NYC Discrete Math REU
Summer 2024. The following information is tentative, depending on NSF renewing the REU's funding. Otherwise, the program will run in a more limited form.
The REU's dates are June 10th - Aug 2nd. Each participant receives a stipend of $5,600, housing in Manhattan, and travel support. The application deadline is February 15th. Applications are submitted through www.mathprograms.org.
This summer, the program is supported by NSF awards DMS-2051026 and DMS-1855516, and by Jane Street Capital.
In this program, undergraduates do research work in combinatorics, discrete probability, theoretical computer science, and related topics. The program runs for eight weeks during the summer in NYC. During this period, each participant works towards solving a problem and possibly publishing a paper. Each participant is closely mentored by a professor who is an active researcher and has mentoring experience. We are based in the math department of CUNY's Baruch College, located at the heart of Manhattan.
The program is organized by Adam Sheffer and Pablo Soberón. In addition to intensive research work, the program includes many events: meetings with mathematicians, social events, mathematical talks, interactions with other REUs, a panel with people who chose various careers after studying math, and much more.
Project examples. No previous familiarity with these topics is required. A few project examples (some from last year):
An example of a project by Adam.
An example of a project by Guy.
An example of a project by Matt.
A quanta article discussing one of our recent REU results (under Guy's mentorship).
These are just examples. We offer many additional projects to the participants. See also the results produced in previous years.
Additional details. For 2024, the dates are June 10th - Aug 2nd. Each participant will be provided with a stipend of $5,600, housing in Manhattan, and travel support.
Most participants work on their own individual project, some work in pairs, and some or may choose to work on a second group project. Each participant receives a fully equipped cubicle in the math department, close to the offices of the mentors.
Beyond doing research work, the participants will get trained in giving math talks, writing rigorous proofs, applying to graduate school, and more. After the program ends, we keep supporting the participants for many years, as they continue in their mathematical pursuits.
While we are serious about our research, we also aim create a supportive and accepting community of people who are enthusiastic about mathematics – people who would continue to support and encourage each other in future years. We dedicate time to discuss topics such as having a healthy and fulfilling mathematical careers, how to support the community around you, and so on.
The program ends at the NYC Summer Math Day, where participants present posters to students from other nearby math programs. (Also organized by Jane Street Capital.) In the months after the program, most participants attend conferences to present their results.
Applying to the REU. We look for undergraduates who are motivated to work hard on an open mathematical problem, and can also work independently between meetings with the mentors. Women and students from underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply!
To be eligible, your college graduation date must be after the end of the REU. We have funding for up to three international students, while the other participants should be US citizens or permanent residents. We may take additional international students who have funding from an institute, fellowship, or another official source. Using your own money is not permitted. We cannot help international students with obtaining a visa to the US.
Applications are submitted through www.mathprograms.org. An application includes at least one reference letter, a CV (or resume), a cover letter, a transcript, and any additional information you wish to add. You may submit more than one reference letter. If you participated in a previous research project, please include a letter from your mentor in that program. Transcript do not need to be official. Under additional information, you can add past research projects, jokes, and/or any other relevant information. Please make sure to indicate if you are a US citizen or a permanent resident.
The applications deadline is February 15th. We follow the REU consortium's uniform deadline - applicants will not be required to accept or decline an offer before March 8th. There are usually multiple rounds of offers - not getting an offer by March 9th does not mean anything.
Cover letter and personal statement: Do whatever you want! You can include a personal statement in the cover letter, as a separate file, or not at all. You can write about why this program is for you, or not. You can write about your personal interests and experiences, or not. Don't write when there's nothing you wish to say. You can also do something completely different. We once received a pdf with pictures of mathematicians in sunglasses, and that's good. It certainly got our attention :)
REU participants must be vaccinated and follow the CUNY Covid regulations.
You are very welcome to contact Adam Sheffer at email@example.com for any questions, clarifications, or issues.
Board of Advisors
We strongly believe in relying on experts. For that reason, the REU has a board of advisors, each with different expertise. Our current advisors are:
Catherine Good (CUNY). A psychology professor studying how social stereotypes affect women and minorities in STEM. Good guides us about how to fight such stereotypes and encourage
women and underrepresented minorities to pursue advanced mathematics.
Steven Miller (Williams). The longtime director a large and established REU program and a main figure in the undergraduate research world. Miller advises the program about organizational and mentoring issues.
Francis Su (Harvey Mudd). A vice president of the AMS, a former president of the MAA, and a lot more. But most importantly - author of the book "Mathematics for Human Flourishing." Su helps us to include, at the heart of our program, ideas about leading a healthy and fulfilling life in math .