Independent Study

Senior Independent Study

To meet the graduation requirements of The College of Wooster, the major in mathematics requires a two-course Independent Study Project, which culminates in an Independent Study Thesis along with an oral presentation describing the Thesis. The additional college requirement of one course in Independent Study is satisfied by work in courses above 212 taken to fulfill the major.

Independent Study is of central importance in the mathematics major and in the entire academic experience of the student. The ability to engage in independent study is one of the primary goals of the major, and the successful completion of the I.S. Thesis represents the culmination of the student's academic program.

Guide to Independent Study in Mathematics (.pdf)

2018 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Jianqiu Bai
    Connecting Five Stones: Artificial Intelligence Implementation for Go-moku in Unity (Math and Computer Science)
  • Aidan Brown
    The First Spacewalk: An Exploration of the Mathematical and Cultural Implications of the Space Race (Math and Russian Studies)
  • Lauren Burke
    Are We There Yet? A Traveling Salesman Approach to Road-trip Optimization
  • Scarlett (Junyi) Chen
    Understanding Human Well-Being (Math and Philosophy)
  • Robert Gates
    The Earth-Moon Problem: A Study in Topological Graph Theory
  • Nicholas Hagopian-Zirkel
    Analyzing and Solving the Nurse Scheduling Problem (Math and Computer Science)
  • Vedica Jha
    Dispatches from the Fly Killer: A mathematical model that studies the correlation between sleep fragmentation and longevity in Drosophila melanogaster (Math and Biology)
  • Colby Jeffries
    Sports Analytics with Computer Vision  (Math and Computer Science)
  • Sonia Malik
    Fractals and Fractal Time Series
  • Thomas Matlak
    Algorithmic Music Composition (Math and Computer Science)
  • Paige McKean
    She Shoots, She Scores: Creating a Mathematical Model to Predict Expected Shot Values in Women's NCAA Division III Basketball
  • Ethan Myers
    A Behavioral Approach to CAPM (Math and Business Economics)
  • Khoa Le Tue Nguyen
    Pretending to Be Human: An Automated Tool to Writing Mathematical Proofs (Math and Computer Science)
  • Than Phuong Nguyen
    Understanding Municipal Bond Ratings Using Ordered Multinomial Logistic Regression (Math and Business Economics)
  • Sarah Padrutt
    An Investigation of Markov Chains and Their Application to Hospital Patient Flow
  • Jennifer Shepheard
  • Kelly Steurer
    Crime Around the World: Using Mathematical Modeling Techniques to Model Aggregated Worldwide Crime Rates
  • Maxwell Taylor
    Logic -> Proof -> REST (
    Math and Computer Science)
  • Sabrina Tobe
    Something Fishy: A Comprehensive Analysis of Terror Plots Subject to Binomial and Poisson Distributions
  • Shiwani Varal
    WWTS: Inclusion of Blocking Power for a Complete Voting Analysis in the IMF (Math and Political Science)
  • Ralph (Ruifeng) Xu
    On Hausdorff Dimension and Julia Sets
  • Zhirui Zhang 
    Artifiical Intelligence with Reinforcement Learning in First Person Shooter Games (Math and Computer Science)

