The ARTU Program plans to select a small number of new Research Scholars or Assistants in fall 2014. Majors will be alerted by email about the spplication process. See the ARTU web page for more information about the program
A summer research experience is a good way to experience what doing math research is like, and to see if it's something you enjoy. Such a project may be an asset in applying to graduate programs, and the work done ielsewhere in an REU could also be the basis for an honors project when you return to W.U. There are many such programs all over the United States. Here are some general comments about the value of REUs from SIAM (Society for Idustrial and Applied Mathematics).
An REU usually runs for about 8 weeks and provides you with housing and a stipend to live on. Most of them are government funded and can't support students who aren't U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Majors who will be juniors (perhaps even sophomores) next year should start thinking whether an REU is something you'd like to do. Explore the links below for some ideas. Applications are usually due by around mid-February. If you might be interested, talk with Dr. Blake Thornton. (In some cases, links for the upcoming summer might not get updated until near the end of the fall semester, but you can still get an idea of what kinds of programs are out there.)
Independent Work and Research During the Academic Year
The Mathematics Department offers opportunities for independent study in specialized areas with a faculty mentor when the student has developed an appropriate background and interest. Independent work can be an important part of the undergraduate educational experience.
Students who become involved in independent study projects or research in mathematics most often do so in the junior or senior years after taking several advanced courses. Students usually need the tools from one or more of these courses, and sometimes such projects grow out of ideas presented in classes. However, a few students have acquired significant knowledge in a "niche" of mathematics (e.g., number theory) during math summer camps, high school study, or prior reading, and could pursue independent work earlier. During the fall semester of the junior year, majors are invited to a group meeting to discuss projects or other ideas for capstones.
Each year the Department selects a small number of students to participate in its ARTU program which engages students in a reading and research project that lasts for at least two semesters and a funded 8 weeks in summer. This program is contingent,e ach year, on funding offered to the Department bhy the Office of Undergradaute Research.
Some ideas for possible work are linked in the side-menu to the left. The suggestions will also give you an idea of the sorts of things some faculty are interested in. independent work might lead to graduation with Latin Honors. However, in any case, a senior (or "capstone" project) can be a valuable experience and a interesting addition to a resume and letters of recommendation. Sometimes student work can be published in undergraduate research journals ( such as, for example, the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal ). Although more unusual, such work may even be publishable in research journals.
Students involved in the Honors Statistics Program have the opportunity to do a practicum, which consists of hands-on field work under the supervision of a professional mentor - either a faculty mentor or a mathematical scientist in industry or at a government research facility. For example, students can undertake a practicum with Washington University faculty in the mathematics department, at the medical school, or in other Arts & Sciences departments such as biology, economics or psychology.