MAS115: Mathematical Investigation Skills, 2014-2015

Lecturers: Dr Sam Marsh, Prof Carsten van de Bruck, Dr Tim Heaton

Module image

Pension dispute. The trade union which represents academic and related staff at universities in the UK is currently involved in a national dispute over a proposed substantial downgrading to the pension provision for staff, known as USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme). This is taking the form of a marking and assessment boycott. As a union member, I will be supporting this action. You can read more about what it means below.

Update: As of Thursday 20 November, the action has been put on hold until 15 January to allow negotiations to occur between UCU and the employers.

This is the 2014-2015 course web page for MAS115: Mathematical Investigation Skills, which will be updated as the module progresses. For official course information, including timetabling, please consult the list of current modules.

Course Information

MAS115 is a 20-credit, year long module. Over the year you will develop important skills needed to investigate and report on mathematical problems. These skills will be useful during your degree and beyond; such transferrable skills are very useful in the workplace and valued by employers.

A course information sheet and syllabus is below.

Sam Marsh has an office hour at 2pm on a Tuesday in G9 (no appointment necessary).

Course Materials

The course materials, by lecturer, are below.

Python (Prof van de Bruck)

The materials for the Python lectures and labs from Semester 1 are below.

Week Lectures Computer labs Homework
1 Lecture None Week 1 homework
2 Lecture Week 2 lab Week 2 homework
3 Lecture Week 3 lab
4 Lecture Week 4 lab Week 4 homework
5 Lecture Week 5 lab
6 Lecture Week 6 lab
8 Lecture Week 8 lab
9 Lecture Week 9 lab
10 Lecture Week 10 lab
11 Lecture Week 11 lab
12 Lecture
Python script
Group project launch
Cannonballs task

Presentation (Dr Marsh)

These materials for the lectures and labs on presentation from Semester 1 are below.

Week Lecture slides Computer labs My lab attempts Model homework
1 Clarity of Writing Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX PDF, LaTeX
2 About LaTeX
Activity handouts: 1 2 3
Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX PDF, LaTeX
3 Packages and Environments
Activity handout: PDF
Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX PDF, LaTeX
4 Images and Punctuation
Activity handout: original corrected
Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX PDF, LaTeX
5 LaTeX errors and let-downs
Activity handout: original corrected
Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX PDF, LaTeX
6 Beamer
Lab sheet PDF, LaTeX (no homework)
Activity document: original / annotated
Webpage: to display / as coded /
with CSS / with different CSS
Lab sheet Webpage, CSS (no homework)
9 CSS, webspace and domain names Lab sheet Webpage, CSS (no homework)
10 Referencing, plagiarism and group working Lab sheet Webpage (Mini-project to webpage)
11 Mini-project peer-assessment Lab sheet,
My projectiles sheet,
Euclidean algorithm,
My solver sheet
(no homework)
12 (None) (None) (None) (no homework)



The Semester 1 mini-project was released in Week 8 of Semester 1. It is available below. (You may be asked to log-in with your standard university unsername and password.)

Group Projects

The first group project was released in Week 12 of Semester 1.

You must participate in all three group projects in order to pass the module.

Upload system

The project upload system can be found at the link below. You should use your standard university username, and you will have been emailed a password.

Discussion Board

There is a discussion board for MAS115. This is a forum for MAS115 students to use to ask and answer (anonmously, if preferred) questions on the material for the course. Your lecturers may look at it from time to time, but it's primarily a place for students to discuss things. The board lies in MOLE, so log-in with your usual username and password when asked.


We will add here things related to the course that are useful or interesting.

General materials

Python materials


HTML and web-design

Contact Details

Dr Sam Marsh
Room G9, Hicks Building
Telephone: 0114 2223792 (internal extension: 23792)