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.

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