Math 390 Individual Study Opportunities
A.J. Hildebrand

About Math 390

Math 390 is a "Guided Individual Study" course on advanced topics that are not covered in other courses. It is the undergraduate equivalent of what at the graduate level would be called a "Reading Course" (Math 597). The specific topic, number of credit hours, and meeting format and times are arranged with the instructor. The course will need to be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies before a student can register for it. A Math 390 arrangement can involve multiple students; most of my recent Math 390 projects have been run in a small groups of 2-4 students each.

Sample Topics

Here are sample topics based on recent Math 390 courses I have given that illustrate the range of possibilities: Note that these are just examples of possible topics; there are many other options. The main requirement on a Math 390 topic is that (i) it is at an advanced level and (ii) not covered in regular courses.

Text/course materials. For some topics there exists a single suitable textbook, but more typically no such text is available. In those cases we will use material from a variety of sources, such as chapters in textbooks, original articles, and lecture notes. Usually, these materials are available in electronic form, so there is no need to purchase texts.


How to apply

If you are interested in doing a Math 390 type project with me, contact me at, describing the general area(s) you are interested in for a Math 390 topic. Attach your transcript (unofficial okay) so that I have an idea of your mathematical background, your strengths and possible weaknesses. The next step would be to meet with me to discuss possible topics. I typically run Math 390 projects in small groups of 2-4 students, so whether a project on a particular topic will run depends on the availability of students with similar interests and backgrounds.

Once I have assembled a mini group of interested and qualified students, I will submit the Math 390 proposal to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval; once the approval is granted, you can register for the course. Note that the usual registration deadlines apply; in particular, a course cannot be added once the "Add" deadline has passed (usually during the second week of the semester).

Last modified: Wed 08 May 2019 12:10:12 PM CDT A.J. Hildebrand