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Involving more deaf and hard-of-hearing students in undergraduate research is a step toward getting more such students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. Since evidence exists that undergraduate research improves retention, especially for some underrepresented groups that have low retention rates—as, for example, deaf and hard-of-hearing STEM majors—it is a particularly pertinent step to keep interested students in these career paths. Nunes and Moreno have suggested that deaf and hard-of-hearing students have the potential to pursue mathematics, but lack the resources. By involving more such individuals in undergraduate mathematics research, we can improve their success rates and promote mathematics research within the Deaf community.
Here we describe our experiences working both with and as deaf or hard-of- hearing students in research, as well as advice that stems from these experiences. Each of the authors is a faculty member at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, and holds a PhD in a scientific field. Three of the authors are deaf, and one (Jacob) is hearing. While this paper describes the experiences and opinions of individuals, and is not meant to be an all-inclusive handbook on how to do research with any deaf or hard-of-hearing student, we hope that it will be a helpful resource.
We describe the challenges in promoting undergraduate research in the mathematical sciences. The challenges are grouped in regards to the population that research is promoted to: students, faculty and administrators. For each category, we provide some suggestions for overcoming the challenges taking into account the variety of institutions involved.
If a mathematics department has a capstone course, how does undergraduate research figure into that capstone requirement? What challenges are involved when instituting undergraduate research as part of the capstone experience? These were the central questions for discussion in the undergraduate research as a capstone requirement breakout session at the 2012 Trends in Undergraduate Research in the Mathematical Sciences conference. In short, there is not one design that will satisfy the needs and goals of every mathematics program, but a department seeking to implement undergraduate research as a capstone requirement may benefit from the experiences of other departments. This article discusses the common objectives of a capstone in mathematical sciences and presents several successful models that incorporate undergraduate research in a capstone experience. The challenges and questions associated with each model are also discussed.
This paper offers a brief history of an experiment begun in 2002, namely, the institutionalization of undergraduate research (UGR) in the mathematical sciences as a semester-long requirement for all mathematics majors at East Tennessee State University, a public, regional school. We describe the early, middle, and later years of this ten-year journey; assessment methods; and other aspects. Technical aspects of the student projects are limited to those in the authors’ fields of expertise, as captured by the MSC secondary classifications for this paper.
We provide a historical report of the undergraduate poster session at the annual joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America from its inception in 1991 until 2013. We also provide data on the number of undergraduates attending the joint meetings and the number giving talks.
The benefits for students who do undergraduate research are mainly thought of in terms of graduate school success and opportunities for future careers as professors. These benefits also help students who go into business, industry, or government. Faculty mentors are often unaware of careers and internships in business, industry, or government. In this paper, some of these opportunities will be presented so that professors can better direct students to them as they are mentoring students. Much of this information has been obtained while organizing the summer internship program at Brigham Young University’s Department of Mathematics, the “Careers in Math” speaker series funded by NSF grant DUE-1019594, and our academic-year undergraduate research program, which involves about 75 mathematics majors a year in original research.
This article summarizes the authors’ presentations on the panel “Working with Students from Underrepresented Groups” as part of the MAA’s Trends in Undergraduate Research in Mathematics Conference held in Chicago, in October 2012. We highlight effective aspects of our own successful programs that emphasize working with students from underrepresented groups. We discuss specific issues of program design that one might beneficially consider when planning to work with students from underrepresented groups and provide examples of ways in which the authors have addressed these concerns.
Presented in this paper are the findings of the panel entitled Outlets forundergraduate research as delivered at the Trends in Undergraduate Research in Mathematical Sciences (TURMS) in Chicago on October 27, 2012. We specifically discuss venues and best practices for student papers, posters, and presentations.
This article describes the Iowa State University (ISU) mathematics REU. The emphasis is on how certain choices made have shaped the ISU REU. The ISU REU draws a diverse group of students from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities nationwide. It is research-intense, with no course or workshop component, and results are disseminated through publications and presentations at conferences. Students in the REU work in teams with graduate students and faculty.
The Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty (REUF) program of the American Institute of Mathematics prepares faculty to engage in research with undergraduate students, encourages long-term research collaborations among some of its faculty, and builds a network of faculty who supervise undergraduate research. Participants of each REUF workshop are faculty members from undergraduate colleges interested in mentoring students in research mathematics at their home institutions. During a workshop, senior mathematicians with experience supervising undergraduate research present open problems suitable for undergraduates. The REUF program also includes several follow-up activities.
Institutional support is critical for establishing and maintaining an undergraduate research program. This paper discusses some of the challenges that one may encounter when seeking to institutionalize undergraduate research, including budget and personnel issues. It provides various views and ideas from schools that have been successful in securing institutional support for undergraduate research, and makes some suggestions of rationales for effectively arguing on behalf of undergraduate research.
This paper is based on ideas generated at a breakout session at the 2012 national conference on Trends in Undergraduate Research in the Mathematical Sciences. Additional resources for a more in-depth discussion of the ideas presented in this paper are also provided.
Over the last three years, I have worked with four undergraduate students on research during the academic year in addition to mentoring undergraduate students at the REU at Rochester Institute of Technology. All four of these students had taken proof-based classes with me. These students had a high level of mathematical maturity with excellent motivation and work ethic. In this paper, I share my experiences working with them during the academic year and share my principles in mentoring undergraduate students.
In this article, we consider the role of graduate students as mentors in research experience for undergraduates (REU) programs, as reflected by a breakout session at the Trends for Undergraduate Research in Mathematical Sciences (TURMS) conference. We consider the benefits of using graduate students to the institution running the program and to the participating undergraduates. We also consider the benefits that the graduate students themselves gain from working in an REU, and we warn of potential problems that can arise when employing graduate students in this context. We discuss the role of postdoctoral fellows and other undergraduates in REU programs and conclude with questions about graduate student mentors that merit further discussion.
One summer, I chose two undergraduate students to work with me on a research project. Our goal was specifically to find a new approach to proving a theorem I had already proved several years before. We were looking for a new approach because the proof I had written is too long for publication, but the result itself is interesting. As is common in mathematics, our work led us to an unexpected discovery. This article leads the reader through our journey.
At a time when funding for programs on academic campuses around the country is tight, financial support for undergraduate research has also become increasingly difficult to find. We discuss some suggestions for funding and supporting undergraduate research programs in mathematics from the 2012 “Trends in Undergraduate Research in Mathematical Sciences” conference held in Chicago, October 26–28, 2012.
The Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) provides funding and training for mathematics faculty to engage groups of students in academic year research. This paper provides an overview of the CURM model and its impact on mathematics students, faculty, and institutions across the country. We also present three case studies describing the transformational effects of CURM mini-grants at three markedly different institutions.
In this article we provide information for faculty interested in engaging in undergraduate research with their students. Most of the information discussed was gathered from the 2012 Trends for Undergraduate Research in Mathematical Sciences conference. The article includes information on finding appropriate research projects and students to work with. It also discusses various opportunities for faculty as well as some general advice for those new to mentoring undergraduate research.
Research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) are an important component of undergraduate education. However, at the 2012 Trends in Undergraduate Research in the Mathematical Sciences conference, questions were raised about why many REU programs see few applications from students that are members of underrepresented groups. We examine the benefits of REUs and factors preventing or promoting participation in REUs.
“I like math a lot, but what can I do with it other than teach?”
In order to enhance the educational, research, and professional experiences for students and faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and to help make contacts with business and industry, the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics (CIMS) was established at WPI in 1997. Faculty and students work on research problems that come directly from companies and are of industrial and mathematical significance. CIMS research activities have included projects for mathematical sciences majors during the regular academic year, and the WPI REU Program in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics, which is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and our industrial partners. Here we give an overview of our experience with the industrial research program, highlighting the processes, benefits, and challenges.
The purpose of this article is to encourage advisors to consider choosing a topic related to sports analytics for their next undergraduate research project. We discuss some of the advantages of working in problems related to sports analytics in an undergraduate research context. We also give a sense of the skills necessary to be successful in research, some ideas of what would make good problems, and avenues to present results. This article expands on the author’s presentation at the 2012 Trends in Undergraduate Research in the Mathematical Sciences Conference.