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Math HL IA Topic


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Hi guys, 

I was having a lot of trouble picking a topic for my IA, because from what I know we have to pick a topic that goes beyond the syllabus? So my teacher suggested the topic of Safe and Effective Medication Dosage (Calculus Modelling). It's great because she'll definitely like it, but would the IB? I've been able to find a lot of papers on the topic - she got it from a different program's Calculus book so, yeah, it's fairly well-known - so I don't know if that would make it less impressive.

I'm also not sure whether the topic would let me go in-depth enough. It seems simple if I take it just on a basis of dosages, time between them, and time for medicine to degrade. Otherwise I would think of applying it more specifically to a certain medicine, maybe the different forms of taking doses, etc. Real-world variables, I mean. But maybe that'll be more biology oriented than math...

So does it seem like a topic worthy of a 17+ ? Suggestions are more than welcome (for this or for other potential topics) Thanks! :D 

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The topic can be also related to statistics. For example if the time for degradation is a distribution, then you can find the variance or standard deviation (in science it's comparable to uncertainties), then how does the variance/uncertainties propagate to other calculations, for example time between doses? You can also fit the data to theory (from differential equations) and you can find constants for the differential equation and see how well it fits the model. Regression formulas have complex mathematical theory that you can talk about. Many students miss the opportunity to discuss derivations of regression formulas but just blindly use them. 

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  • 4 years later...

Hi there,

I know you’ve already graduated and probably don’t want to think about IB again haha, but I was wondering (if you ever see this), if you wouldn’t mind giving me a brief outline (you can be as specific/vague as you want) of what you did or how you started because I’m interested in a similar topic and don’t really know where to begin. 

Thanks so much, your help would be greatly appreciated. 

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