Research Experiences for Undergraduates
REU: Research Challenges of Computational and Experimental Mathematics
The Mathematics Program of Moravian College invites applications for a NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in the summer (June 1 -- July 31) of 2020 that will concentrate on research projects associated with experimental mathematics and its role in stimulating new research. Experimental mathematics is “an approach to mathematics in which computation is used to investigate mathematical objects and identify properties and patterns” (E. W. Weisstein, “Experimental Mathematics,” MathWorld). Experimental mathematics plays an important role in number theory, combinatorics and discrete mathematics, among many other fields. Mathematicians have always practiced techniques that are now considered part of experimental mathematics. Historical records are replete with examples of computational techniques being used to develop and prove conjectures in a variety of mathematical fields. Experimental mathematics re-emerged in the 20th century as a dynamic mathematical tool with the development of the electronic computer. The new technology makes use of such areas as numerical methods, precision arithmetic, and integer relation algorithms to calculate approximate values for integrals and infinite series, to search for relationships between mathematical values and constants, to construct counterexamples, and to develop new conjectures.
Students will work in integrated teams with mentors and immerse themselves in open-ended mathematics research projects. Participating students will be provided a stipend of $4,500, on-campus housing with support for a summer meal plan, and travel expenses to and from the Moravian College campus. Students will be assigned to research teams based on their interests and each team will be mentored by one or two faculty advisors. In addition to working on their collaborative projects, students will attend seminars, give presentations, and enjoy fun social activities. They will be encouraged to attend and give presentations at their home institutions as well as local and national professional meetings.
Moravian College is part of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) community located in Allentown, PA. The LVAIC consortium is one of the oldest in the country consisting of six member institutions (Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Moravian College, DeSales University, Cedar Crest College, and Lafayette College) and six associate member institutions (Albright College; Alvernia University; Lehigh Carbon Community College; Neumann University; Northampton Community College; Reading Area Community College).
The program entails nine weeks of intensive work during the summer; student participants are strongly encouraged to continue their projects during the following academic year. Because of the nine-week intensive effort and on-site participation, students should not commit to other activities (e.g., courses) during the REU program. We expect the program will select ten undergraduates to participate. Supplemental funding may allow for selecting an additional 5 to 8 undergraduate participants. Participants will have LVAIC faculty members and/or associated faculty as supervisors.
To submit your online application, go to the application process page www.mathprograms.org/db/programs/916 for instructions on application guidelines and required application materials. Applications will be submitted through mathprograms.org. Click on the link for "...as Program applicant", create an account, and follow the directions at our program's listing. Applicants should be undergraduates with a major in Mathematics, Computer Science, or a closely related STEM field. They should be current sophomores or juniors, although first year students with exceptionally strong backgrounds will be considered. In exceptional circumstances, seniors will be allowed into the program if they will not have graduated by the time the program begins. Preference will be given to students who will continue their research projects during the academic year, under the direction of either their supervisor or a faculty member from their home institution. Due to funding agency rules, only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who will be full time undergraduate students in Fall 2020 are eligible for funding support. Women, minorities, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
If you would like more information about the program, the supervisors, or suggested research projects, please contact the REU Coordinators Dr. Nathan Shank (shankn at Moravian dot edu), Dr. Eugene Fiorini (eugenefiorini at muhlenberg dot edu) or Dr. Joshua Harrington (joshua dot harrington at cedar crest dot edu) or call 610-861-1335.