Report Structure

Unusually for a mathematics class, MTH 337 involves a substantial amount of writing. Reports comprise the main part of the grade for this class (70%), and need to be written using college level communication skills and full sentences. There are no exams for this class, so writing each report is expected to take a fair amount of time.

Primarily, reports should tell a story that makes sense. The mathematical and scientific background to the report needs to explained in a way that would be comprehensible to another member of the class. This puts the rest of the report in context, rather than simply presenting a set of isolated results. Any formulas that are implemented in Python should also be stated, as it cannot be assumed that the code is self-explanatory. The main question to ask yourself when writing a report is: “If I was reading this myself with no prior knowledge of the subject, would it make sense to me?”

Up to 10% of extra credit is available on every report for extra or unusual work or insight. Some examples of work that would receive extra credit include:

  • Generating additional relevant results and graphs.
  • Mathematical analysis of the results.
  • Independent research on the subject material of the report.

Report descriptions usually contain a set of exercises to be completed. The tasks that the report is addressing need to be clearly stated, as well as a description of the approach used to tackle each question or task.

Every assignment in this class involves exploring a topic in science and mathematics, generating graphical results, and saying something about those results. Graphs should be labeled in a way that makes the content of the graph clear. They should include the following information (at a minimum):

  • A title for the graph.
  • Labels for the x- and y-axes.
  • Units when displaying quantities.
  • A legend if multiple graphs are included on one figure.

Reports will always include some discussion and interpretation of the results and an appropriate conclusion. The minimum expected for assignments is that the main qualitative features of the results should be described and an attempt made at explanation. “Qualitative features” mean those that are immediately apparent without detailed analysis, such as:

  • The direction, curvature, periodicity and shape of graphs.
  • Symmetry and periodicity of images.
  • Properties of numbers and sequences of numbers such as increasing/decreasing, odd/even, perfect squares etc.

Describing and explaining the precise quantitative features of the results is a more difficult and challenging task which will usually receive extra credit.

The Python code used to generate all figures and data in the report is included as code cells in the Jupyter Notebook.

Finally, reports should include a list of references to any books, articles and websites consulted.

Report Rubric

Each report will be graded on UBlearns using a rubric similar to the one below.

Introduction Criteria %
Not Present No introductory or background material present. 0
Needs More Minimal introduction of only one or two sentences. 6
Good Understandable introduction which clearly states the report topic. 8
Excellent Full introduction to the report topic including any relevant formulas. 10
Tasks Stated    
Not Present No description of the report tasks or questions. 0
Needs More Task statements mostly missing or incomplete. 6
Good Most tasks stated but with some omissions or errors. 8
Excellent Each task clearly stated correctly. 10
Not Present No description of the methods or approach used. 0
Needs More Minimal description of how the report tasks are accomplished. 9
Good Algorithms and methods stated but not described. 12
Excellent Full description of all algorithms used and their implementation. 15
Not Present No results present. 0
Needs More Results incomplete or with major errors. 12
Good Results present but with minor omissions or errors. 16
Excellent All results included, graphs clearly labeled, units of measure stated. 20
Not Present No observations or discussion of results. 0
Needs More Results presented with minimal discussion or interpretation. 12
Good Main qualitative features of the results described. 16
Excellent Main features described with some discussion of what they mean. 20
Python Code    
Not Present No code present. 0
Needs More Code present, but with major omissions or errors. 15
Good Code working but with some minor errors. 20
Excellent All code working correctly. 25
Extra Credit    
Not Present No additional material present. 0
Needs More Some additional material present. 4
Good Substantial additional material presented. 7
Excellent Substantial additional material present in both results and analysis. 10


The code and results only account for 45% of the total grade. Just completing the exercises and submitting the code and results alone is therefore not enough for a passing grade.

Letter Grades

Report percentages are converted to letter grades using the following scale.

Percentage Letter Grade
Over 100 A+
93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
60-66 D
59 or below F