One goal drives everything we do at Ursinus College—to change lives and foster growth in a way that our students never thought possible.
To accomplish this goal for our REU scholars, the Ursinus REU site features three key components: i) important and accessible math and computer science research problems, ii) an Individual Development Plan (IDP), and iii) our commitment to serving underrepresented students.
You will be part of a three-member research team, led by senior faculty. Each team works on an original research project, chosen both for its importance and for its accessibility to undergraduate students. Some projects continue for two years, while others are done in a single year to allow for more diverse topics and to expose REU scholars to new faculty.
Student research projects cover a diverse range of topics reflecting the expertise of the Senior Personnel. The REU will feature topology projects in both discrete Morse theory and computational topology with applications to music analysis, video analysis, and computer graphics. Our algebra projects explore partition identities, tame filling functions, and rainbow colorings. Another set of projects involves machine learning, with a focus on incremental language processing. Students of linear algebra have the opportunity to study everywhere surjective functions. In addition to their core research projects, students will be trained in mathematical writing and in presentation techniques through a series of weekly workshops designed to foster these communication skills.
Our Individual Development Plan (IDP)
We are intentional about fostering students’ growth in their mathematical maturity and in their professionalism. We track our progress and yours though the IDP. This plan assesses over the eight-week REU both the hard and soft skills needed for success in careers in the mathematical sciences. From “ability to work in a team” to “mathematical knowledge,” the IDP will help students to improve in their weak areas and challenge students to develop their strengths further. The IDP sets measurable goals and monitors progress before, during, and after the eight-week program on campus.
We commit in the REU program to including and giving opportunities to underrepresented students. The PI team will advertise to and recruit from schools local to the area, such as Community College of Philadelphia, with large populations of underrepresented students. We will also advertise through professional organizations, such as NAM and Math Alliance. All Senior Personnel have a history of working with and mentoring underrepresented students, and they desire to continue to do so during the REU.
Students who participate will receive a $3000 stipend, on-campus housing, and at least one meal a week provided through the NSF. In addition, students will be allotted a travel allowance to present their REU research and national and regional conferences after the REU takes place.