I am a community college student. Can I apply for an REU position?
Yes! Our NSF support includes funding specifically targeted to community college students. Our goal is help to provide experience in research that will help to encourage students to consider majoring in math or applied math. We will also work with you to help you to get ready for the summer.Please contact me if you have questions about whether the REU is a good fit for you.
I am a math for education major. Can I apply for an REU position?
Yes! Our NSF support includes funding specifically targeted to math for education majors. Our goal is to provide future expert teachers with experience in applied math that they can take to future classrooms. We are especially enthusiastic about applications from math for education students who are willing to work with us, the and the Curtis Center for K-12 education in Mathematics after the REU to develop new curricular materials that can be used in California classrooms.
Do I need to be a math or applied math major to apply for an REU position?
No. Each year our REU includes students from majors like neuroscience, engineering, statistics, or physics. In particular, some of our projects include experimental components, in fluid flow, robotics and cell biology, and are particularly suitable for students with an interest in building equipment and performing experiments.
What classes should I have taken?
There is no list of mandatory classes that are required, and different projects have different needs. Projects are also designed so that teams with very different types of preparation can all make major contributions. Typically students will have finished their multivariate calculus and linear algebra lower division classes by the time the REU starts. (We are flexible on these requirements for students applying from community college). Other useful classes include numerical math or scientific computing, programming, upper division linear algebra, probability and differential equations.
Do I need to be a US citizen or Permanent Resident to apply?
NSF REU funds can only be used to support US citizens and Permanent Residents. However, we have some alternate funding sources that allow us to support a smaller number of international students also. Additionally, if you are not a UCLA student, you first should ask your department or college whether they can provide any funding to support your summer research. We may be able to match funds provided by your college, and this will increase our chances of being able to join the REU.
Do I need to be from UCLA / Los Angeles?
No! The REU is open to students from anywhere in the US. However, although the stipend is more than sufficient to cover housing and living expenses in the LA area, we do not provide dormitory housing. So you should be prepared to find your own apartment near the UCLA campus. The UCLA housing pages are filled with summer sublet opportunities, and students typically experience no problem finding housing close to campus.
What should I expect to get out of the REU summer?
REU projects are training projects -- that is, our primary goal is that you should reach the summer having worked on a real research problem: something that is at the frontiers of mathematics, and that you will have learned some new mathematics in studying the problem. Each year, our REU produces several papers, and undergraduate authored papers have appeared in PNAS, Proceedings of the Royal Society, PLoS ONE, IMA Journal of Applied Math and so on. We also want you to get a clearer sense of what mathematical research looks like, and whether it is something that you want to pursue after you graduate. To this end, we also provide classes in key skills like computer programming, GRE preparation, and information on the graduate school application process.