Parts 1 and 2 Due: Sunday in Week 4
Entire Paper, Parts 1 – 4 Due: Saturday 11:59pm in Week 8
Mathematical ideas area all around us, but few of us dig deep enough into them to fully understand how they apply. Beyond counting, collecting data, using logical reasoning, crunching numbers, or using software programs, there is a layer of mathematics just below the surface. You will choose one of the five given topics to explore mathematics more deeply.
This Signature Assignment, due as separate research papers in Weeks 4 and 8, synthesizes the knowledge you obtained throughout the class. You will submit a final paper in Week 8 that pulls together the mathematics you have learned.
Upon successful completion of this course, you decide to analyze one of five topics as a consultant. You are told that the project will give you full credit and a promotion if you have a thorough analysis. You must use any information or names provided.
Your objective is to provide a written report that explains the context of the case, an analysis of the problem, graphs that represent the information provided, an explanation of the calculations used, and a presentation of your results. As the consultant, you will provide a cover page, report, conclusion, recommendations, references, and an appendix with data or supporting information.
Your goal, and the purpose of this assignment, is to compile all pertinent information into one report. We will use George Polya’s Four-Step Method for Problem Solving (Chapter 1):
1. Understand the Problem
2. Devise a Plan
3. Carry Out the Plan
4. Look Back and Check
In order to organize this, an outline is provided. The assignment is broken down into four parts: Situation Analysis, Compilation of Research, Data, or Other Pertinent Information, Problem Solving Related to this Situation, and Conclusion/Recommendations.
While, in actuality, this may be a final project for this class, these projects can pay thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in an actual work situation. Why? We present analyses order to improve businesses, medicine, business, crime rates, or society. You will explain your calculations and symbolic operations in order to interpret social and economic trends for this project.
Parts 1 and 2 are due one Sunday at 11:59pm of Week 4.
A cover page, reference page, and appendix are required. The appendix comes at the end of the paper and should include, at a minimum, data from a newspaper/journal article, research study, university/corporate report, or national data set. Put this in Appendix 1. Your cover page must have your name, title of the paper, type of assignment project, course name/number, university name, term of enrollment, and optional picture that represents the study you are conducting. You will put the graphs you create in Part 2 and Part 3, although outside graphs and charts will go in the body of the paper too. Label all graphs and charts Figure 1, Figure 2 or Table 1, Table 2 or Chart 1, Chart 2 or Graph 1, Graph 2. For example, Figure 1: Growth of Pea Plants with Varying Amounts of Fertilizer.Your reference page must have a minimum of two references outside of the textbook or materials in this class. You must have three in text citations within your paper. Other appendices might include graphs or charts from outside sources, although some of these should be in the body of the paper in order to present your findings so that the reader can see what you are conveying.
Part 1: Primary Situation Analysis (3 – 4 paragraphs):
1. Before you can examine the data, you must understand the problem. Your first two paragraphs should discuss the importance of this issue or situation. You need a minimum of two references (minimum of 3 in text citations) that present the history, background, or underlying ideas in order to frame the discussion. You must cite your sources and put a minimum of two references in the reference page outside of the textbook.
Your next two paragraphs should introduce the company/organization and why it is important to them. Please include:
a. The basic question you, as the researcher, want to address.
b. A description of the historical and practical context, variables, units, and example/application to the real world.
c. The problems you might encounter with missing variables or information.
d. A minimum of two references to outside sources such as data from a newspaper/journal article, research study, university/corporate report, or national data set.
e. One or more graphs, charts, images to give the reader a visual understanding of the background of the topic.
f. The issue’s importance to the readers
g. A description of the information you must collect and how it relates to the big picture of social and economic trends.
Part 2: Compilation of Research, Data, or Other Pertinent Information (3 – 4 paragraphs)
Your next step is to collect and organize information. The research you collect will be included in part 2. Since each study is different, you will compile whatever you need to analyze your situation. You will describe and accurately compute symbolic operations. This part of the study will include:
a. Data, calculations, and other quantitative and qualitative information.
b. Graphs and charts should be presented to explain your specific research or company situation.
c. Additional elements of the actual data that supports your research or company situation
d. An explanation about how the data/information you collected fits into the big picture, like social and economic factors.
