, thoughtful presentation;
  • Assess and consider the audience needs, and the goals of the message in order to adapt the presentation of mathematical information, both in oral and written forms; 
  • Solicit and integrate feedback about their work;
  • Support classmates by giving objective, useful feedback. 

The pass/fail grade will reflect your participation during the whole course. Students are expected to be present at all lectures. Should you know that you will not be able to attend certain classes, contact the instructor in advance so that some alternative activities can be found to complete the course. In class participation is essential for a passing grade.   
You will submit a participation portfolio that must contain the following components: 

  • Output of weekly in-class activities (to be detailed weekly) 
  • Abstract of honours thesis 
  • One page outline of honours thesis 
  • 12 page short form of thesis results
  • Letter-sized print out of long presentation slides   

In addition, you will be graded on a 5 minute oral presentation in-class. The long presentations required for MATH 499 credit will occur during MATH 498 class time. To obtain a PASS grade, the student must achieve a mark of 75% on both the portfolio, and the presentation components. 50% of the mark for the portfolio will be divided equally between the thesis outline, the 12 page thesis short form, and presentation slides printout, with the remaining 50% coming from the output of the in-class activities. The mark for the presentation will be divided equally between content, speaking skills, visual aids, and organization.

Course Delivery

  •  Lecture: synchronous- lectures will be held at fixed times, on-line




  • Access to strong and reliable internet.
  • Ability to scan documents (phone app acceptable)
  • Access to webcam and microphone (embedded in computer sufficient)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.