Mathematicians often communicate their ideas by speaking in or attending seminar or colloquium talks. (Seminar talks tend to be focused to specialists, while colloquium talks are accessible to a wider audience.) Generally these talks are about an hour long. VCU offers a great variety of seminars and colloquia. In MATH 490, you are encouraged to attend as many of these talks as you can. You are required to write a brief report on two talks that you have attended.

Writing a colloquium report is simple, especially if you choose a colloquium talk that you have a special interest in. This is easier if plan ahead. If you wait until too late in the semester, there will be few colloquia to attend.

It is an unfortunate fact that many colloquia are really bad. (But our guest speakers for MATH 490 all have records of giving good talks.) Other colloquia may be good, but too advanced for your level. You may end up attending a number of events before finding one that's suitable. The following guidelines may give you an idea of how to write a report.

Obviously, you should attend the talk. Be there on time and take notes.
Get an abstract if possible. These may be on-line or on flyers posted around Oliver Hall.
At the end of the talk there is usually time for questions. Ask questions if you have any, but it's best not to ask questions if the talk was entirely above your level.
Begin your report by indicating the speakers name and affiliation, the title of the talk, the date and seminar series (if applicable).
Describe, as best you can, the point of the talk. Does the speaker present a new result? An unsolved problem? A new perspective? A historical context? Be as specific as you can, but keep in mind that some colloquia will be quite advanced and technical, so don't feel bad if you don't understand everything.
Feel free to indicate your impressions of the talk. Evaluate the speakers delivery. Did you get any ideas of what to do (or avoid) in your own talk?
Be sure to type your report.
It is due no later than a week after the date of the talk.