**What is the Math IA?**

The Internal Assessment (IA) for Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (AI) is essentially a self-guided research paper where you investigate a topic that intrigues you. It allows you to apply your understanding and application of mathematical concepts and techniques. This IA contributes 20% to your final grade and is assessed based on five criteria: Presentation, Mathematical Communication, Personal Engagement, Reflection, and Use of Mathematics.

**How To Decide on a Topic**

**Interest and Passion**: Choose a topic that you actually have an interest in. Your enthusiasm will reflect in the depth and quality of your exploration making the whole process less tedious and more enjoyable.**Relevance**: Make sure that your topic links to a range of the syllabus topics, the more the merrier.**Feasibility**: Select a topic that is manageable within the given timeframe and word limit. Ensure you have access to the necessary data and resources.**Uniqueness**: Aim for originality in your approach, even if the topic itself is commonly repeated, your approach makes the difference.

**How to Structure the IA**

**Introduction**:**Rationale**- Start with a super clear rationale that sets the context and aim of the whole exploration.
- Show how the topic personally engages with you by accounting for your interest, its relevance to your life, your prior knowledge, and what you wish to achieve.

**Aim**- Include personalized problem statements and explain how you aim to conduct a solid investigation on the topic.
- Have a clear and concise research question which once read explains the whole IA.

**Background**- Here you will explain how you will dissect the research question and how you will utilize mathematical concepts to get to the end point of your IA, be thorough.

**Body**:- Focus on the particular topic you have chosen to investigate and the relevant mathematical material that will address the intended aim of your work.
- Ensure the level and clarity of the mathematics you use are high, as the IB rewards a lot of marks for the use and communication of mathematics.
- Reflect occasionally, show how you were thinking about something but then decided to change for xyz reason. This will help you score in the “Reflection” criteria.
- Break up the body with sub-bodies if necessary.

**Conclusion**:- Summarize the research and work you’ve done.
- Discuss the conclusions you reached and whether you succeeded in exploring the aim set out at the beginning.
- Highlight challenges faced and your final thoughts relative to your research question.

**Evaluation:**

- Reflect on the further implications of your study, including how your learning affects your life or the lives of others, and how it has allowed you to reflect on different mathematical topics.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your method
- Discuss possible additions and extensions to your work

**The Criteria:**

**Presentation (4 marks)**

The first criterion assesses the general organization and coherence of your IA. Although students often focus on the complexity of their math, a full 4 points are awarded for the clarity of your explanations and structure. To score in the top range here, make sure your IA is clearly structured, using headings and subheadings to organize your content logically, and ensuring that your ideas flow smoothly from one section to the next.

**Key Points:**

- Use clear and brief language.
- Add properly labeled visuals like graphs, charts, diagrams that are integrated into the text.
- Follow the page limit and the formatting guidelines depending on what formatting type you are using (MLA, APA, Chicago).

**Mathematical Communication (4 marks)**

This criterion looks at the mathematical language you have used, including notation, symbols, and terminology. Ensure these components are accurate and consistent throughout your IA. Replace informal terms like “plug in” or “put in” with mathematically sophisticated words like “substitute.” Clearly explain your methods, calculations, and reasoning, and use correct mathematical notation consistently.

**Key Points:**

- Accurate and consistent use of notation, symbols, and terminology.
- Clear explanations of methods and reasoning.
- Integration of mathematical and written content.

**Personal Engagement (3 marks)**

To achieve top marks for personal engagement, your engagement must be authentic and drive the exploration forward. It needs to be independent and unique, displaying creativity in presenting mathematical ideas and exploring the topic from various perspectives. Make predictions about areas of interest and find ways to manipulate the problem, formula, or question to encompass those areas. Demonstrate a personal connection to the topic, explaining why you chose it and how it relates to your interests or experiences.

**Key Points:**

- Authentic and unique engagement.
- Creativity in presenting and exploring mathematical ideas.
- Personal connection to the topic.

**Reflection (3 marks)**

Reflection involves more than just showing what you’ve done. During the reflective stage, connect the results with the initial aims, determining findings throughout the process. Evaluate the research to highlight evidence that goes beyond what a typical mathematical test would show. The IB values learning, so be sure to show your growth throughout the IA. Discuss any limitations, sources of error, or potential improvements.

**Key Points:**

- Critical analysis of methods and findings.
- Connection of results with initial aims.
- Discussion of limitations and potential improvements.

**Use of Mathematics (6 marks)**

This criterion assesses the quality of the math and its relevance to your exploration. The IB measures relevancy by checking that you only included math directly intended to answer the research question. The mathematics should be at a similar level to what you cover in your syllabus, demonstrating depth and complexity. You’re not confined to topics covered in your syllabus, but the mathematical techniques should be of the same rigor. Use a range of appropriate mathematical methods and ensure all work is accurate and logically sound.

**Key Points:**

- Relevant and high-quality mathematics.
- Depth and complexity of mathematical techniques.
- Accurate and logical mathematical work.

**Other Tips**

**Start Early**: Begin your IA early to allow ample time for research, analysis, and revision.**Seek Feedback**: Regularly seek feedback from your teacher to improve your work.**Proofread**: Carefully proofread your IA to eliminate any errors in language, mathematics, or formatting.**Stay Within Limits**: Adhere to the word limit and other guidelines to avoid penalties.**Show Enthusiasm**: Let your passion for the topic shine through. Engaged and enthusiastic work is often more compelling.

**Length**

There is no specific work count for the IA, but the IB advises that the exploration should be around 12-20 pages long.

**Fonts and Spacing**

There are no specific requirements on which font you should use, but Arial or Times New Roman is generally recommended, with double line spacing and a font size of 11 or 12.

**Diagrams and Graphs**

Include relevant graphs, tables, and diagrams. Do not place these simply as appendices at the end of the paper; they should be fully and clearly labeled to ensure that the examiner knows what you’ve included and why. This forms an essential part of your research and shows that you fully understand the examples you have included in your analysis.

**Bibliography and Citations**

Your report should include a full bibliography with all sources at the end of the report. In addition to a bibliography at the end, you must acknowledge all direct information that you use throughout your essay with an intext citation.

By following the guidelines above and focusing on the details of each criterion, you can produce a high-quality IA that earns a top score.