MSRI-UP, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Program ID: MSRI-REU [#524]
Program Title: MSRI-UP 2017
Program Type: Undergraduate program
Program Location: Berkeley, California 94720, United States [map]
Subject Area: Solving Systems of Polynomial Equations
Starting Date: 2017/06/24
Application Deadline: 2017/02/15 (posted 2016/12/05, listed until 2017/03/01)
Program Description:    

The 2017 Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program (MSRI-UP) is a comprehensive summer program designed for undergraduate students who have completed at least two years of university-level mathematics courses and would like to conduct research in the mathematical sciences.

The main objective of the MSRI-UP is to identify talented students, especially those from underrepresented groups, who are interested in mathematics and make available to them meaningful research opportunities, the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in successful collaborations, and a community of academic peers and mentors who can advise, encourage and support them through a successful graduate program.

In 2017, MSRI-UP will focus on Solving Systems of Polynomial Equations, a topic at the heart of almost every computational problem in the physical and life sciences. We will pay special attention to complexity issues, highlighting connections with tropical geometry, number theory, and the P vs. NP problem. The research program will be led by Prof. J. Maurice Rojas of Texas A&M University. Students who have had a linear algebra course and a course in which they have had to write proofs are eligible to apply. Due to funding restrictions, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply regardless of funding. Members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

During the summer, each of the 18 student participants will:

  • participate in the mathematics research program under the direction of Prof. J. Maurice Rojas of Texas A&M University, a post-doc and two graduate students
  • complete a research project done in collaboration with other MSRI-UP students
  • give a presentation and write a technical report on his/her research project
  • attend a series of colloquium talks given by leading researchers in their fields
  • attend workshops aimed at developing skills and techniques needed for research careers in the mathematical sciences
  • learn techniques that will maximize a student's likelihood of admissions to graduate programs as well as the likelihood of winning fellowships
  • receive a $3100 stipend, lodging, meals and round trip travel to Berkeley, CA.

After the summer, each student will:

  • have an opportunity to attend national mathematics or science conferences where s/he will present their research
  • be part of a network that will provide continuous advice in the long term as s/he makes progress in her/his studies
  • be contacted regarding future research opportunities.

Application Deadline: Applications submitted by February 15, 2017 will receive full consideration; applications submitted by March 1, 2017 may also be considered in a second round of acceptances. We expect to begin making offers for participation in late February or early March.

Due to funding restrictions, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply and the program cannot accept foreign students regardless of funding.

A complete application consists of the following five items:

1. Transcripts.

Upload a copy of your transcripts showing courses and grades from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended. Initially, unofficial copies (as long as they are legible) of transcripts are acceptable, though we may request official transcripts upon acceptance to the program. Transcripts should contain Fall 2016 grades.

2. Statement of Interest.

Write a personal statement (300 - 800 words) addressing your interest in mathematics, science, and/or other disciplines, and why you would like to participate in the 2017 MSRI-UP. You may write in any style, but try to address the origins of your interest in mathematics and science, experiences (school-related and other) that have particularly stimulated you, obstacles you have faced along the way, and future educational and career plans and aspirations. If you are currently attending a two-year institution, provide the name of the four-year institution to which you plan to transfer and the date when you plan to transfer in your statement.

3. List of Mathematics/Science Courses Taken with Grades.

Please list all mathematics and science courses taken, starting with the most recent. State the Course Number, Course Title, Term Taken, Grade Received, and Institution where you took the course.

Example: MATH 201, Calculus 1, Spring 2015, B+, Carolina Community College

4. Description of Previous Summer / Research Experiences.

Please list and give a brief description of all mathematics or science research or summer programs (high school or college), if any, in which you have participated. (Students who have not participated in any programs previously are encouraged to apply.)

5. Faculty Reference Letter of Recommendation.

Please designate one Faculty Reference; this should be someone from whom you have taken a class or with whom you have done independent mathematical or scientific work. The person you identify as the Faculty Reference on the MathPrograms website will be notified to fill out an on-line form and upload a letter of recommendation. Although the person will be notified automatically by email, it is the student's responsibility to make sure the letter is uploaded on time. You may include a second letter if you think it will strengthen your application significantly.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website:
And anything else requested in the program description.

Further Info:
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
17 Gauss Way
Berkeley CA 94720-5070

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