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Math IA: my teacher keeps saying topics are too unoriginal?

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So I've been trying to find a topic for my IA but my teacher keeps recommending me to find something new because he says my problems are too unoriginal and seem taken out of textbooks or stuff like that. The thing is seeing the examples and the marks they got it doesn't seem like you have to be completely original to get good marks, so I'm a bit confused.

Originally I wanted to do something with a torus, examining the universe being a torus shape and stuff, but I did realize that perhaps that was too overdone so I tried to find other ideas.

For example, say I found the distances between several points on the earth using spherical geometry, and then after I have all the distances I optimize a route that goes through all the points at least once. The personal engagement part would come from the fact that these points on the Earth are certain places that mean something to me and I want to find the connection between all of them. 

So does this sound too simple and "textbook-like"? I know the second part would be similar to the chinese postman problem, but I feel like it would be fine because I'm doing it with my own places and distances which I found by myself, but I'm still not sure. What do you think?

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The Steiner problem is a variation of the connecting the points. It uses calculus of variations but it may be really advanced and really hard to do original the deeper you go. I am not too sure why your teacher is keep rejecting all your ideas. It's really not worth to spend a lot of the time on the math IA because it is often so far from (or narrow into) the syllabus. Check out my response here on the IA.

 I think it may be better to present your teacher with your idea AND your approach to explore the problem. You might still use a "dull" or "overused" question and come up with something original or interesting to you. 

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