MA 105: Selected Topics in MathematicsProject Proposal Rubric

Your final project is to present a poster describing how you used quantitative reasoning to make a decision. You will also have to write a three to five page paper describing your question, the data you collected, and the decision you reached.

Choose a decision to be made based on two quantities -- for example, you might consider price and gas mileage when buying a car, or distance from your house and number of slopes when choosing a ski area. You will need to determine those quantities for four or more options -- four brands of car, four different ski areas, etc.

For your project proposal, submit one-half to one page describing what decision you will be making, what two quantities you will be studying, why this topic is of particular interest to you, and the sources you plan to use in your research. (When collecting data on product quality, please try to find relatively unbiased sources like edmunds.com or Consumer Reports rather than sources with a financial interest in your choice like BestBuy or Herb Chambers.)

Your project proposal grade will be based on three features: completeness of proposal, appropriateness of topic and quality of presentation. Each feature will be graded on a scale of 0 to 4. Your total grade will be computed as follows:

Note that it is possible to score 4 + 4 + 4 = 12 points on this project. A grade of 10 is an A+ but students whose work is truly exceptional may score over 10.

 Score Completeness 0 Proposal fails to describe the decision to be made, quantities studied, motivation, and references. 1 Proposal fails to describe the decision to be made or omits the quantities studied, motivation, and references. 2 Proposal omits the quantities studied, motivation, or references. 3 Proposal clearly describes the decision to be made, quantities studied, motivation for making this decision, and references to be used. 4 Proposal provides a detailed discussion of the decision to be made, quantities studied, motivation for making this decision, and references to be used.

 Score Topic 0 It is not clear how quantitative reasoning is useful in making this decision. 1 It is unclear either what decision is being made or which quantities will be used to make the required decision. 2 Decision and quantities are described but not well specified (e.g. "Which car should I buy?" or "What's the best ski area?") 3 The decision to be made is clearly defined (e.g. "What 20GB MP3 player should I buy?" or "What is the cheapest ski area to visit in New England?") as are the quantities to be used in the decision. 4 The decision and quantities are clearly described and the results will be interesting to the class.

 Score Presentation 0 Unable to discern topic from reading proposal. 1 Proposal contains more than 3 sentence fragments, misspelled words or illegible words. 2 Proposal contains 3 or more grammatical errors or 1 or 2 sentence fragments, misspelled words or illegible words. 3 Proposal presents the topic using complete sentences and correctly formed paragraphs. 4 Proposal is well written using complete sentences, well formed paragraphs, and flows smoothly from introduction through discussion to conclusion.

MA105