Department of Mathematics

Undergraduate research opportunities

Many of our faculty, both math and math education, are involved in research projects with students. The ways you can participate in a research project with a faculty member at GVSU include:

  • the GVSU Math Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program,
  • the Summer Student Scholars Program (S3),
  • taking MTH 496,
  • taking an independent study and
  • the Student Scholars Day (SSD).
The first two of these opportunities offer generous compensation to students for participating in the program, while the next two offer credit. The last option does not provide any monetary or credit compensation to the student. Here's a little more detail about each of the above options.
The GVSU Math REU program selects eight undergraduates from a pool of applicants from all over the U.S. to participate in a research experience with GVSU math faculty. The program lasts 8 weeks during the summer. The applications are due in February. For more information about the program, visit the GVSU Math REU page.
S3 is a program which provides funds to a GVSU student and faculty mentor pair to conduct research over a 12-week period during the summer. If you are interested in participating in an S3 project with a faculty member, consult your advisor or another professor, or directly approach a faculty member who you would be interested in working with. Ideas for S3 projects may come from a project that you completed for a course, from a topic that you heard about and would like to investigate, or from the professor who you would like to work with. Since the applications are due in early January, it would be best to contact a professor in early fall, or earlier. For more information about S3, visit the S3 page.
MTH 496
MTH 496 is one option for a student to satisfy the math major capstone requirement. In MTH 496 a student conducts a detailed study of a topic and produces oral and written presentation of this study. The study can involve original research. MTH 496 can be taken even if you have already taken, or plan to take MTH 495. If you are interested in taking MTH 496, please consult your advisor or another professor well in advance.
Independent study
A student can also participate in research during an independent study course (MTH 399 or MTH 499). During an independent study, a student studies a topic on her own under the supervision of a professor. An independent study course does not have to involve research beyond the learning of a new subject, however, a student can take on a research project as part of an independent study course as well. If you are interested in taking an independent study course, please consult your advisor or another professor.
The SSD is a one-day showcase for GVSU students to present their research in the form of a poster or an oral presentation. The project could be initiated as a course project or as an independent project with a faculty mentor. For more information, visit the SSD page.
Opportunities outside GVSU
There are many programs all over the U.S. which provide undergraduate students research opportunities during the summer. Almost all of these programs provide travel support, room and board, and a stipend to participants (Note that most of the programs require a student to be a U.S. citizen or a resident to receive compensation). For a list of these programs, check out: 
On the AMS undergraduates page you can also find a list of "Semester Programs" where a student has the opportunity to take a wider variety of mathematics courses than in a typical undergraduate math program.


Page last modified August 17, 2012