From 2000 to the present, the Department of Mathematics has developed and run what may well be the world’s largest Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. For eighteen of the past twenty years the program was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF support has now ended, and we seek to maintain the program by developing philanthropic support.
After twenty years of operation, the essentials of the program are well-established and have proven enormously successful. The heart of the REU is that all participants must write papers. The topics are chosen by the participants themselves, in consultation with their graduate mentors and faculty. Participants have varying interests and varying backgrounds. The paper and the regular mentoring allows the program to be individually tailored. The individualized and non-competitive nature of the program allows students to find their passion for mathematics. This has been highly beneficial in supporting women and underrepresented minorities in the field, and it has led to impressive growth in the College’s mathematics major. Mathematics majors at UChicago increased from 49 out of 988 (5%) in 2000-01 to 164 out of 1398 (12%) in 2017-18, second only to Economics. Percentages like that are unique to Chicago.
It would severely disrupt the mathematics major to lose this program. Far more UChicago students apply than can be accepted, and we intend to retain a need-blind admission policy. At its present size, it costs $300,000 annually to run the program and provide financial aid for participating students.
We are seeking philanthropic support at all levels. To make a gift click here. To learn more about naming opportunities, please contact Erin Biebuyck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-702-4508. To read students papers or apply for the program, visit the REU’s main web page.