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Summer REU Opportunities


In summer REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates), you spend 6-10 weeks doing research, get paid, and sometimes even get to have your name on a paper. There are many summer REUs covering various research topics (in both theoretical and applied math). Most REUs are geared towards students who have already taken some upper level undergraduate courses, but there are some that are also specifically aimed at first or second year undergrads. Look through the list of summer REU opportunities here to find some that are a good fit for you. One of the projects on that list is the SIAM-Simons Undergraduate Research Program for which Purdue Professor Alexandra Volkening will be directing one of the projects in the summer of 2024. 

Applying for summer REU Opportunities

Most REUs have application deadlines in February or March. Admittance to these REU programs is highly competitive, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your application before Christmas break so that you have time to prepare an excellent application. Most REU applications will require the following.

  • Information about the math (or math related) classes you’ve taken and your grades in those classes. Some programs require copies of your academic transcript.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
    • Be sure to ask your professors for a letter of recommendation at least 2 weeks before (preferably even earlier) the application deadline.
    • Your professors can write better letters or recommendation if they know more about you than what grade you earned in their class.
      • Be an active participant in class (ask/answer questions).
      • Go to their office hours. Even if you don’t have questions on the homework, you can ask them about their research or ask advice on what courses they would recommend based on your career goals.
    • A personal statement.
      • The personal statement is a very important part of the application. REU programs receive many more applications than they can accept, and they want to make sure that the students who come to their REU program will be excited about the research they will doing.


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