Capstone Experience

The capstone experience for a Major in Mathematics and Statistics consists of two components, both of which emphasize experiential learning.

  • Creative project:  Completed during the senior year (MAT 502 in the fall, MAT/STA 485 in block 6).  Students spend the fall working with their peers to find and clarify a relevant project to work on.  During block 6 they work in a cooperative learning environment to complete the project.
  • Culture points:  Emphasizes co-curricular involvement with mathematics and statistics by requiring students to acquire 30 mathematics/statistics culture points over the course of their career at Cornell. Culture points can be acquired by participating in a wide range of activities, from attending talks, solving the Problem of the Block, participating in research or mathematics/statistics competitions, or participating in Math Club. Points can be accumulated before declaring a major. 

Selected Recent Student Projects

  • A generalization of a Ramanujan integral result using elementary calculus
  • A new way to measure competitive balance in the NFL, MLB, and the NBA
  • Suction feeding on attached prey

Culture Points

More information on how culture points are earned can be seen on the Culture Points page.

Sample Paths to Satisfy Culture Points Requirement

  • Sophomore exam, 5 seminars, 10 math club events, present mathematics research project at Cornell Student Symposium
  • Sophomore exam, 5 seminars, 8 problems of the block, compete in 2 competitions, 3 math club events
  • Compete in 2 competitions, attend regional math conference, 10 problems of the block, 8 math club events, 4 seminars
  • This list is far from complete (or even NP-Complete ;p). Students can meet this requirement in many, many ways.

Assuming a student studies 10 hours for the Sophomore Exam, material they must know for future classes, the thirty required culture points would require 30 hours of effort on the part of the student over a three or four year period. Over four years that is an hour a block commitment doing activities the department feels a major would want to do whether or not culture points were awarded.