The objectives of the project are to provide a research experience in combinatorics, number theory and graph theory for eight of the nation's most talented undergraduate mathematics students and to integrate these students into the research community at an early stage of their careers. The principal investigator and two graduate students who are program alumni will supervise the work. The program has a three decade history of attracting extraordinary students and has produced over 160 papers in well regarded professional research journals.

Overall 90% of the Duluth REU participants pursue a Ph.D. degree with 70% attending graduate school at a top institution. The most important impact of the Duluth program is the training of future generations of mathematicians who will foster undergraduate research when they become professionals. The Duluth program has served as a model and an inspiration for many other undergraduate research programs.

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The site is co-funded by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.

Project Report

The goal of the ten-week summer program is to provide a research experience for eight of the nation's most talented undergraduate mathematics students and to integrate them into the research community at an early stage of their careers. The Duluth REU provides a supportive, engaging environment that trains undergraduates to become research mathematicians and future research mentors of undergraduate students. Program participants give weekly talks on their research that are critiqued by other participants. Their research papers are carefully read by the PI and at least one other program alumnus before they are submitted to journals. The participants also receive feedback from referee reports. Nearly all the participants present their research at the annual joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America. The program produces between 8 and 10 publications per year in leading profession level research journals. Perhaps the most important outcome of participation in the Duluth REU is the extraordinary networking opportunity it provides. Twenty or so program alumni return to the REU year after year. Repeated visits by many people fosters a sense of community among the participants. The returning people serve as informal counselors, research advisers, and role models for the first-time participants. Many participants in the programs from different summers have formed long term professional relationships and friendships. About 90% of the participants in the Duluth REU obtain a PhD in mathematics or computer science at a top ten graduate school and make a significant contribution as a research mathematician or a practitioner of mathematics. Many Duluth REU alumni have careers in the software industry. A Duluth REU alumnus won a Fields Medal in 2014 and one won the 2015 American Mathematical Society/Mathematical Association of American/Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematicians' Morgan Prize for Research by an Undergraduate.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
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Jennifer Pearl
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University of Minnesota Duluth
United States
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