The intense eight-week program for undergraduates will be held again in summer 2023 and 2024.

REU Group on stepsThe University of Maryland’s Department of Mathematics hosted an intense eight-week summer program for students interested in modern topics in pure and applied mathematics in summer 2022. 

Eleven undergraduates, who attend universities across the country, and two high school students from nearby Montgomery Blair High School worked on two research projects:

  • Mathematical modeling in material science with the emphasis on classical and quantum mechanics, led by Mathematics Professor Dionisios Margetis
  • Machine learning methods for the study of rare events in stochastic systems, led by Mathematics Associate Professor Maria Cameron

“The projects stem from hot research areas where a lot of exploration is yet to be done,” said Cameron, who is also the program director. “This enables the undergraduates to exploit their creativity and advance their knowledge in the corresponding fields.”

Helping Cameron with the program is Mathematics Professor Wojciech Czaja, who serves as the assistant program director. The program is also supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

The program began with two weeks of teaching the undergraduates the necessary background, followed by six weeks of research on the projects. The students also attended three weekly seminars: one where the students gave oral updates on their projects, one where professors from UMD and nearby universities gave expository talks on their research, as well as a workshop covering topics such as how to apply for graduate schools and research fellowships, write a paper and give a talk. In addition, the students explored the D.C. area, with trips that included a hike on the Billy Goat Trail at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

The summer concluded with a poster competition where each research group presented a poster on their project and a symposium where each undergraduate participant gave a talk. In addition, each student wrote a report to be converted into a paper in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Following on to their summer experiences, several students gave oral and poster presentations at various conferences in fall 2022, including the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Rice University. Additional presentations are planned for the Joint Mathematics Meeting in January 2023. 

Cameron and Czaja look forward to hosting UMD’s summer program again in summer 2023 and 2024. Students will work on the following projects in summer 2023:

  • Cluster algebras and polylogarithm relations, led by Mathematics Associate Professor Christian Zickert
  • Geometric measure theory in optimal transport, geometric flows and minimal surfaces, led by Mathematics Assistant Professor Antonio de Rosa
  • Data-driven methods for the study of rare events in stochastic systems, led by Cameron

“Running the REU program has been a very exciting experience for me,” Cameron reflected. “The framework of the REU gives me a wonderful opportunity to explore new research directions and learn something new that I would not find time for otherwise. The enthusiasm and talent of the REU participants who are largely self-selected from all over the USA is a strong driver for progress and innovations.”

Applications for UMD’s Summer 2023 program will open in early January 2023 at and will be due February 20, 2023.



UMD’s REU program is supported by the National Science Foundation (Award No. DMS2149913). This article does not necessarily reflect the views of this organization.

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