SUMRY

The Summer Undergraduate Math Research at Yale, or SUMRY, is a nine-week summer program designed to promote research in mathematics and the mathematical sciences among undergraduate students. We are looking for about twenty four highly motivated students to work in small groups on open problems in the mathematical sciences (the problems are listed in the project descriptions page).  These problems will have real mathematical value and are also intended to be approachable by students who have a solid background in advanced calculus and linear algebra. Students groups are mentored guided by a faculty member, a graduate student, or postdoctoral advisor, and the program is directed by Jeff Brock and Ian Adelstein.

A crucial part of scientific research is communication, both with your peers as well as experts in the field. Not only do you learn about how others approach their research problem, you gain insight by carefully formulating your ideas in a manner accessible to those outside your project. To that end, participants will regularly present their findings to the other teams, and will be encouraged to travel to regional and/or national conferences to share their research with others outside of the Yale community.  Also, participants will prepare final papers; in many cases these final papers may be revised further during the academic year, and eventually submitted for publication in professional journals. See here for a list of SUMRY publications. Note that prior research experience is not required, and there are projects suitable for a range of backgrounds, including the very advanced.

In addition to research, we will have regular lectures by SUMRY faculty mentors and from faculty members outside of this summer program. This will give students a chance to learn about interesting areas of mathematics that appear outside of the standard curriculum of an undergraduate mathematics sequence.

One of the primary goals of the program is to build the diversity of the mathematics community by providing opportunities for women and underrepresented students at this early stage in their training. Once this diverse group is gathered on campus, it is important for everyone to feel welcomed and included. To this end we host a weekly diversity and inclusivity reading group. The group gathers, reads a short excerpt, and then breaks into small groups to discuss. We read excerpts from the MAA publication Living Proof on the difficulty and resilience of the mathematical journey, short writings by Terry Tao and Bill Thurston on imposter syndrome, a piece by Francis Su on microaggressions in mathematics, and watch a TED talk on growth mindset by Carol Dweck. The goal of these discussions is to normalize the feelings of inferiority that we know are so common in mathematics. This workshop allowes for constant reflection on the values of our program and provides a forum to discuss ways in which we can make mathematics a more inclusive community.

As with any strenuous academic program, mental digressions in the form of social activities are a must. We organize outdoor activities like soccer, ultimate Frisbee, or hiking.   Other events include evening activities like movie night or Shakespeare in the Park, or even weekend trips taking us outside of New Haven.  We hope that this will not only be an academically fruitful summer, but also an enjoyable one.