This project focuses on increasing the participation of highly qualified underrepresented minority students in mathematical sciences doctoral programs by providing a comprehensive training and research program at the undergraduate level. It develops a network of eight campuses of the California State System located in the Southern California area. These include Cal State Channel Islands, Dominquez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Polytechnic Pomona, and San Bernadino. Built on the cornerstones of (a) undergraduate research, (b) advanced course work and seminars, and (c) strong mentoring and aggressive recruitment, the project will identify and prepare selected talented and motivated underrepresented undergraduate students to succeed in mathematical sciences careers through a series of high-quality, personalized activities. These include (a) summer institutes that complement courses and expand students' mathematical horizons; (b) at least one year of undergraduate research projects for junior and senior math majors; and (c) seminars and rigorous and advanced mathematics course work. Eight mathematics faculty with experience in mentoring students from underrepresented groups will co-direct the project with support of the chairs and fellow members of their departments. With these activities and under the guidance of the faculty involved in the project, students will grow mathematically and develop their full intellectual potential. The project will provide them with a comprehensive education and training program that emphasizes the rigor of mathematical sciences and discovery.
By identifying talented and highly motivated students from minority groups, by addressing critical choices they face, and by providing a solid mathematical education to them, this project will make a significant contribution to increasing the quantity, quality, and diversity of the mathematical sciences workforce. The resulting increase in numbers and quality of minority students from our region (particularly Hispanic/Latino students) entering Ph.D. math programs will do much to lift other students' aspirations and encourage them to pursue careers in mathematics or with a heavy mathematical component. This change will positively impact the quality of mathematical education offered in our institutions' undergraduate program. In particular, this project will alter the intellectual atmosphere among faculty and students in the involved institutions and will have beneficial repercussions beyond the time-frame covered by the project itself.