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Mathematics Portfolio Tips and Queries

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Number one tip for the write-up:

Make it flow, don't number it step by step as if it were just a math problem. Treat this more like a report or an essay (with lots of math in it).

If you would still like to put in step-by-step, it is possible to do it subtly by dividing the essay into sections (each with its own title) and before you start pouring out the numbers, explain how the current section ties in with the previous one.

Type-specific:

For type I portfolios, test the general statements you obtain from the patterns with different number types and hence speak of its limitations.

For type II portfolios, it is open to interpretation; so as long as your calculations and numbers are within the boundaries of the prompt and you can justify them, it's all good.

Edited by ∫ Jorge δx
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Very comprehensive set of tips Desy. This thread should be helpful.

My tips:

1. Remember to investigate every point before reaching a conclusion. This is one of the easiest things to do, but still people forget it and lose points unnecessarily. The investigation is just where you look at the things you're given and see how it works out for different values. See if a pattern emerges.

2. Always make sure you mark every topic and sub-topic clearly to make it easier for your teacher and the moderators.

3. Whenever you reach a conclusion on a topic, for example if you have formulated an equation or formula, justify it with a proof(if possible).

4. Include a small section in the end where you go a bit further than the portfolio and slightly extend the problem to see what would happen if you continue your investigation into larger systems.

5. Don't worry about the length of your portfolio. Even though some teachers might say that you can't have more than x pages, there is no upper or lower limit to the number of pages. Use the space you need and don't worry how many pages the other people in your grade got. We all have different writing styles.

6. And lastly, please use a good word processor to write your portfolio, because you don't want to lose those notation marks!

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What Makes a successful IB Internal Assessment?

1) Correct answers throughout.

2) All questions answered in a logical order.

3) Audience is the teacher.

4) Identify and address the principal goal of the assignment.

5) Written explanations of difficult or less obvious steps in work.

6) Word processed

7) Including use of technology for graphs and equations.

What makes your IA much more superior?

1. Attention to detail.

2. Consistent significant figures or decimal place rounding.

3. Use of proper notation such as “ »” for approximations.

4. Avoid calculator notation such as 4*5, x^2, or 2.3E4.

5. Graphs are clear with logical scales and labeled axes.

6. Audience is another student of the same level.

7. Reader doesn’t have to refer to the assignment sheet.

8. Reads smoothly and effortlessly.

9. Answers are not numbered unless required.

10. Single wordprocessed

11. Work stands alone.

12. Integrate an equation writing program, spreadsheets, graphing program, etc.

13. Comment on everything included.

14. Explain steps each time a new mathematical process is used.

15. Avoid repetition of processes already explained.

16. Graphs, charts, etc. appear on the same page where they are explained.

17. Identify and address the hidden goals of the assignment.

18. Most good assignments leave some space for the top students to explore

19. A good question will often have several possible approaches for the solution

20. No fluff or spacefillers

My advice to you?

1. Work through all problems with pencil and calculator before writing it up.

2. Gives an overall feel for the project so that that student can start to address the main goal, and even insights, right from the start.

3. Write a brief introduction rather than jumping right in to the first question.

4. Sets a tone of readability.

5. Math SL/HL students can pretend that they are writing a chapter in a textbook.

6. Take pride in the look and feel of their work.

7. Math Studies students can approach the IA Project as they would a science lab.

8. Write a hypothesis.

9. Collect data.

10. Analyze data.

11. Draw conclusions.

12. Discuss possible errors or improvements.

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Wow... this is very helpful; I am currently working on Type I and it's due tomorrow >.>; And my teacher kept saying that she really can't explain anything and to just follow the instructions on the sheet >.> Thanks!

We did Type II last year, so I'll give a few tips on that so this post is relevant =)

- 5 pages does not adequately cover the whole topic... as I found out to my detriment :P

- Make sure you explain why you chose a certain type of graph to model the data with, and how well it fits.

- One or two models are sufficient as long as they are explained and discussed fully.

-Revise the model; i.e model the data and then go back and modify the equation to fit better and include all that in the paper.

-Just to be safe, make graphs about a quarter-page big. I made mine smaller, and I thought they were legible enough, but my teacher couldn't read them :wub:

-Don't procrastinate. Seriously >.>

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How to Use Technology to Generate A Function

This procedure below are meant for TI-Nspire™ calculators.

1. Add Lists & Spreadsheet

2. Put in the values of your variables in column A and B

3. Insert a new page

4. Add Data & Statistics

5. Plot Properties > Add X Variable > choose your independent variable

6. Plot Properties > Add Y Variable > choose your dependent variable

7. Data series will appear

8. Analyze > Regression

  1. Show Linear (mx+b)
  2. Show Linear (a+bx)
  3. Show Median - Median
  4. Show Quadratic
  5. Show Cubic
  6. Show Quartic
  7. Show Power
  8. Show Exponential
  9. Show Logarithmic

  1. Show Sinusoidal
  2. Show Logistic (d=0)
  3. Show Logistic (d≠0)

9. Pick one desired regression

10. Trendline will appear and the equation will also be shown

11. You are done

Unfortunately TI-Nspire cannot display the R² value.

