Question regarding research importance

<p>I am a pure mathematics major and applied mathematics & statistics double major at a large research university </p>

<p>I plan on attending graduate school for either computational biology/systems biology, or applied mathematics</p>

<p>My freshman year I began working in a computational biology lab where the focus of most of the work is on the actual biology, algorithm design and high performance computing. The manuscript is currently under editing for a top journal (I am second author). </p>

<p>My freshman summer I took a break and went to a pure math REU.</p>

<p>I am still working in the same comp bio lab from my freshman year (I am now a sophomore). I'm planning on leaving the lab during this coming semester once the paper is finally finished. </p>

<p>How important is doing an REU program compared to doing research at my home institution? There are a few labs at my home school in different areas that have expressed interest in having me for funded positions. I like the idea of doing research at my home school because I can (1) continue the research after the summer easily and (2) work individually or solely with a professor/graduate student. </p>

<p>My GPA is a 3.85. I have taken two graduate courses in computational biology so far, and have gotten an A in both of them. Is it possible to gain entry into a top 10 school granted I keep up this work?</p>

<p>EDIT: My home school offers an NSF funded research program so I guess technically I would still be in an REU or similar.</p>

<p>It doesn't matter where you do your research, as long as you do it. And yes, you have a good chance at the top ten, provided that you have the necessary course background as well.</p>

<p>One more thing: the Mets DO rock, even when they can't win games. :)</p>