2017 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Sophia Anderson
    A Mathematical Modeling Examination of the Changing Social, Economic, and Environmental Indicators for Infant Mortality Across the United States
  • Aaron Brown
    An Exploration of the Surreal Number System
  • Matthew Buranosky
    A Stroll Through Cantor's Paradise: Appraising the Semantics of Transfinite Numbers (Math and Philosophy)
  • Dana Faust
    Math Rules Everything Around Me: An Examination of Fractals and Their Real World Applications
  • Zhao Gao
    On Degree Bound for Syzgies of Polynomial Invariants
  • Dana Foley
    Monotonic Untangling to Solve the Unknotting Problem (Math and Computer Science)
  • Emily Howerton
    On Rationality and Morality: Three Kinds of Approaches (Math and Philosophy)
  • Alex Iudice
    Clear Communication: Construction and Implementation of Error-Correcting Codes (Math and Computer Science)
  • Nanako Ito
    Understanding Gödel's Incompleteness Proofs
  • Nan Jiang
    Building a Course Recommender System for The College of Wooster (Math and Computer Science)
  • Jacob Kail
    Smallball: A Statistical Analysis of the 2016 SEC Baseball Season
  • Sanjana Kumbhani
    The Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model and a Test for Efficiency in the Underlying Stock Market (Math and Business Economics)
  • Gina Lam
    Bidder's Behavior Model and Seller Revenue in eBay's But it Now Option
  • Jonathan Ledesma Chavez 
    Recession Analysis: Understanding Rather than Assuming
  • Tori McCoy
    The Rubik's Cube: A Look into Group Theory
  • Max Mindlin 
    Consumer Decision in the Digital Audio Market Using Behavioral Game Theory
  • Conor Maley
    Evolving Monkeys into Sharks: An Analysis of Daily Fantasy Football Drafting Strategies (Math and Computer Science)
  • Robin Morillo
    Reinforcement Learning in Card Games: No Thanks!
  • Preston Pozderac
    Blinded by the Light: An Investigation of the Wave Propagation of Vector Modes of Light in a Spherically Symmetric Refractive Index Profile (Math and Physics)
  • Ruben Aguero Quinteros
    Skilled Emigration, Return, and Human Capital Formation: A Game Theoretic Approach (Math and Economics)
  • Tyson Vogel
    An Exploration of Hidden Markov Models with Applications to the Stock Market
  • Haven Wagner
    Two-sided Eulerian Numbers
  • Stuart Young
    The Search for GTO: Determining Optimal Poker Strategy Using Linear Programming
  • Marjorie Zeager
    Calculating the Course: The Impact of Mathematical Research on the Undergraduate Mathematics Curriculum, 1930-1950 (Math and History)
  • Yunjia Zeng 
    Modeling Double Major Data and Predicting Organic Chemistry Grade at The College of Wooster (Math and Computer Science)

2016 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Thomas Ames
    Logicism and the Continuum Hypothesis (Math and Philosophy)
  • Michael Bush
    A Comparative Analysis of Photon and Electron Wave Functions in Spherically Symmetric Potentials (Math and Physics)
  • Adam Coppock
    Applying Modern Portfolio Theory to Optimal Portfolio Construction
  • Kiera Dobbs
    Optimal Placement of Family Planning Centers
  • Jeffrey Giegold
    Shooters vs. Goalies: Analyzing Shootouts in the NHL with Game Theory
  • Melissa Griffith
    The Ineffability of "Nothing" (Math and Philosophy)
  • Katelynn French
    Bees in the Trap: A Mathematical Approach to Modeling the Mutualism Between Flowering Plants and Honey Bees
  • Rob Handloser
    Hall of Fame Classification Using Logistic Regression Analysis
  • Lucas Hunt
    The Extra Point Rule Change and Its Effects on Decision Making in the NFL
  • Sayantan Mitra
    Holding Hands Against the Unknown: Using Markov Chains to Model Informal Insurance Arrangements in Developing Societies (Math and Economics)
  • Nakesha Newsome
    Dirichlet Tesselations
  • Varunavi Newar
    Legalization of Prostitution and Its Impact on the Market for Human Trafficking (Math and Business Economics)
  • Paroma Palchoudhuri
    An Experimental and Mathematical Study of Avalanche Behavior (Math and Physics)
  • Michael Sokolich
    An Investigation of the Burning Numbers of Graphs and Trees (Math and Computer Science)
  • Jacob Solomon
    To Blend or Not to Blend: Understanding the  Impact of Technology in Mathematics Education

