Math REUs

I'm applying for math REUs. I have a set list, and I'm hoping to get into at least 1 of the 12 I apply to. I go to a top SLAC, so I don't have opportunities for research at my home institution. I think this is an advantage for getting into an REU - a lot of sites say they consider the student's ability to research at the home institution. I'm trying to avoid the super competitive ones, like Duluth and Emory. Are there others that I shouldn't bother applying to? I know Williams SMALL is also very competitive. Are there any REUs favoring women/minorities? I know Miami SUMSRI. Anyone else applying for math REUs this summer?

<p>NSF encourages participation of underrepresented students. Certain universities favor underrepresented students. Varies with each university. Some programs only accept underrepresented students.</p>

<p>Any idea which programs favor underrepresented students? It’s hard to tell from a lot of REU websites - only a few specifically say, “we encourage women and minorities to apply.”</p>

<p>Why don’t you ask them?</p>

<p>Take a look at the Proceedings from the Conference on Promoting Undergraduate Research in Mathematics in 2007: [PURM</a> Proceedings](<a href=“]PURM”></p>

<p>Many REU programs have described their program there. Many articles mention which kinds of students the program recruits: the strongest students they can get, promising students with no other research opportunities, underrepresented minorities who may not be competitive for other programs, etc. Many programs have also published their admission statistics. </p>

<p>It’s a bit outdated, but if a program is still run by the same faculty as it was in 2007, odds are their mission hasn’t changed.</p>

<p>Thank you very much. I read through many of the recruitment descriptions. A number of them say they prefer students without prior research experience. Hoping that plays in my favor!Applying to REUs is such a stressful experience - sometimes, I feel as if I shouldn’t even bother applying since they are so hard to get into. But I’m planning on pursuing a PhD in math, and my home institution doesn’t have pure math research opportunities. So I must keep working on those apps! Thanks for your help.</p>

<p>I remember feeling the same way when I was applying to REUs. Almost didn’t bother, but ended up getting into half of the programs I applied to! Good luck!!! (not that you need it ;))</p>

<p>Well… no news yet, but I’m feeling pretty positive! I have applied to 15 at this point, and I’m not sure if I should apply for any more. The plan was originally to apply to 12, then I increased to 18 because a TON of students from my SLAC are applying this year. I also got a mysterious message from an REU this week about my application - the director emailed me saying it was a very strong application and my initial materials were fantastic. I’m not sure what that means… does it mean they want to admit me but can’t because the deadline has not passed? Should I apply to more?</p>

<p>Perhaps it is different in math. But are you sure that there aren’t any professors at your college doing research in your field? Professors at top SLACs are hired partially because of their desire to work with undergraduates in the classroom but also partially because of their expertise and experience in research, and at least in my field most top SLAC professors who have been hired recently did 2-year research postdocs before they were hired and have several publications in the field. And all of the job ads specifically ask for people who can and want to involve undergraduates in their research. Moreover, professors at top SLACs are expected to do research to get tenure. A quick look at the math departments of a couple of top SLACs shows that all of them have a research area listed and those that have CVs or websites up show a steady trickle of recent publications. Even if there’s no one doing strictly pure math, you perhaps should still pursue an RA experience in a related area because in most fields, one or two summers of REU experience isn’t enough to get into grad school.</p>

<p>BUT, I know that pure math is quite different from other STEM and social science fields, so perhaps there’s something I’m missing. There’s a user on here, b@r!um (barium, but with an @ for the a and an ! for the i) who is a PhD student in pure math who may have some insight.</p>

<p>*the director emailed me saying it was a very strong application and my initial materials were fantastic. I’m not sure what that means… does it mean they want to admit me but can’t because the deadline has not passed? *</p>

<p>No, it means that you have a very strong application and that your materials were fantastic. Try not to read too much into the email - or any email from professors, especially going forward if you are planning to apply to grad school. Professors often dash off a quick 2-sentence email in between doing 12 bajillion other things and don’t pay attention to the wording or tone and how that might affect a hopeful applicant or a toiling grad student, ha.</p>

<p>You may very well be admitted, but you’re also likely competing with dozens if not hundreds of other strong applicants, and many summer research programs don’t always pick the very strongest candidates based on materials alone. (I worked for a summer program for two summers that picked students with a range of abilities, which meant that they didn’t always select the 45 strongest students, since the idea was to improve students who needed improvement.)</p>

<p>That said, I think that 18 programs is plenty and that most programs do try to get students who have little to no research experience AND have few opportunities to participate at their own colleges.</p>

<p>Yes, I am sure that professors will not be taking on summer research students. Yes, professors at top LACs do research, but not always with students. I think that pure math is very, very different than the other sciences in regards to research, grad schools, etc. You wrote “an RA experience in a related area because in most fields, one or two summers of REU experience isn’t enough to get into grad school.” This is quite the opposite of what I have found to be true at my LAC - a number of students go to tier 1/tier 2 PhD programs in math from my school, most without REU experience (in pure math). </p>

<p>B@r!um replied earlier, and I’m hoping she’ll reply to this thread! She seems to have pure math experience. I’m just not sure how many more I should apply to. I am planning on speaking to my professors today. I honestly will have to pull close to an all-nighter to finish up the applications (with my schoolwork and exams), and I want to know if I should stop at 15 or keep going. </p>

<p>That’s what I thought - that pure math was quite different from other sciences in this respect - I wasn’t totally sure. Always good to know for future reference.</p>

<p>Also, I didn’t mean summer research with professors at your LAC - that’s pretty common. I meant academic term time research. But it seems like that’s a moot point if 1 or 2 summers of REU experience (or none at all) is what you need to get into top tier PhD programs in pure math.</p>

<p>Best of luck, whatever you do decide.</p>

<p>fyi in case you don’t know about this program, not research but nice to have. My daughter did this semester fall of Sr. year and it seemed to be an asset on her resume as well as just a great trip.
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<p>Yes, thank you BrownParent. I chose not to go abroad for various reasons, but I have many friends who have done BSM! They loved it.</p>

<p>I just wanted to comment on this thread, to let people know what happened. I wanted to thank everyone for their advice! I ended up finishing applying to those 18, and I’m really glad that I did. I ended up being accepted to 6 REUs, I withdrew from 6 (after I was accepted to one a few weeks ago with a topic in algebra, I withdrew from REUs with less interesting topics), I was rejected from 3, and I never heard from 3. I ended up getting into one tied for my top choice, so that’s where I will be headed this summer! :)</p>

<p>Congrats! Wow you put in a lot of effort and got great results (except never heard from 3 whaaaa?) </p>