Part 3: Problem Solving Related to this Situation (2 – 4 paragraphs)
3. Assuming that all assumptions have been met, it is now time for you to conduct some analysis. You might want to add some statistical data like measures of the center, distribution, skewness, correlation, probability, or hypotheses.
a. Describe the assumptions you made.
b. Analyze the information you collected and determine if your data supports the research you have done.
c. Connect your research findings to the research you collected in Part 1 and to the real world setting you presented in Part 2.
d. Going back to the problem, what did you determine is best for your company, organization, or issue?
Part 4: Conclusion and Recommendations (2 – 4 paragraphs)
4. Use your research to interpret and explain the information you collected. Consider your project in terms of social and economic factors.
a. What can you infer?
b. What information might lead you to a different conclusion?
c. What variables are missing?
d. What additional information would be valuable to help draw a more certain conclusion?
e. What are your recommendations?
f. What follow up study might be helpful?
Hint: This is your conclusion, but it is also a window to further research and analysis.
Final Comments Before you Begin
Computers and calculators are good at yielding results, but such results typically require the careful interpretation that breathes life into an otherwise meaningless set of information and outcomes. We should recognize that a result is not automatically valid simply because it was computer-generated. Computers do not think, even though they crunch out results.
The key in this study is to have this research project make sense in the context of the real world. So be sure to criticize, analyze, and connect the information to the question to be answered in a clear way.
Plagiarism Note:
Your paper will be submitted through You will get a percent that represents the amount your paper is similar to or copied from another source.
(1) You may not copy your paper or use a reference without quotes or giving credit to the original author.
(2) You may not use a paper you wrote from a prior course, even if it is the same class you are taking now.
(3) If your percent is on or below 30%, you are fine. If your Turnitin similarity percent is 30 – 60%, a warning may be sent either to your advisor or to a school administrator and you will have to resubmit a new version with a late penalty determined by your instructor. If your percent is over 60%, you will receive an F on the paper.
FORMAT: Word document, with embedded Excel charts, graphs, figures, and tables.
Final Paper Length (note: the draft, due in Week 4, will be shorter because it only includes half of the material):
Title page: You should have a cover page. The cover page should have the specific title of your study (MATU 103 Paper does not clearly define the topic you are presenting), your name, Brandman University, MATU 103, term, and year. You might find it helpful to include an image of something representative of the study. This is not necessary, but may provide a visual context for your report.
APA or MLA Format with name and page number on each page
Write Up/Body: The body should be 5 – 8 pages with graphs, images, screen shots of data output, and text included. The reference page is separate as is the appendices. Please use a “page break” to separate the cover from the body and the references from the body and the appendices from the reference page.
APA or MLA Format with name and page number on each page
References: Please include all articles, books, websites, publications, or other information that helped you reach your conclusion. The references come before the appendix. At least two references are required not including the textbook.
Appendices: You must have an appendix; this part, at the end of your paper, might be an additional 1-2 pages. In the appendix, include your given data as well as supplemental charts and graphs outside of the ones included in your paper. You may also want to include computations, but this is not necessary. It may be helpful to you when you refer to this later or if the reader of the report wanted to review your computations. Label the appendices, Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc.
Note: The draft with Part 1 of this assignment is due on Sunday night at 11:59pm of Week 4. The final paper with Parts 1-4 is due on Saturday night at 11:59pm of Week 8.
You must choose from one of these five topics:
1. Computers
There is practically no where you can turn where there is not a computer, tablet, phone, or other digital device. Additionally, with artificial intelligence, these machines are building the capacity to anticipate what you want and answer just about any question. We talk about Big Data, which is the idea that large data sets are being collected and churned through computers from the thousands of digital actions and recorded interactions we take each day. What is Big Data and give examples of how it is applied? In your consultant role, you will prepare a document that explains to the company leaders the concepts and mathematics behind computer decision making (including binary code, artificial intelligence, and Big Data). How do computers make decisions? What is quantum computation and how is it applied? Where are we headed technologically? Also, present some other advances in technology. Address the community issue of privacy in the digital age as well. Use this 2013 Corning glass company video for some inspiration –
2. Home Buying Decisions
Peter wants to buy a house. Ads say that he can get a subprime rate, ARM, extended loan, and other buying options. You are asked to come in and analyze this for Peter, but you need to get your arms around this situation. Before you start your study, you decide to research what happened in the housing market in 2008. Why did it happen? What were the community issues surrounding this economic decline? Briefly explain the social and economic trends in home buying along with graphs that show home purchases over the past decade. What is projected for the future? Peter has $100,000 to put down on the home. He earns $80,000 per year. You are to provide a quantitative analysis of purchasing, interest rates, and the growth potential of the home. What locations are good? What is a good investment? Although his job is in Irvine, California and he would like to reside in Orange County, he does not think that is possible. Give Peter four specific housing options from your research on homes in Orange County with the financial breakdown for his buying decision making. Where he can live? What should he do? Why?
