Jump to content

Math IA help: choosing a topic


Recommended Posts

Hi! I'm currently in the process of searching for a topic for my exploration in Math AA HL. I would like to focus on calculus, and I've so far come up with two possible topics:

1) optimizing the volume/surface area of plastic bottles of different shapes (the calculations should be quite ok and I feel like I could link it nicely to some real world applications; from my searches online I have however found that it's a pretty common topic, so I'm not sure if it's better to avoid it),

or 2) looking at spinning tops, most likely at their moments of inertia (I haven't done a whole lot of research on this yet, it seems relatively interesting but much harder than the first one..I'm also not sure if I wouldn't delve too much into physics).

I'm personally more inclined to choosing the first topic, but, as I said, I was worried I could lose points by doing the same thing as many others (I was thinking if I could possibly add some originality to it by looking at other types of packaging, not sure what exactly though..). Would you possibly have any suggestions on other similar topics that I could look into?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!:)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, nv_xx said:

Hi! I'm currently in the process of searching for a topic for my exploration in Math AA HL. I would like to focus on calculus, and I've so far come up with two possible topics:

1) optimizing the volume/surface area of plastic bottles of different shapes (the calculations should be quite ok and I feel like I could link it nicely to some real world applications; from my searches online I have however found that it's a pretty common topic, so I'm not sure if it's better to avoid it),

or 2) looking at spinning tops, most likely at their moments of inertia (I haven't done a whole lot of research on this yet, it seems relatively interesting but much harder than the first one..I'm also not sure if I wouldn't delve too much into physics).

I'm personally more inclined to choosing the first topic, but, as I said, I was worried I could lose points by doing the same thing as many others (I was thinking if I could possibly add some originality to it by looking at other types of packaging, not sure what exactly though..). Would you possibly have any suggestions on other similar topics that I could look into?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!:)

You're quite right about the first topic being common. It's awesome that you absolutely love the topic, but it can come across as cliché. UNLESS you put your own spin to it. Maybe optimizing the shape for usability in a specific situation, like an airplane's cockpit or a mountain biker's pocket, where the bottle should be easy to access and use, but also maximize volume within the constrains of the pocket/cockpit setting. Other situations can include: relief packages, first-aid kits, etc.

You could also add how the solution would be relevant to you. You could say that you take a particular interest in global climate change caused by plastic waste, or something along the lines of that. It would show the examiner how the problem is important to you for more than just grades. And these statements to show relevance don't have to necessarily be true; just believable and relevant.

Good Luck!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/28/2021 at 5:53 PM, ZBSA said:

You're quite right about the first topic being common. It's awesome that you absolutely love the topic, but it can come across as cliché. UNLESS you put your own spin to it. Maybe optimizing the shape for usability in a specific situation, like an airplane's cockpit or a mountain biker's pocket, where the bottle should be easy to access and use, but also maximize volume within the constrains of the pocket/cockpit setting. Other situations can include: relief packages, first-aid kits, etc.

You could also add how the solution would be relevant to you. You could say that you take a particular interest in global climate change caused by plastic waste, or something along the lines of that. It would show the examiner how the problem is important to you for more than just grades. And these statements to show relevance don't have to necessarily be true; just believable and relevant.

Good Luck!

Thank you so much for your response and for the ideas!!:)

Edited by nv_xx
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...