Princeton Weekly Bulletin   April 14, 2008, Vol. 97, No. 23   prev   next   current

By the numbers

Theses and independent projects in the archives

Princeton seniors produce theses and independent projects as part of the time-honored tradition and standards of earning an undergraduate degree. (See related stories in this issue of the PWB.) The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library maintains an online catalog of theses, from 1926 to the present, at theses/ theses.asp.

• A total of 57,000 theses are listed in the database, which covers the period from 1926 to 2007.

• The longest thesis listed runs 756 pages (Jeanne Faust ’76, English, “Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald ’17: A Collection of Short Stories”). 

• The shortest thesis listed runs three pages (Gianluca Tempesti ’89, electrical engineering, “Overview Opto-Electronic Integrated Circuits”).

• The departments with the most theses archived are: history (7,663), English (6,421), politics (6,158), economics (6,082) and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (3,550). 

A look at some thesis titles can provide a preview of students’ future careers:

• Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Princeton professor John McPhee ’53: “Skimmer Burns” (a novel). 

• Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ’72: “An Introduction to the Italian Constitutional Court.” 

• Editor of The New Yorker David Remnick ’81: “The Sympathetic Thread: ‘Leaves of Grass’ 1855-1865.” 

• Health and community affairs executive Michelle Robinson Obama ’85: “Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community.”

• Political blogger and Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall ’91: “Virginia During the Nullification Crisis.”

• Executive director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Angela Ramirez ’97: “Acceptance of Differences in the National Origin and Race in Public Policy: Passage of the 1965 Immigration Act.”

• San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young ’02: “The Integration of Professional Baseball and Racial Attitudes in America: A Study in Stereotype Change.”

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