REU Summer Research Program

Research Experiences for Undergraduates – REU Program

Our department has offered experiences in math research to undergraduates from all over the country for over four decades. Students are selected to participate in research projects during the summer with individual faculty mentors, investigating a wide variety of topics. The National Science Foundation supports the program via a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant.

Math immersion over the summer

The REU program is ideal for students who want the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a math research project. The experience emphasizes close relationships with faculty advisors in small groups of 1-3 students.

During the admission process with we try to match each student with an appropriate project and advisor. The faculty advisor will be able to send suggestions for background reading prior to the start of the program.

The REU program unofficially begins with a reception hosted by the math department. At this event you are able meet other participants, as well as the faculty mentors.

During the first week of the program, you are given an orientation to Swain Hall Library, home to an extensive collection of math books and journals. Students are also given a tour of available computer facilities.

Throughout the eight weeks of this summer program, students meet privately with their faculty advisors several times per week. The first few weeks are dedicated to helping you understand the details of your particular project. During the middle weeks, you work full-time on the project. The last two weeks are spent preparing both a written and oral report communicating your results. All along the way, the faculty mentor provides assistance and encouragement.

REU students are given a dedicated seminar room in which to study and socialize. At least once a week, faculty mentors give accessible lectures on topics of current research interest in mathematics. A graduate student provides an introduction to the LaTeX typesetting system and serves as a consultant for preparation of the written report.

During the last week, students each give a lecture presentation about their own work. The written reports that all participants are required to complete are bound together into a single volume that is duplicated and distributed to students and faculty mentors. Although there is no requirement to do so, you are also encouraged to submit your research paper for publication.

One of the most important aspects of the REU program is student-to-student interaction. For many participants this may be the first opportunity to get to know others with comparable mathematical interest and ability. All students live together a single dormitory on campus, and are encouraged to participate in several organized social events. Each group usually develops its own unique character, often organizing some of its own activities.

Examples of REU Research

If you are interested in the REU program, take some time to read the research project descriptions here. They will give you a sense of the scope of the experience.

Research Environment

Indiana University has a large and active mathematics faculty that enjoys and supports research work with undergraduates. The breadth of mathematical interests in the department provides students in the program with a firsthand view of the richness of the field.

Students have access to a first-rate mathematics research library located next door in Swain Hall. The library subscribes to approximately 450 research periodicals many of which can be accessed on-line anywhere on campus. The mathematics librarian is experienced in conducting bibliographic instruction tailored to undergraduate mathematics students.

Students also have access to state-of-the-art computer facilities. Mathematical packages such as Maple, Mathematica, and Matlab are all readily available on a variety of platforms.

A seminar room in Rawles Hall becomes the "REU Room" in the summer and is available all day to REU students as a place to study and discuss mathematics.

Housing, Stipend, and Travel Allowance

During the eight weeks, particiants will

  • be housed in a university dormitory with an included meal allowance,
  • be provided with a $400 travel allowance to defray the costs of travel to Bloomington, and
  • receive a $4,000 stipend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of our applicants have completed courses in one-variable calculus, a course in multivariable calculus, and one or more courses such as linear algebra, differential equations, and probability and statistics. Many of our applicants have completed at least one course in abstact algebra or a course in real analysis.

No, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

No, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

No, only students who have not received their undergraduate degree are eligible.

Yes--send them to Mandie McCarty,

Per NSF guidelines: Undergraduate student participants supported with NSF funds in either REU Supplements or REU Sites must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. High school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but who have not yet started their undergraduate study are also eligible to participate. Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are generally not eligible to participate.

Formally, no. However, our program is competitive, and most of our applicants have GPAs in excess of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Past Programs



  • 2015 Conference
  • 2015 Projects
  • Their 2015 results in a book form


  • 2014 Conference
  • 2014 Projects
  • Their 2014 results in a book form


  • 2013 Conference
  • 2013 Projects
  • Their 2013 results in a book form


  • 2012 Conference
  • 2012 Projects
  • Their 2012 results in a book form


  • 2011 Conference
  • 2011 Projects
  • Their 2011 results in a book form


  • 2010 Conference
  • 2010 Projects
  • Their 2010 results in a book form


  • 2009 Conference
  • 2009 Projects
  • Their 2009 results in a book form


  • 2008 Conference
  • 2008 Projects
  • Their 2008 results in a book form