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so over the summer our teacher asked us to do the first draft of our maths IA. I spent hours trying to find a topic and now that I've picked one I'm not sure I can use it.


The topic I would like to work on is called linear programming or linear optimisation. Now this is not on the list of suggested topics and I simply don't know whether it's hard enough/appropriate for the maths IA.


So my question is: does anybody know whether I can use this topic??? I don't want to do the whole thing just to then get back to school and be told I cannot use it. So I would really really appreciate some help and answers.



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You don't have to pick something from the suggested topics list, to me it just sounds like it's something the IB lists to give you an idea of what kinds of topics are appropriate for the IA and isn't meant to be an end-all to the topics you can work with.


Whether or not it's appropriate or mathy-enough depends on what you want to do with the topic. Your IA should be focused on a topic from the SL curriculum and use math appropriate to that level or just slightly beyond that level. You're not expected to perform HL math-level work, and it should be more advanced than something a math studies person would be using. An example would be if I wanted to do my IA on statistics, I wouldn't want to only do chi-squared tests because that's math studies level, but I'm not expected to have to use things like null/alternate hypotheses or linear transformations. Do a little research into this topic and find the parts of it that interest you and are appropriate to your level of math.

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