MAS115: Mathematical Investigation Skills, 2017-2018

Lecturers: Dr Sam Marsh, Dr Simon Willerton, Prof Paul Blackwell

Module image

This is the 2017-2018 course web page for MAS115: Mathematical Investigation Skills, which will be updated as the module progresses. For official course information, including timetabling and syllabus, 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 is below.

Sam Marsh has an office hour at 3pm on a Tuesday in G9 (no appointment necessary).
Simon Willerton has an office hour at 2pm on a Monday in J19 (no appointment necessary).

Course Materials

The course materials, by lecturer, are below.

Python (Dr Simon Willerton)

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

Week Lectures Lab sheets Screencasts Exercise solutions Homework solutions
1 Lecture Lab sheet Playlist Exercise solutions Homework solutions
2   Lab sheet Playlist Exercise solutions Homework solutions
3 Lecture
Lab sheet   Exercise solutions Homework solutions
4   Lab sheet   Exercise solutions Homework solutions
5 Lecture
Lab sheet Playlist Exercise solutions Homework solutions
6 Lecture Lab sheet   Exercise solutions (No homework)
8   Lab sheet   Exercise solutions  

Presentation (Dr Marsh)

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

Week Lecture slides Computer labs My lab attempts Model homework
1Clarity of WritingLab sheetPDF, LaTeXPDF, LaTeX
2About LaTeX
Activity handouts: 1 2
Lab sheetPDF, LaTeXPDF, LaTeX
3Packages and Environments
Activity handout: PDF
Lab sheetPDF, LaTeXPDF, LaTeX
4Images and PunctuationLab sheetPDF, LaTeXPDF, LaTeX
5LaTeX errors and let-downs
Activity handout: original corrected
Lab sheetPDF, LaTeX(see MAS110 solutions)
6BeamerLab sheetPDF, LaTeX(mini-project)
Activity document: original / annotated
Webpage: to display / as coded /
with CSS / with different CSS
Lab sheetWebpage, CSS(peer assessment)



The Semester 1 mini-project was released in Week 6 of Semester 1. (You may be asked to log-in with your standard university unsername and password.)

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. If you are trying to connect from a computer not on the University's network (that is, not using a University PC or University Wifi), then you will need to set up a VPN connection. (If you have trouble establishing a VPN connection, see this advice)

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 will look at it too and be notified of new posts. 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)

Dr Simon Willerton
Room J19, Hicks Building
Telephone: 0114 2223823 (internal extension: 23823)

Prof Paul Blackwell
Room I7, Hicks Building
Telephone: 0114 2223719 (internal extension: 23719)