Fall 2023 - MATH 498 D100

Communication and Research Skills in the Mathematical Sciences (1)

Class Number: 2049

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Jonathan Jedwab
    1 778 782-3337
  • 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.


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.
Assessment of MATH 498. The pass/fail grade will reflect your participation during the entire course. You are expected to attend all classes. If you know that you will not be able to attend certain classes, please contact the instructor in advance so that some alternative activities can be found for you to complete the course. To pass, you must obtain a mark of at least 65% in (1) and at least 75% in (2):

(1) assignments
thesis abstract (5 points)
article analysis (5 points)
one-page thesis outline (5 points)
2–4 page thesis introduction (5 points)
10-page extended abstract (10 points)

(2) 3-minute oral presentation (20 points), weighted equally for content, speaking skills, organization

The 20-minute oral presentation for MATH 499 credit will occur during MATH 498 class time.

Assessment of MATH 499. Three equally-weighted components:
20-minute oral presentation + 5 minutes for questions
30-page thesis manuscript
mathematical sophistication 



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.