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Research Opportunities

An undergraduate research experience can be transformative. There are a number of routes to an undergraduate research experience in mathematics for Carnegie Mellon students.

  • REU. Many universities in the US host summer undergraduate research experience programs, known as REUs. Many of these are supported by the NSF, and they usually offer a stipend to student participants. For a list of mathematics REU programs and useful links visit the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) websites.

    Our department hosts a similar summer program called the Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute (SUAMI). Most REU's focus on the research experience, but the SUAMI program is different in that it seeks to emulate the graduate school experience by including both coursework and research. (At most 2 CMU students will admitted into the SUAMI each summer.)

  • 21-499 Undergraduate Research Topic. This course affords undergraduates an opportunity to pursue elementary research topics in the area of expertise of the instructor. The prerequisites will depend on the content of the course. At least one lecture of 21-499 is offered each semester. In some cases, this course is offered in the semester after an advanced undergraduate course is taught by the same instructor on the same topic.

  • SURF. The Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Research Office funds a number of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships each year. These fellowships pay a stipend and require that you perform research on campus with an advisor who is a CMU faculty member. Through the generosity of alumni, the Department has been able to expand the availability of SURF fellowships in mathematics.

    ► Math SURF 2016

    ► Math SURF 2017

  • Jennings Global Mathematics Fund. Awards from this fund allow mathematics majors to travel abroad during their summer breaks to study, conduct research, and/or participate in service work. Such an award can be used to support an undergraduate research project if you identify an opportunity to conduct research abroad.

If you are perplexed on how to find the best research opportunities available to you, make an appointment with our undergraduate research director, Irina Gheorghiciuc. Students interested in doing research in biology, chemistry or physics should visit the Mellon College of Science Undergraduate Research website.