Honors in Mathematics or Computer Science
To qualify for Departmental Honors in the Mathematics or Computer Science Major, a student must:
- Complete all departmental requirements for the major and have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for all course work taken in the Department.
- Have a grade point average of 3.0 for all work taken at Skidmore.
- File with the Department a declaration of intention to qualify for honors by the end of the official add-drop period of the Fall Semester or of the Spring Semester .
- Submit an honors thesis or project to the thesis advisor one week prior to the final due date for thesis submittal. The final thesis/project must be submitted to the Administrative Assistant no later than 4:00 p.m. of the day falling eleven days prior to the last day of classes of the spring semester. No honors thesis will be accepted after this date. The Administrative Assistant will then distribute copies to a review committee. Honors theses will be read by the review committee, and an oral presentation of the student’s work will be given to the Department.
In consultation with the student and his/her thesis advisor, the Administrative Assistant will schedule the oral presentation for a date following the submission of the thesis, but no later than three days prior to the deadline specified by the Office of Student Academic Affairs for receipt of departmental honors recommendations. In addition, the Administrative Assistant will distribute a willingness-to-serve form to determine which departmental faculty are willing to serve on the review committee. Ordinarily, everyone willing to serve will be a member of the review committee; the Chair will solicit participation if fewer than two initially express willingness, and will encourage a fair sharing of this responsibility. The Chair will schedule a departmental meeting, on or before the due date for honors recommendations, for the purpose of determining the departmental recommendation on honors.
If the conditions enumerated above are met, then the review committee will review both the thesis/project and oral presentation and determine if they are of the exceptional quality which merits honors. The review committee will submit its recommendation to the Department for final adjudication.
An honors thesis or project may develop from work done in a regular course offering in mathematics or computer science, an independent study, a collaborative research project, or from taking MA/CS 381/382, Senior Thesis.
Guidelines for Students
The usual route to writing an honors thesis (in mathematics or in computer science) is to sign up for MA/CS 381 in the fall semester of your senior year and/or MA/CS 382 in the spring semester. Writing a senior thesis, especially one which merits departmental honors, will require an extended concentrated effort on your part and will require you to plan in advance. To help you to do this, we strongly advise that you pay attention to the following guidelines when taking a two-semester senior thesis sequence:
1. You should decide on your area of study and choose an advisor by the end of the add-drop period of the fall semester.
2. You should have a preliminary choice of topic by the end of September.
3. You should begin your literature search immediately.
4. You should have an outline and/or a progress report for your advisor before the end of classes in December.
5. You should submit your first draft to your advisor early enough (roughly by the first week in March) so that several revisions or corrections can be made before turning in your final draft to the review committee.