# Help choosing IA topic

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Hi everyone, I've started thinking about what I'm going to write for my math IA and so far I have two ideas.

First idea is: How feasible would a light sail be for transportation to Mars? I could talk about how much weight it could cary to Mars, how fast, how would it escape Earth's graviity...

Second idea is: Is a flat Earth possible? I could talk about if it is even possible for a planet to form and be flat, how gravity would be different on a flat Earth, how would it orbit the Sun...

I would just like a couple of opinions on whether or not these are good ideas and if one of these are good enough for me to start writing the IA.

P.S. I still have almost 2 weeks until the topic is due, so I have lots of time to think of new ones if neither of these ones are good.

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As long as there are a a lot of calculations and real life applications of what you've learned (evaluate the light sail for transportation to Mars eg: calc time, cost etc.), you should be fine.

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17 hours ago, IJustWanaPass said:

As long as there are a a lot of calculations and real life applications of what you've learned (evaluate the light sail for transportation to Mars eg: calc time, cost etc.), you should be fine.

I wouldn't say the sheer number of calculations is very important. More important is the level of these calculations. If the math is below SL, it's below; if it's not, it's not.

@Filip Tomic These are tricky topics but rewards are great if you piece together everything just right. If you have a solid physics understanding I think you should give them a go and explore both as a start in case one gets stuck.

First idea: I am not sure exactly what you are trying to show, but certainly the idea of force fields and escape velocity have a lot of math concepts embedded if you just want to talk about that.

Second idea: Math sometimes doesn't tell you exact how a thing come to be so be mindful of not spending too much of your IA speculating on precise physical processes if they are lacking mathematical description. Also possible to bring up calculus if you calculate moments of inertia or force of gravity, for example.

I think if you don't go into the concepts behind the math in either topics the IA could be a bit weak and/or risky if it's just a sting of calculations.

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12 hours ago, kw0573 said:

First idea: I am not sure exactly what you are trying to show, but certainly the idea of force fields and escape velocity have a lot of math concepts embedded if you just want to talk about that.o possible to bring up calculus if you calculate moments of inertia or force of gravity, for example.

I don't think a first year IB math SL student will know how to do Calculus calculations with inertia

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On 09/12/2017 at 0:45 PM, IJustWanaPass said:

I don't think a first year IB math SL student will know how to do Calculus calculations with inertia

The question is; why are they doing the Math IA in IB1??

There's no way you could use calculus, that's for sure (unless you're really into math).

Do you take Physics? @Filip Tomic

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1 hour ago, kanda_sorata said:

The question is; why are they doing the Math IA in IB1??

There's no way you could use calculus, that's for sure (unless you're really into math).

Do you take Physics? @Filip Tomic

Thats just the way my school does it, we do our math IA in year 1. I already have a small understanding of calculus (limits and derivates only), but that's it. I start physics in February... Is it maybe better if i leave this idea for my physics IA when i have a bit more understanding on the topic?

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I was simply giving a scope of advanced but possible math related to your topics. If you want, you can still do calculus since you can discuss concepts without doing pages of calculations. You should brainstorm at least a dozen completely different topics and within this week you can limit down to your top 1 or 2 choices. For each topic think about what math you can discuss and whether you can easily find resources and/or data you need to carry out the IA in its entirety.

Edited by kw0573

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4 hours ago, kw0573 said:

I was simply giving a scope of advanced but possible math related to your topics. If you want, you can still do calculus since you can discuss concepts without doing pages of calculations. You should brainstorm at least a dozen completely different topics and within this week you can limit down to your top 1 or 2 choices. For each topic think about what math you can discuss and whether you can easily find resources and/or data you need to carry out the IA in its entirety.

Thanks for the help!

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