This info is tailored to students on the brink of entering the Honours year, or those in earlier years who are already thinking ahead to Honours. 

Overview of the Honours Year

Watch this overview of the Honours Year by our former Director of Honours, Dr Shane Keating. You can also view the corresponding presentation slides.

Choosing your Honours project

Browse available Honours project topics in the below categories:

Info about the Honours year

Visit our Honours Year webpage for info including courses, scholarships, Honours streams and details about the Honours thesis. 

Congratulations... 

To the winners of the 2022 School of Mathematics and Statistics Advanced Maths Honours Scholarship!

Yingkun Huang

Yingkun is a fourth year Advanced Maths/Actuarial Studies student.

Victor Zhang

Victor is a third year Advanced Maths/Computer Sci student. 

The Honours Year, in the words of our grads:

Ryan-Seelig
Ryan Seeling
Degree: Bachelor of Advanced Science with majors in Advanced Physics and Mathematics - Honours in Pure Mathematics (2021)

If you find yourself feeling incomplete or hungry for a new challenge after your third year Pure courses, you might consider embarking on the incredibly rewarding journey that is the Pure Maths Honours. It is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and develop your proficiency in mathematics through exposure to more exotic areas of mathematics, beyond what you would meet in undergraduate. The year is broken into two components: coursework and thesis.

The aim of the coursework component is to equip you with the beginnings of the well-rounded background necessary for a working mathematician. It's a challenging, but also an incredibly fulfilling experience to persevere through coursework with your friends. The thesis component is an opportunity to explore areas of mathematics not covered in the Honours curriculum. The best aspect of the thesis for me was having an independent project with personal aspirations and goals, under the supervision of an experienced academic. Working under an experienced research mathematician has been an invaluable experience in expanding my mathematical maturity. I exceedingly enjoyed teaching my friends about my discoveries while learning about theirs.

Ultimately, the Honours program will develop your mathematical background, independent research and problem-solving skills for further studies (Masters/Doctorate) or for work in industry.

Alina-Young
Alina Sari
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Computer Science - Honours in Applied Mathematics (2021)

In the past year while doing Honours, I learned a lot about what research in mathematics is like not only through the hands-on thesis project, but also the coursework.

There’s a range of diverse core courses that can be taken in undergraduate maths, from algebra to calculus, analysis to statistics, and many others, which focus on the fundamental theories in maths that were discovered hundreds of years ago. During Honours, while you can choose to take third-year courses, there's also a selection of courses that are only available for Honours and Postgraduate students. These courses are definitely more challenging and give a better outlook into some research areas in mathematics.

The highlight of my Honours year is definitely the research component. As part of my thesis project, I had to read books and papers related to the research topic, including those that are not published yet. Through this experience, I got to see how the different courses I learnt in previous years can be applied together to tackle a problem. At the end, by presenting the materials I had been working on verbally and in writing, and also receiving a lot of feedback from my supervisor, I have a better understanding of the underlying maths.

Overall, the Honours year is a very special, memorable and valuable experience that I’m sure I’ll remember for years to come if not the rest of my life. Despite the less-than-ideal online learning circumstances due to the pandemic, I still managed to meet new like-minded friends who are in the same boat as me and bonded with my amazing and supportive supervisor.

Jeffrey-Kwan
Jeffrey Kwan
Degree: Bachelor of Actuarial Studies, Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Statistics - Honours in Statistics (2017)

The Honours year was probably the best year I had as an undergraduate. As the cohort is relatively small, I made some incredible friends and being part of a community that is curious to learn and hungry for knowledge fostered learning in a way that was incomparable to my previous experiences. It was also a wonderful way to be exposed to research and have a taste of what that entailed. The Honours year made me realise how much I actually enjoy mathematics and opened up the possibility to pursue research as a career.

I see the Honours year like a treasure chest. You can take as much as you want from it and that forms part of your experience. Struggling with coursework, balancing new research ideas with writing up the thesis, and overall communal suffering with friends just adds a bit of spice to the game. Pick a topic that you feel passionate about and pour your whole heart into it so you can end the day with a sense of pride and accomplishment; that is a feeling that is hard to compete with. 

If I have one piece of advice to give, do not stress too much about the grades, enjoy every moment of it, the good and the bad - sort of like how you need rain to make rainbows, the best tasting beer was the one I had with friends after we submitted our thesis!

Miriam Greenbaum (Advanced Maths/Com-Honours, 2018) is a Consultant (Performance Improvement - Finance) at Ernst and Young.
Miriam Greenbaum
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Commerce - Honours in Applied Mathematics (2018)

Completing my Honours in mathematics gave me the opportunity to really delve deep into a topic that I was passionate about.

In the earlier years of my degree, I was exposed to a broad range of mathematical concepts, drawing on things only touched upon in high school. In the upper years, I was then able to choose which part of math really interested me and hone in on my skills by completing focused subjects in the area. The small classes and dedicated time with the academics meant that I was always able to achieve a deeper level of understanding, even with the trickier concepts. 

After reaching out to an industry contact, I was able to obtain a data set and choose my own Honours topic, 'Using Random Forests to predict loan default'. Throughout the thesis year, I received amazing support from my supervisor, who always had time to sit with me and nut out any tricky problems along the way. The logic and problem-solving skills I acquired throughout my degree gave me the ability to begin in whatever role I wanted after graduating, and I chose to begin as a Management Consultant at Ernst & Young. 

Alan-Stoneham
Alan Stoneham
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Advanced) - Honours in Pure Mathematics (2018)

The Honours year is a great opportunity to expand your skillset, introduce yourself to research, and learn about topics in mathematics that you are passionate about. 

In the third level courses, you only scratch the surface of different branches of mathematics, but the Honours level courses allow you to fall down the rabbit hole. They are extremely specialised and interesting, and you will want to do as many as you can relating to your project. Though some courses only run every two years, you do have the option of taking these courses before Honours if you meet the prerequisites, or can convince the course authority to run a reading/external course. I maintain that doing a reading course was the best choice I made during my Honours. 

The other big component, of course, is your thesis. This is a great responsibility and a chance to take the reins of a mammoth task, and the sooner you get started, the smoother it will be. Though stressful at times, I had fun writing my thesis. Telling a story and adding some humour helps the thesis write itself. Also, funny or relevant epigraphs are always a win.  

Melinda-Mortimer
Melinda Mortimer
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Statistics) - Honours in Statistics (2018)

After finishing my undergraduate courses, I felt I had an understanding of the fundamentals but still wanted to learn more. The Honours year allowed me to specialise, learn something new, and revisit content at a much greater depth.

The thesis project was a great opportunity to research and learn something that I was interested in. Towards the end of my undergraduate program, I was curious about neural networks and machine learning. I consulted with potential supervisors and found a project involving image recognition algorithms for MRI. I was able to study the underlying mathematics, and build and apply my own algorithms in collaboration with the Neuroscience department. I never thought I'd be learning about the brain in a maths degree!

It was also a chance to learn valuable skills. I was introduced to academic writing and presenting, with readily available support from my supervisor and peers. The course offering is very wide and allowed me to specialise and follow my interests at depth. The Honours year was a fantastic program and I highly recommend it to any student with a passion for mathematics.