The “Mathematics at VCU” Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site is an eight-week research experience for undergraduate students hosted by the Virginia Commonwealth University. The objectives of this REU Site are to promote early engagement of undergraduate students in research, to involve students in meritorious research programs, to prepare them for the challenges of increasingly complex and information-driven scientific analyses in mathematics, and to inspire them to pursue graduate education. We aim to increase the number and diversity of well-prepared U.S. students who successfully pursue careers in mathematics. Special priority will be given to recruiting applicants who are from institutions that serve underrepresented minorities, who are women, and who are students with limited research opportunities in their home institutions. Students at the early stages of their careers (prior to their sophomore or junior year) will be involved in substantial numbers.
The REU will provide hands-on research opportunities in several disciplines, including graph theory, mathematical biology, fluid dynamics, analysis, and differential geometry. Projects will involve a computational component and simulations as well as theoretical analysis. Students will be trained on research skills including those used in literature review, understanding ethical issues, using computer software such as LaTeX and Matlab, and oral and written communication of research. We will also hold workshops on undergraduate research, implicit bias, and increasing involvement of women and minorities to facilitate professional development of faculty mentors. Students will work in groups and will stay in touch with their mentors even during the following academic year. The teams will be encouraged to submit manuscripts to professional journals and to present their work at conferences throughout the year.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.