2015 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Gregory Yerkes
    Vector Space Modeling: An Intuitive Apprach to Information Retrieval
  • Philip Sizek
    Set Theory Building: Numbers from Nothing
  • Marjorie Etheridge
    An Examination of the Golden Ratio in Nature and Music
  • Stephen Skoch
    I Don't Play Chess: A Study of Chess Piece Generating Polynomial
  • Sebastian Weber
    The Scope of Fractals: Geometry, Iteration, and Application
  • Christine Hagan
    The Cost of a Child: A Bayesian Model of FertilityDecisions of Women in Academic
  • Joshua Foerst
    Why Apply: Building a Predictive Model to Quantify the Factors that Lead a Domestic Student to Apply to The College of Wooster
  • Joseph Smith
    Topological Defects in Nematic Liquid Crystals and the Behavior Induced by Adding Polystyrene Microspheres to 5CB (Math and Physics)
  • Ian Vernier
    The Mental Game: An Analysis of Game Theory and Baseball
  • Anqi Huang
    Matrix-Analytic Methods in Queueing Theory
  • Colin Woodward
    The Use of Data and Statistical Analysis to Predict an Outcome
  • Elliot Wainwright
    Avalanches on a Critical Conical Bead Pile: Exploration of Tuning Parameter Space and Mathematical Foundations (Math and Physics)
  • Brian Maddock
    Modifying the Virasoro-Shapiro Amplitude to Correspond to the Glueball Trajectory  (Math and Physics)
  • Eli Barr
    Read at Your Own Risk: An Analysis of Risk the Board Game Using Graph Theory
  • Meredith Schervish
    XH-π bonding in systems of indole and benzene using IBBCEAS and a bioinformatics analysis of protein secondary structure using graph theory  (Math and Chemistry)
  • Priyanka Datta
    Glory, Glory Fan United! A Study of the Relationship Between Fan Loyalty and Team Performance in English Premier League Football  (Math and Economics)
  • Daniel Miller
    Modeling Crime Using Social Interaction  (Math and Economics)
  • Lindy Howard
    To Flip or not to Flip? A Study of the Effectiveness of the Flipped Classroom Model for Teaching Mathematics
  • Andrew Hoover
    Conquering Carcassonne  (Math and Computer Science)
  • Paula Trautvetter
    Stopping Segregation: Using a Mathematical Model to RaciallyBalance Schools in the 1970s
  • Jai Kedia
    Beyond β: An Analysis of Alternative Risk Measures (Math and Business Economics)

2014 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Zachary Sessa
    The Soviet War in Afghanistan and the Application of U.S. Special Forces: A Combat Analysis (Math and Russian Studies)
  • Rebecca Wardop
    A Bayesian Model of Fertility Decisions in Relationship to Female Labor Force Participation
  • Josephine Rey
    Analysis of Factors that Influence the Probability of a Goal in the >National Hockey League
  • Xiameng Ye
    Evolving Lambda-Calculus Functions Using Genetic Programming (Math and Computer Science)
  • Danielle Shepherd
    Go With the Flow: Developing Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations According to the Navier-Stokes Equations (Math and Physics)
  • Steve Hagen
    The Black-Scholes Options Pricing Model and its Implications on the Underlying Security Market (Math and Business Economics)
  • Jarrod Mancine
    Applying Markov Chains to Baseball
  • Julia Land
    Mistletoe Marketing: An Analysis of How Christmas Stimuli Affect Consumer Behavior
  • Mary Sefcik
    Clarifying Chaos: A Look into Chaotic Dynamical Systems
  • Prakrit Shrestha
    Universe from Scratch: Exploring Quantum Gravity in 2+1 Dimensions Using the Causal Dynamical Triangulation Method (Math and Physics)
  • Cal Thomay
    Markov Chain Theory with Applications to Baseball
  • Giang Nguyen
    The Analytic Hierarchy Process: A Mathematical Model for Decision Making Problems
  • Kazuki Kyotani
    Twitter Can Predict Stocks (Math and Computer Science)
  • Kelly Simmons
    Problem-based Learning in Early Childhood Education
  • Sheharyar Khushnood
    Airline Fleet Assignments
  • Mike Ries
    Ranking Systems and Their Applications to Sports
  • Jacob Malone
    Modeling for our Lives: A Theoretical Study of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Through Mathematical Modeling
  • Trevor Pozderac
    Don't Get Boxed In: Connecting the Dots of Game Theory Through Computer Simulations (Math and Computer Science)
  • Sarah Laper
    Creation of a Mathematical Model and Investigation of the Kinetics of the Reaction Between the Oxalic Acid Species and the Hydroxyl Radical (Math and Chemistry)
  • Tyler Poppenwimer
    Generalist and Specialist Pollination Syndromes: A Theoretical Approach to Predict the Conditions Under Which a Generalist or Specialist Pollination Syndrome is Favoured (Math and Biology)
  • Ryan Snyder
    Keeping Your Options Open: An Introduction to Pricing Options

