Undergraduate Research Activities
Our group centrally involves undergraduate students in ongoing projects. We also provide other activities that offer excellent opportunities for undergraduate students to apply their skills to real-world problems. Interested students are encouraged to ask faculty they are interested in working with about current opportunities.
In order to be successful, students need a strong background and interest in computational and applied mathematics and be able to commit substantial time to the research project. A critical requirement for most projects is a strong background in numerical analysis and strong programming skills as offered, e.g., in Emory’s course MATH 315. Students should also bring a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm to learn and work independently. Depending on the project, other courses or technical skills will be needed.
Students that are curious in getting research experience in scientific computing can find information about current projects. It is recommended to reach out directly to the faculty member associated with projects of interest. Students are also encouraged to attend our group’s weekly seminar.
Expectations from Undergraduate Researchers
We expect the students we advise to create new knowledge leading to scholarship in the form of a final thesis, poster presentations, talks, and publications.
A few recent examples of peer-reviewed papers that originated from undergraduate work are:
- Ramos E, Rexer E, Saran I: A Monetary Evaluation of Ecosystem Services, UMAP Journal on Undergraduate Mathematics and Its Applications, 2019. This paper was selected as one of the top papers in ICM 2019 and awarded the status of outstanding winners (top 8 out of 4,852 submissions)
- Garvey C., Meng C., Nagy J.: Singular Value Decomposition Approximation via Kronecker Summations for Imaging Applications. SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, 39(4), 2018.
- Lin C Y, Veneziani A, Ruthotto L: Numerical Methods for Polyline-to-Point-Cloud Registration with Applications to Patient-Specific Stent Reconstruction, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 34(3), 2017
- Platero R., Least Squares Updating for Kronecker Products. Received Outstanding Student Research Presentation Award at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
- Keller, J. P., Gerardo-Giorda, L., & Veneziani, A. (2013). Numerical simulation of a susceptible–exposed–infectious space-continuous model for the spread of rabies in raccoons across a realistic landscape. Journal of biological dynamics, 7(sup1), 31-46.)
Undergraduate Research Activities at Emory
The Department of Mathematics and our group offer various ways for undergraduate students to participate in research projects.
- Emory University MatheMatics Association (EUMMA): EUMMA is a social organization for students at Emory with an interest in mathematics. There are roughly two events each month, both academic and social gathering. The association hosts lectures by faculty, panel discussions on topics including applying to graduate schools, internship and other opportunities, as well occasional events such as game nights, outdoor games and movie screenings. While many of our members are either math majors or minors, this is certainly not a requirement; we invite and encourage anyone with an interest in mathematics to come to our meetings and join in on our activities. Join our Facebook Page
- Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM): We advise and sponsor teams for this intense four-day challenge. Students work in teams of up to three on difficult, open-ended problems that are inspired by real-life challenges. The contest takes place early in the spring semester but students should watch out for info sessions in the fall semester and contact Lars Ruthotto if they are interested in more information.
- Emory Research Partner Program: Rising second and third year students at Emory who are interested in research should consider applying for this program. The program includes a weekly class SIRE 299 and other activities that prepare students for working on research projects.
- Emory Honors Program: This program is by invitation only and requires students to complete and defend a research thesis and take a graduate-level class while maintaining a high GPA. Nominations are made in the spring of junior year and interested students are encouraged to speak to faculty members ahead of time.
- Emory Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). Emory students are encouraged to apply. Applications for the SURE program are reviewed in the spring semester and interested students should identify and talk to a faculty mentor about their project plan ahead of time. The SURE program allows students to work on their project during the summer at the end of which they will present their progress in a poster symposium. Participants receive a stipend and housing support.
- Summer research experiences (external students only). Subject to funding availability and ongoing projects research opportunities for external undergraduate students might be available. Announcements will be listed on our jobs site.
Research Opportunities at Other Institutions
We are glad to help students find research opportunities (e.g., NSF REUs) at other institutions. A few examples of programs for the summer of 2020 are. Most application deadlines are in 2020.
More programs can be found at https://www.mathprograms.org/db.
These programs are very competitive and some of them require reference letters from faculty who know you well. If you are interested in applying to these programs, it is recommended that you discuss this with your faculty advisor early enough.
Many of our honors students and other undergraduate students involved in research projects have continued their research careers by entering top-level graduate programs, including at Rice University, UCLA, Stanford U, UIUC, University of Texas, Michigan U, Duke U.