Independent Study

All students at Wooster complete an Independent Study (I.S.) during their senior year, and the I.S. is of central importance in our department. I.S. is an opportunity to expand the student’s understanding of the discipline and to do significant work in an area of personal interest. The ability to engage in independent learning is one of the primary goals of the department and of the College at large, and the successful completion of the I.S. thesis represents the culmination of the student’s academic program.

Over two semesters, each student designs a plan of study, completes the I.S. thesis, and gives an oral presentation and defense of the project. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, the student is free to pursue virtually any area of interest within the discipline.

Examples of past I.S. projects from the department include:

  • Analysis of the relationship between Prices and transactional Drivers of Bitcoin
  • Gardening Algorithms for the Fruitful Future: Decision Trees and Random Forest Algorithms to Predict Child Malnutrition Populations Globally
  • Predictive Modeling for the Women’s Division I National Championship Bracketing
  • Investigation of the Development and Behavior of Heterogeneous Tumors
  • Understanding Municipal Bond Ratings Using Ordered Multinomial Logistic Regression
  • An Investigation of Markov Chains and their Application toHospital Patient Flow