2013 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Theresa Albon
    The Entanglement and Relaxation of Liquid Crystal Shaped Granula Media (Math and Physics)
  • John Angelo
    Predictive Analytics on First Year Retentioin at The College of Wooster
  • Andrew Blaikie
    // (Math and Physics)
  • Kyla Davis
    The Torus and Graph Theory
  • Erin Davison
    Quaternions and Octonians
  • Anna Easterday
    Only for Honest Men: A Survey of Voting Theory
  • David Freund
    The Machete Number
  • Spencer Hall
    Optimizing Integer Arithmetic for Public Key Cryptography (Math and Computer Science)
  • Matt Lambert
    An Agent-based Model of Influenza within a College Population (Math and Computer Science)
  • Rutendo Ruzvidzo
    The Gift that Keeps on Taking: Modelling the Impact of a Natural Resource Shock on an Economy (Math and Economics)
  • Matt Schmitthenner
    A Theoretical and Experimental Pattern Analysis of Electrohydrodynamics in a Liquid Crystal System (Math and Physics)
  • Sarah Smith-Polderman
    Let's Get in the Mood: An exploration and Implementation of Data Mining Techniques to Predict Mood Based on Musical Properties of a Song
  • Ruth Steinhour
    The Truth about Lie Symmetries
  • Ashley Stopka
    A Study of Modern Geometries and Felix Klein's Erlanger Program (Math and Chinese)
  • Samuel Swartz
    My Ticket to Becoming an Athletic Director: An Analysis of Graph Theory Behind Sports Scheduling
  • Philip Wales
    ξ. (Math and Physics)
  • Allie Webb
    Extensions of the Farey Sequence and Ford Circles
  • Joseph Wilch
    Insights into the tectonic evolution of the northern Snake Range metamorphic core complex from 40 AR/39ar chronologic results, northern Snake Range, Nevada (Math and Geology)
  • Emily Williams
    The Golden Ratio
  • Kendal Wong
    Exercise Intention and Motivation: Intrapersonal Relationships, Feedback, and Personality (Math and Psychology)

2012 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Mohammad Saif Ahmad
    Parity-based Measurement and Control of the Spatial Wave Function of Photons (Math and Physics)
  • Keisha Butler
    The Prediction of Professional Basketball Games Using Artificial Neural Networks and Linear Models
  • Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads
    Using mathematical models to evaluate NFL field goal kicking
  • Joshua Daily
    Multivariate Statistics
  • Hannah Dauber
    Wooster Problem: a staff scheduling problem with an application to student activities
  • Rachel Frank
    An Exploration of Hyperbolic Geometry (Math and Studio Art)
  • Trisha Fultz
    Exploring opinion dynamics from a computational science perspective (Math and Computer Science)
  • Yanlong Hu
    Data mining and its applications (Math and Computer Science)
  • Norman Israel
    Quantum Gravity: Exploring the Causal Dynamical Triangulation Approach (Math and Physics)
  • Meredith Kiefer
    Modeling human papillomavirus with vaccination
  • Andrew Licking
    Is Efficiency Optional? A study regarding the binomial options pricing model, transactions costs, and the implications of options on market efficiency
  • Daniel Pierce
    Elements of understanding: mathematics, literature, and Nicolas Bourbaki (Math and French)
  • Evan Radkoff
    Topical Web Crawlers (Math and Computer Science)
  • Kemal Ramic
    Monte Carlo Simulations of the Clumpy Torus in Active Galactic Nucle (Math and Physics)
  • Kemar Reid
    Entrapment and Determination of the Activity of Lipase Embedded in Swellable Organosilica: Modeling Particle Aggregation and Aging of Colloidal Sol-gels (Math and Biochemistry - Molecular Biology)
  • Hannah Roberts
    Iteration Digraphs
  • Ian Sharp
    Enigmatic magic: an analysis of the role of codes and ciphers within American intelligence (Math and History)
  • Joshua Stidham
    Two-person Zero-sum Game Theory: Batter vs. Pitcher
  • Blake Sword
    Model looking at the expected number of shots to hole out on a golf course
  • Nancy TInoza
    Making Money, Making Sense: An analysis of the Modern Portfolio Theory and the Performance of alternative risk measures (Math and Economics)
  • Adam Trontz
    Similarly Intriguing and Perspectively Odd: Fractal and Projective Geometry Explored in M.C. Escher's Art
  • Andrew Valerian
    Traffic flow theory
  • Melissa Venecek
    A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Dimerization of Oxalic Acid, a Potential Reaction within Secondary Organic Aerosols (Math and Chemistry)

