The Proseminar and the Senior Comprehensive Project in Mathematics

Student Guide

Charles F. Peltier and Joanne R. Snow

Mathematics Department
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Brief Description
The proseminar (the senior seminar) and the senior comprehensive project are intended to give you experience in learning mathematics independently and in presenting the results of your study to others (both orally and in writing). Successful completion of the senior comprehensive project meets the college requirement for the Senior Comprehensive Examination in Mathematics.

Proseminar I: Fall: For details see Proseminar I: Fall .
During the first part of the fall semester (Proseminar I), all students will be working on the same mathematical subject so that mutual support and cooperation can serve to promote the learning of the mathematics and the development of presentation skills. Each student will also be required to make formal arrangements for a topic and an advisor for the senior comprehensive project.

Proseminar II: Spring For details see Proseminar II: Spring.
During the latter part of the fall and the first part of the spring semester (Proseminar II), students will be working on the individual topics chosen for the Senior Comprehensive Project. Each student will give two talks on the preliminary results of her study (or more, if the advisor and seminar instructor consider this necessary) write up these results for the final paper. The process will culminate in the Senior Comprehensive Examination. {A student with a dopuble major who is completing the comprehensive requirement in her other major will do independent study leading to two talks in Proseminar II, but will not be required to complete the formal paper or the formal; presentation]

Senior Comprehensive Project: For details see Comprehensive Project.
The college requirement for a Senior Comprehensive Examination is met by mathematics majors through completion of the Senior Comprehensive Project, which is an extended independent study project on a topic new to the student, undertaken under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The project culminates in a formal written paper and a formal public oral presentation of the results of the study followed by questioning by a faculty committee. This paper and presentation comprise the Senior Comprehensive Examination.

This guide contains all of the fixed requirements for the proseminar and senior comprehensive project. It is intended to be supplemented each semester by a course syllabus containing the changeable details, including instructors, meeting times and places, seminar topic, text, specific dates for the year, etc.For a current (or most recent) syllabus, click
Here (Fall) or Here (Spring)



I. Proseminar I: Fall

A: Description

B: Mechanics

1. Work on the Seminar Topic

2. Preliminary work on the comprehensive topic

C: Grading

D: Important dates

II. Proseminar II: Spring

A: Description

B: Mechanics

C: Grading

D: Important Dates



A. General description

B. Mechanics

1. Paper

2. Talk

3. Deadlines

C. Grading


D. Scheduling


A. Guidelines for preparing the Senior Comprehensive Paper
Criteria for evaluation of the senior comprehensive project
Guidelines for advanced writing proficiency in mathematics
Student seminar response form
E. References and templates (for typing) for writing mathematics. (on the Mathematics Department Website)

Maintained by

Last corrected 8/24/2007

Mathematics Department home page

Math 495 (Proseminar I) home page

Math 496 (Proseminar II) home page