Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Fortnight and a Half Yet to Venture...

Well, my friends, 20 February is a big day in terms of REU applying. Most REU programs across different sciences (and mathematics) had the 20th as the due date for applications. I thought I was set, having turned in an unofficial copy of my transcript to Texas A&M's program not long ago. 

However, I received an e-mail from Corvallis (Oregon State), notifying me that my application was complete, except for one letter of recommendation. I was a tad shocked, for those were taken care of several weeks back. Apparently, one of my supposed references either never bothered to read my e-mail that asked for a letter, or he forgot about taking care of it - the reasoning behind it, I'm not sure. Instead of fussing over that, I knew I could turn to my independent study professor, Dr. Daniel Alexander, for help. He was very happy to complete the second recommendation letter in the stead of the original supposed letter-sender. 

Thanks to Dan, my applications are in, including Oregon State's. Like I've said before, all I have to do now is to continue playing the Waiting Room game. A fortnight and a half to go yet, before I hear from any of the nine REU programs. Oregon State gave me a notification deadline of three to four weeks, and the others should follow suit to that loose deadline. We'll soon find out where I'll be researching this summer. Prayers and your continued support is always appreciated, especially now. Now, back to the waiting room for a fortnight and a half.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Last Piece of the Puzzle

Well, here's to yet another update while I'm here in the waiting room.

Yesterday afternoon, with three days to spare, I sent off the last piece to any REU application that I needed to send off - a copy of my unofficial transcript. The REU at Texas A&M was still in need of a copy in order to declare my application complete, so I found a window of time between classes and I sent it off to College Station, TX.

Unless notified otherwise, consider the REU-applying in any form finished, completed, and done. All I truly have to do is wait for the March Madness that will be the e-mails that will arrive at my virtual doorstep, with a 'yay' or 'nay.'

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Unexpected News

Well, I didn't quite expect to receive any e-mails from any of these REU programs so soon, but I've already received one, from the program at Brigham Young University. Here's what was written to me: 

"Your application for BYU's REU is complete. We have received all the forms
and both letters of recommendation. Thank you for applying!

BYU REU Assistant"

What makes this e-mail interesting was that next to the recipient's name, there were about six e-mail addresses, including mine. The only information that I will release about the recipients of this e-mail is that a student from Georgetown University and another student from Purdue University are in the hunt for a spot in BYU's REU program. That statement means that I'm in for lofty competition. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Waiting Room

Well, no word yet from any of the REU programs. I'd thought I'd post a few updates in the waiting process. 

The REU at Oregon State University notified me that they've received every necessary piece of my application, except my two letters of recommendation (at least one is either being filled out and will be submitted tomorrow, or it already has been submitted; the other, well - not sure yet). Every article of the application for Oregon State's REU is 15 February. 

Also, I need to submit my unofficial (and updated) transcript to the REU at Texas A&M University. I meant to do this weeks ago, but I thought it would be in my best interest for my MATH199 course to appear on my transcript beforehand. Now that it is updated, I can submit the last, crucial piece of my REU application to College Station, TX. 

I believe that the notification of acceptance (or denial) e-mails and letters should begin to arrive as early as late February - early to mid-March is more likely. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Introduction/The Waiting Game

Hey everyone! I thought I'd begin a blog that refers to that which should encompass a huge portion of my summer 2009 break - the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

The REU program is a program that is funded by the National Science Foundation and is hosted by a university that receives this NSF funding. The university in question has the say in what the REU program's topic is, its focus (math or a branch of a science), which professors are to be involved, and other details that relate to the program. Not just one university does this a summer, however - all sorts of universities through the country host REU's of different types and fields of science (or math). For example, the University of Oregon may host an REU program that involves a topic in biology, while the University of Tennessee might host an REU program that covers topics in advanced mathematics.

The program at each university allows students interested in their program to apply. Typically, an average of a few hundred students apply to each REU program. Each program accepts between eight and fifteen students, based on the REU applications and factors that set each candidate apart. Like college-applying, its great for a potential REU candidate to apply to more than one interesting REU program.

I applied to nine math REU programs, at these schools:

Brigham Young University
Central Michigan University
Clemson University
James Madison University
University of North Carolina at Asheville
Oregon State University
San Diego State University
Texas A&M University
University of Utah

I also considered ones at the University of Arizona, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Willamette University, and Williams College, but decided against them for different reasons.

The first few posts of this blog are intended to allow the reader to understand the definition of an REU and my anticipation as I wait to receive acceptances/denials back from these REU programs. The later posts will record my actual time spent and research conducted at the REU program I'll end up attending. I shouldn't begin to receive letters/e-mails from these programs until either late February or early March, but I'll post when I do begin to receive messages.