REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Algebra, Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Matrix Theory

Grant Details


This grant will continue a Research Experiences for Undergraduates site at Central Michigan University (CMU). Each summer for the next three years (2003-05), eight students recruited nationwide will engage in mathematical research during the eight-week program. The primary objective is to stimulate talented undergraduate students to pursue graduate work in science and mathematics by providing accessible and challenging research problems in basic mathematics. Typical problem areas include the Laplacian spectrum of graphs, Schur stability of matrices, the zero-divisor graph of a semigroup, and relative difference sets.

Four faculty members will be active in the three-year program; three faculty members will coordinate the effort each summer. Students will work in groups of two with one faculty mentor. Students will make presentations of their progress during weekly seminars. Each student will submit a written report at the end of the program. Students will be encouraged to publish their work and make presentations at professional meetings. Every effort will be made during recruitment process to attract applications from students in under represented groups.

The faculty mentors have considerable experience in guiding undergraduate research projects. In 2002 CMU received NSF funding as an REU-site in mathematics and that summer program was evaluated as a highly successful project.

The students will be provided $2400 in stipend, housing costs, meal allowance, and travel support for conference presentations. CMU will provide access to classrooms, seminar rooms, the campus library, computer labs, laptops, printer, copying services and recreational facilities. To complement the research experience a number of social and enrichment activities have been planned. A day trip to Dow Chemical or Ford Motor Company will provide some exposure to mathematics in the workplace. A day trip to Mackinaw Island will provide a broader historical perspective on the State of Michigan.

The intellectual merit of this project is based on the challenging mathematical problems the students will attempt to solve. The students will tackle unsolved problems whose solutions (or partial solutions) will improve human understanding of the very structure of mathematics. The broader impacts of the proposed project include training undergraduates in research in basic mathematics, increasing the participation of women and minorities in science and math activities, and involving undergraduates as young professionals in the broader disciplinary field.

Point of Contact:

Dr. Sivaram Narayan


Effective start/end date05/1/0304/30/06


  • National Science Foundation: $163,800.00


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