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How to Model a Quartic Function

howtomodelafunction.jpg

The full PDF version of this image can be downloaded here

You can model other polynomial functions using the same method because the idea is about the same.

If you don't want to use rref, you can actually solve for a, b, c and d using elimination and substitution.

Also, you can use inverse to solve the matrices instead of transforming it into an augmented matrix and doing rref. Be careful, just find the inverse using calculator, don't do it yourself because finding the inverse of 3x3 or 4x4 matrix is not as easy as finding the inverse of 2x2 matrix.

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Could I somehow see a sample? So I would know what it exactly looks like? :(

Of course! Purchase the VIP subscription or become a VIP member and just download all the IA examples that we have in the Files section.

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Write in third person. Do not use I, YOU and WE.

By third person do you mean "he, she, it, they"? This sounds a bit bizarre :o to me so can you pls specify this?

Thanxx :rolleyes:

Where does it say that you cannot write in first person? I think it makes more sense to write in 1st person since YOU are the one doing the investigation, but 3rd person is fine too. It's not like you get any marks taken off based on which person you use. It's a math IA, not an essay :rolleyes:

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Where does it say that you cannot write in first person? I think it makes more sense to write in 1st person since YOU are the one doing the investigation, but 3rd person is fine too. It's not like you get any marks taken off based on which person you use. It's a math IA, not an essay :rolleyes:

mmm yeees, but since it's an academic writing I would avoid writing in first person. so I would advise people to write in third person

By third person do you mean "he, she, it, they"? This sounds a bit bizarre :o to me so can you pls specify this?

Thanxx :rolleyes:

let's say you want to say:

"I will draw a circle in Autograph"

instead you should say:

"a circle will be drawn in Autograph"

however you can say something like "in this portfolio I am going to investigate ..." and "this is the end of my portfolio..."

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Unfortunately, I am not a very math-inclined person... I excel in the humanities and fail at math! Yesterday, we were given our portfolio, type II and I started to panic. When we did the practice portfolio in math 20, I got a 6/20 on it! :dash: I really REALLY would like to get a great mark on this one! Sooooo... Are there any tips you could offer that would help me ease my anxiety and perhaps get myself a decent mark? Anything you can offer would be greatly appreciated :D

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Type II portfolios usually involve modelling a function of some sort. Your math portfolio mark doesn't really depend on whether or not you are good at math, especially type II. It depends more how hard you work at it. If you work on it little by little, you are far more likely to do well than if you leave it to the night before it's due. I remember doing my type II portfolio and I made some mistakes as I was working through it so I had to backtrack and fix them, and it was good that I had the time to do so. But I made the mistake of leaving my type I portfolio to the last minute so I found it to be a hellish experience :blum:

Don't panic when you get your portfolio, but try to start as soon as you can.

- Read directions very carefully!

- If you have questions while you're working on it, don't be afraid to ask your teachers, friends, or even post in the math portfolio help threads.

- Make it look nice and professional, but don't go overboard on the appearance! The math working is the most important part.

- Use technology whenever you can (make sure you indicate where and which technology you will be using)

- Don't procrastinate too much...

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my teacher gave us an example (the only one actually) where it is written in I (first person). So that would mean it's okay, huh? :D

it is not a big deal. but in academic writing, writing in first person should be avoided.

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Would it be a good idea to roughly present the historic behind the main subject? My portfolio is about complex numbers and roots of polynomial functions. I thought it would be great to talk a little about the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, the origins of complex numbers and such in a small paragraph (about 60 words) at the beginning of the document. I don't know if IB like these kinds of introduction... I sure will define the work to do and everything in the second paragraph of my introduction!

Edited by iHubble

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Would it be a good idea to roughly present the historic behind the main subject? My portfolio is about complex numbers and roots of polynomial functions. I thought it would be great to talk a little about the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, the origins of complex numbers and such in a small paragraph (about 60 words) at the beginning of the document. I don't know if IB like these kinds of introduction... I sure will define the work to do and everything in the second paragraph of my introduction!

2-5 sentences of that would be awesome. don't need to talk about them in great details though as it's not an EE.

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Hi Guys!

So I'm coming up with my IA, and I just have some questions for you guys about Mathematics IAs in general.

1. Third Person

The IA has to be third person, but is "we" allowed for Math? Isn't it that Math textbooks use it as well, like, we now add the... etc. What do you think?

2. Math Processing

What Math processing software do you use to type your Math IAs in? I just realize that Microsoft Word hangs when you're in page 20 onwards. Any ideas?

3. General Statement

Are there any helps that can help a person can get when writing general statements? What are the conventions for writing general statements?

4. Tips for Math IAs

This is my first time to accomplish a Math IA, so any tips would be most welcome, and needed! :) Help!

That's it! If you could give me any more tips, please do so! Thank you guys, you're the best!

Edited by The Filipino Limner

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