This past summer the department mentored 20 undergraduate students in research under the auspices of its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and the Lee Science Impact Program of the College of Natural Sciences. The projects covered subjects like Statistics, Data Science, Mathematical Physics, Disease modeling, Mathematical Biology, Partial Differential Equations, Algebra, Discrete Math, and Algebraic Geometry. For more about the research, see the REU website (https://sites.google.com/umass.edu/umassmathreu/),
where the titles and reports are available.
Most students were from UMass but a few attended Amherst and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, as well as Bowdoin College; six students came from underrepresented groups in mathematics. The REU matched up each student with a mentor, who suggested a problem and guided the student in their research. The fourteen mentors came from faculty, visiting assistant professors (also known as postdocs), and graduate students. Thus the REU fostered interactions and the sharing of insights between people at all career stages.
Over the course of the eight weeks, the students also participated in bi-weekly meetings where they discussed how to read research papers, how to write in a mathematical style, how to give presentations, and how to apply for graduate school. At the end of July there was a conference with more than fifteen student presentations at virtual and in-person REU conference, including students from Amherst College. This event gave the students a chance to practice their speaking skills and to hear feedback and questions from their peers and others involved in the REU program. There was also an outing to pick strawberries!
Students received a stipend for the eight-week program so they could focus wholly on their research. Funding for the students came from the Barksdale Fund, the Howard Smith Research Award, and gifts from Nancy Sinclair and Sheila R. Flynn, as well as NSF grants of faculty.
Mt. Holyoke supported one of its students directly and the Lee-SIP program supported two students.
The REU committee for summer 2023 consisted of Professors Alejandro Morales (chair), Andreas Buttenschoen, and Yulong Lu. We wish to thank all the participants, mentors, and generous donors for making this wonderful program possible and so successful!
For more about the Lee SIP, visit https://www.umass.edu/natural-sciences/research/undergraduate-research/w....