2011 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Kevin Nicholson
    Bertolt Brecht and David Hilbert: A Connection through Formalism (Math and German)
  • Noah Hartley-Shepherd
    Fish On: A Study of Nonlinear Elasticity and Tensors
  • Kaleb Reed
    Going Inside the Rubik's Cube
  • Xiaoru Bao
    The Derivation of the Black-Scholes Model and Its Application to Hedging
  • Anne Somers
  • Pamela Wales
    Exploring the Effects of Initial Conditions on the Kinetics of the Decomposition of Dichloroacetic Acid through a Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultraviolet Radiation Oxidation Process (Math and Chemistry)
  • Itai Njanji
    Exploring the Branch-and-Cut Algorithm (Math and Computer Science)
  • Logan Garrity
    Infinity (Math and English)
  • Sean Twining
    Printed Circuit Board Layout Optimization
  • Wenyuan Wu
    Bayesian Statistics: An Alternative Method to Insurance Pricing Practice (Math and Economics)
  • Jacob Haning
    The Interpretation of Homology Groups
  • Prachi Saraogi
    Impact of Financial Access on the Efficiency of a Portfolio: A Geometric Dissection of Portfolio Theory and Empirical Analysis of the Financial Diaries of Low-Income Households in South Africa (Math and Economics)
  • Hannah Kurtz
    An Introduction to Game Theory and its Application to Biology
  • Jason Van Houten
    An Evolutionary Study of Multimeric Phosphagen Kinases Using Ancestral Protein Reconstruction and the Prediction of Phosphagen Kinase Substrate Specificity Using Artificial Neural Networks (Math and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology)
  • Dustin Eisele
    What Factors Affect Jurors' Decisions: A Mathematical Modeling Approach to a Common Psychological Question (Math and Psychology)
  • Joshua Thomas
    Go with the Lava Flow (Math and Computer Science)
  • Bridget Kraynik
    Boom! How the Human Population Explosion Affects Our Future
  • Louisa Catalano
    Tighten Up: A Preliminary Study of Knots (Math and Physics)
  • Robert Taylor
    Selection Pressure on a Selfish Herd: Evolution of Ecological Relationships in an Agent-based Model (Math and Computer Science)
  • Derek Wyman
    The Impact of Calculators on Students' Test Scores

2010 Senior Independent Study Titles

  • Elizabeth Ottie Agyeman
    Let's See Who Takes Home the Cup this Year, 2010: Mathematical Sports Ranking
  • Marc Christian
    Differential Gene Expression of H. Bacteriophora TTO1 in Response to Heat Stress (Math and BMB)
  • Eric Enoch
    Analysis of Automotive Valve Train Springs
  • Jeff Lyman
    NO MORE RED LIGHTS! A Cellular Automaton Solution for City Traffic
  • Kristine Mann
    A Case Study Investigating Practices in Middle School Mathematics
  • John Mullett
    Analyzing Insurgency Situations with an Emphasis on the Effect of Intelligence: An Adaptation of the Lanchester Model
  • AungMaw MyoLwin
    Economic Benefits of Foot-Voting: Game Theoretic Approach (Math and Economics)
  • Mary Rhollans
    An Introduction to Disease Modeling, with a Focus on Malaria
  • Priscilla Staples
    Optimal Batting Order for The College of Wooster Fighting Scots Softball Team for the 2008 Season
  • Jared Steed
    Investigation of the Kinetics of Aqueous Dicarboxylic Acids Under Tropospheric Light Conditions and the Application of Systems of Ordinary Differential Equations to Model Chemical Kinetics (Math and Chemistry)
  • Yang Tian
    The Impact of Tariffs on Foreign Direct Investment (Math and Economics)