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CAES9821 Professional and Technical Communication for Mathematical Sciences

Coordinator: Simon BOYNTON

Course Description:

This 6-credit English-in-the-Discipline course aims to develop students’ professional and technical communication skills for disciplinary studies in mathematical sciences. There are two main components in the course: 1). Case study report writing, 2). professional oral presentation. Students will learn rhetorical skills for presenting and explaining mathematical and statistical data and trends, and justifying analyses and recommendations convincingly in both written and spoken communication. This will be achieved through analysing samples of case study reports and presentations using a genre-based approach.

Students of the BSc (Actuarial Science) and BASc (Applied AI) are required to take this course. Students who intend to major in decision analytics, mathematics, risk management, and statistics are strongly encouraged to take this course. Students from other science disciplines should take CAES9820.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Present and explain mathematical and statistical data and trends using appropriate rhetorical skills in a case study report and an oral presentation
  • Organize and articulate coherent ideas with appropriate language devices in a case study report and oral presentation
  • Justify analyses and recommendations convincingly in a case study report and an oral presentation


  • Students are given a case study and asked to analyse a given dataset. They write up their data analysis, the results, and a discussion of the results in a case study report. Students work in pairs for the case study and write a full draft and the final draft together.
  • Students are asked to write up the introduction section of the case study report after doing some background research on the topic area. While students can work with their partner when carrying out the research, the introduction section is written individually.
  • Students, in groups of 4, select an article from a series of professionally published articles in the field of actuarial science. They read the article and select the key information to be presented in an oral presentation to their classmates. Each presenter will present for 5 minutes. They will need to select what information to present and decide how to present it. They should use a range of rhetorical features of oral presentations in order to engage with the target audience such as effective use of visuals and voice. These features will be covered in the course.
  • Students will need to collaborate effectively for both the case study and the oral presentation.

Assessment Methods:

(with breakdown of percentage weighting of the various methods)

  • Other genres of writing (25%)
  • Group learning work (40%)
  • Oral Presentations (35%)