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Math IA Topic Help? Please!

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Hi there!

I'm new to this site and am currently in SL Math.

I have been trying to find a topic for my math IA for a couple of weeks now but nothing has sparked my interest. I know there's hundreds of questions like this and people often say to simply find something you're interested in, but I'm having a really hard time doing so.

I'm interested in photography, but feel like a lot of the math I have seen regarding this topic (e.g. f stop sequence) is too basic. I also thought exploring a problem related to my country (Canada) could be a good idea, but haven't been able to come up with anything. I'm interested in travelling and have looked into the graph theory, coastline paradox and arc length to potentially find a way to optimize a route, but am unsure if that's feasible or relates to the SL curriculum. In addition, I am interested in design and have looked into Bezier curves and math behind Pixar animations, but also don't know if that relates to the curriculum or is feasible.

If you have any ideas about a completely new topic or extending one of the things I've mentioned, please comment! I'm at a point where I'm not happy with any of my ideas so any guidance and suggestions would be very appreciated! I really would like to get a 7, but can't do so with a bad topic.

Thanks in advance!

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What math topics are you best at? It's best to based a topic off of one of those rather than learn everything from scratch for fractals or graph theory. 

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51 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

What math topics are you best at? It's best to based a topic off of one of those rather than learn everything from scratch for fractals or graph theory. 

Thanks for your reply! Honestly we haven't gotten very far into the curriculum so it's hard to say. Maybe statistics and probability, but I know many advise against doing these topics for an IA. I'm open to any topic at the moment, but I understand that doing one I'm familiar with is best.

We recently started looking into calculus and I have taken an interest in that. I know calculus is involved in many different applications, but am unsure what I could specifically do with calculus concerning my interests. 

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I didn't know that some schools don't study calculus last! I am not going to suggest a topic because 1) it's not allowed 2) you might not know what to do with it/might not like it. When do you have to pick a topic by? It seems kind of early to start a final draft.

I am not too sure, but Bezier curves could be related to differential calculus. You can start reading about parametric equations (such as use in physics especially kinematics). Basically differential calculus you look at how a function (or variable) change with respect to another function (or variable). So you can parametrize a particle's x and y positions in terms of elapsed time, differentiate with respect to time, then you will know how x and y changes. With that it seems like you can construct bezier curves. Related rates in HL is also useful to read about, and may inspire you for some interesting topics regarding differential calculus. 

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3 hours ago, kw0573 said:

I didn't know that some schools don't study calculus last! I am not going to suggest a topic because 1) it's not allowed 2) you might not know what to do with it/might not like it. When do you have to pick a topic by? It seems kind of early to start a final draft.

I am not too sure, but Bezier curves could be related to differential calculus. You can start reading about parametric equations (such as use in physics especially kinematics). Basically differential calculus you look at how a function (or variable) change with respect to another function (or variable). So you can parametrize a particle's x and y positions in terms of elapsed time, differentiate with respect to time, then you will know how x and y changes. With that it seems like you can construct bezier curves. Related rates in HL is also useful to read about, and may inspire you for some interesting topics regarding differential calculus. 

Proposal is due in a few days. We haven't received much guidance from our teacher though and many of my classmates still haven't picked a topic yet either. I started looking as soon as we were introduced to the IA (about 2 weeks ago) but still haven't found anything I'm dead set on. Today, I've been looking into calculus and optimization. Generally, do you think something in this field could be good? Thanks again.

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I like calculus topics better than analyzing data from a survey. But those could be mechanically and/or conceptually challenging so be sure choose carefully. Bezier curve is probably along medium-hard difficulty but entirely workable if you know what you are doing.

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15 hours ago, kw0573 said:

I like calculus topics better than analyzing data from a survey. But those could be mechanically and/or conceptually challenging so be sure choose carefully. Bezier curve is probably along medium-hard difficulty but entirely workable if you know what you are doing.

Yeah, now I'm thinking Bezier curves aren't a good idea as we won't be learning about it in class whatsoever. I do like the idea of doing calculus, the question is what about it though. I've been looking into calculus and photography, any suggestions with that would be highly appreciated. I know you're not allowed to spoon-feed me topics so anything you can do would be extremely helpful.

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If you need some help with your IA, I suggest you join this group. They are about to get the math IA done in 30 days starting this Monday. I think you can benefit from that group.

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On 11/13/2018 at 10:54 AM, Kierra said:

Yeah, now I'm thinking Bezier curves aren't a good idea as we won't be learning about it in class whatsoever. I do like the idea of doing calculus, the question is what about it though. I've been looking into calculus and photography, any suggestions with that would be highly appreciated. I know you're not allowed to spoon-feed me topics so anything you can do would be extremely helpful.

I mentioned related rates and parametric equations and they could be very strong starting points.

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On 11/12/2018 at 3:39 PM, Kierra said:

Thanks for your reply! Honestly we haven't gotten very far into the curriculum so it's hard to say. Maybe statistics and probability, but I know many advise against doing these topics for an IA. I'm open to any topic at the moment, but I understand that doing one I'm familiar with is best.

We recently started looking into calculus and I have taken an interest in that. I know calculus is involved in many different applications, but am unsure what I could specifically do with calculus concerning my interests. 

On 11/12/2018 at 4:48 PM, kw0573 said:

I didn't know that some schools don't study calculus last! I am not going to suggest a topic because 1) it's not allowed 2) you might not know what to do with it/might not like it. When do you have to pick a topic by? It seems kind of early to start a final draft.

I am not too sure, but Bezier curves could be related to differential calculus. You can start reading about parametric equations (such as use in physics especially kinematics). Basically differential calculus you look at how a function (or variable) change with respect to another function (or variable). So you can parametrize a particle's x and y positions in terms of elapsed time, differentiate with respect to time, then you will know how x and y changes. With that it seems like you can construct bezier curves. Related rates in HL is also useful to read about, and may inspire you for some interesting topics regarding differential calculus. 

Do any one of you know why people advise against doing statistics and probability? I myself am thinking of doing the bayes theorem for my math ia and was wondering if that might be problematic then (sl math). 

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7 minutes ago, caramel14636 said:

Do any one of you know why people advise against doing statistics and probability? I myself am thinking of doing the bayes theorem for my math ia and was wondering if that might be problematic then (sl math).

Hi. Some people conduct a survey then try to find a relationship. The data is almost always sketchy and arbitrary. Other than that i hold no grudge with prob/stats. I did my HL ia on relationship between normal and binomial distribution.

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6 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

Hi. Some people conduct a survey then try to find a relationship. The data is almost always sketchy and arbitrary. Other than that i hold no grudge with prob/stats. I did my HL ia on relationship between normal and binomial distribution.

Thank you so much. I also have a question - what is the right approach to starting the IA, should I make sure I understand the math I'm using and then begin the IA? What resources did you use to learn your own topic before starting your IA (read articles, watch youtube)?

This is because I know some of my classmates are just copy pasting from major articles and working their way around it without fully understanding it.

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31 minutes ago, caramel14636 said:

Thank you so much. I also have a question - what is the right approach to starting the IA, should I make sure I understand the math I'm using and then begin the IA? What resources did you use to learn your own topic before starting your IA (read articles, watch youtube)?

This is because I know some of my classmates are just copy pasting from major articles and working their way around it without fully understanding it.

When you do topic selection just pick something you are good at. Basically if you spend an hour and you can explain the topic in your own words and can understand what the equations/math mean than the difficulty should be appropriate. My topic was 90% in syllabus, ie I could theoretically derive everything from what I learned in class. If you are super confused about what you are doing after just 30 min just give up and pick something new. 

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