3. Fractals
Fractals were developed by Benoit Mandelbrot and are used in dozens of fields. If you go to Epcot Center in Disney World you will see in the Imagination Center’s fractals and fractal creation zone. The use of fractals has exploded. Geographers, cartographers, filmmakers, and biologists began to see how they could use fractals. In this consulting assignment, you work for a production company, Steelberg Films. The head of Steelberg films, Mike Steelberg, has approached you about using fractals in his filmmaking to render fractal-designed realistic landscapes and ocean formations. He wants you to create a presentation on fractals, including the history, geometry, and applications in film and media. He wants to know what other films have used fractals, the basics of how to create them, some examples, and what you recommend for the spaceship scenes he wants to make for his new movie, Mars Landing. Briefly explain the social and economic opportunities of fractal geometry in society. Also present the challenges and opportunities of the use of drones used in filmmaking.
4. Cryptanalysis/Code Breaking
Although cryptanalysis and code making/breaking sounds like the undercover work of spies, it is part of your everyday life whether you know it or not. Your personal information is out there in digital form. Most of this is encrypted, but some is vulnerable to attack and people’s identity (social security numbers, names, images, etc.) are taken each year. Your company, Music and Film Innovators (MFI), has discovered that some of the music and music videos it creates have been stolen and used by other music/film creators. You have been asked to write up a report on the mathematics of cryptanalysis, calculations/data collection in cybersecurity, and prevalence of intellectual property/identity/copyright theft, and ways to protect your company’s creations and personnel data so that hackers cannot attack you. Present the various ways cybercriminals can attack MFI, statistical data that shows what, how, and who is doing this, graphs that outline your case, and ways MFI can protect itself. Add a couple of paragraphs on the three main credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and how they use cryptanalysis information to secure MFI’s data and that of their employees. What are your recommendations? Briefly explain the social and economic trends of encryption and decryption systems.
5. Retail Sales
When we enter a supermarket, department store, or shopping mall, we do not think about mathematics of retail sales, but it is everywhere. Businesses survive because they analyze customer purchasing and consumer choices. They also design stores so that they can maximize sales. Volume shopping is the key to increasing sales. In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, present numerical and graphical data on consumer purchases. What retail stores, products, and areas have done better over the past decade? What products are leaving the marketplace? What retail stores have hired more people? Why? Present numerical and graphical data on marketplace trends. How have stores been redesigned to capture the interest of consumers? Give quantitative and qualitative data that supports these store and mall redesigns. What issues should the community be aware of regarding the changing trends in retail sales? What is happening now with the closing of many mall stores in favor or online stores? Where does Amazon fit into the big picture of sales?
1. Cover Page (5 points) with the title of your study, your name, type of assignment, Brandman University, MATU 103, term of enrollment, and year of attendance. A picture on the cover representing your paper is welcomed. Note that the paper must have your name on each page with the page number. You must have 1 inch margins and be in a standard text format like Times New Roman.
2. Labeling – (5 points) All images, charts, graphs, must be titled, labeled., and numbered in proper format.
3. Situation Analysis Part 1 (40 points) explaining the topic of the paper and citing a minimum of 2 sources outside of the textbook that add more depth to the topic. These sources must be in APA or MLA format in your reference section. Give the background, explain the history, and describe the underlying ideas that frame the discussion. One or more charts/graphs/images are required with a source and title of the chart/graph/images.
4. Research and Data Part 2 i(40 points) s required that support the explanation of the situation in part 2 along with an explanation of how that data fits into the big picture. You should cite your sources for your part two research and data.
5. Reference Page (5 Points) – The references to the part 1 research and parts 1 and 2 research and data should be in APA or MLA format. Make sure you “page break” your reference section and appendix.
6. Appendix (5 Points) – An appendix is required and should include or original data, tables, or information that would be a burden to the reader if it were in the body of the paper. While important charts, graphs, images, critical data, and research related to the discussion should be in the body of the text, additional information like data, spreadsheets, documents, templates, spreadsheets, code, supplementary materials should be in the appendix.

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