Research Experiences for Undergraduates 2020

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Here is the link for the 2021 UMass REU

UPDATE: We still plan to run the REU 2020 program. Application reviewing was delayed, but we plan to have the first round of offers out on April 3rd.

* What is it?

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at UMass Amherst offers qualifying undergraduates an eight-week paid opportunity for conducting research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Statistics. Student participants will work full-time (from 9am to 5pm) with a faculty mentor either in a small research group or individually. Students will describe their findings in a written final report.

* How much is the Stipend?

We expect the funding for 2020 to be $3500 (an increase to $4000 has been approved). We will provide students a shared office and access to computing facilities.

* What about housing?

The department does not provide housing for the program. Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements.

* What are the sources for REU funding?

REU stipends are made possible through a combination of sources. One source is a generous donation by Joan Barksdale, a UMass Amherst Department of Mathematics & Statistics Alumna. Additional REUs are funded through research grants of department faculty.

* Who can apply to the REU?

All Five College undergraduates majoring in mathematics or a related field who have completed the lower division mathematics requirements (including UMass courses Math 131, Math 132, Math 233, Math 235 or equivalent) and preferably have also taken some upper division courses in Mathematics/Statistics are eligible to apply. The ideal time for students to engage in an REU is during the summer between junior and senior years. We occasionally provide REU support for rising juniors as well. Note that international students are eligible to apply for the program, though some grants are restricted to funding domestic students.

* When should you apply the REU?

Normally the department will send out an invitation in February to all undergraduate math majors. Applications are due on March 10, 2020.

* How do you choose a mentor?

It is not necessary for applicants to identify a mentor and/or a project ahead of time. We will do this for you if you are accepted for the program. However, occasionally students are invited by a professor to participate: in such cases, the student should still file an REU application, indicating the project and mentor on the application form. Students are encouraged to visit the page before filling out the application form to indicate a preference for a research area and/or a mentor.

* How to apply to the REU?

We prefer the submission of paper applications. Please complete the form below and place the completed application (including all supporting documents indicated below) in Matthew Dobson's mailbox on the 16th floor of LGRT by March 10th, 2020. Letters of recommendation are due at the same time. If you cannot submit via paper, you may submit the forms together by e-mail to

1) REU-application form (download, print, and complete paper copy)

2) A copy (unofficial is ok) of your most current Undergraduate Transcript. (Please include the most recent transcripts from all institutions you have attended.)

3) Up to two letters of recommendation from instructors of mathematics courses, or closely related field. Letters from upper division courses are strongly preferred. Please ask the instructor(s) to email the letter to Professor Dobson ( or place it in his mailbox on the 16th floor of LGRT by March 10, 2020.

4) A brief essay (less than one page) describing your interest in the REU program. It should address what you hope to get out of it, how it relates to your future goals, how your past experiences have prepared you for it: in short, make a pitch as to why you are a good fit for the program. If you have in mind who to work with or what area of research to focus on, please include those.

* What happens after I apply?

Review of applications will begin after the deadline date. Offers will be sent by email. If you receive an offer from us, we expect to receive a response from you regarding acceptance within a week. If any spots open up, we may be able to offer a position to those on a wait-list. We hope to complete the entire process by late March. The reviews have been delayed, we hope to send out the first round of acceptances by April 3.

* When will the REU project begin and end?

Generally, the REU program runs for 8 weeks during June and July. Occasionally, some students can make small adjustments to this schedule in consultation with the faculty mentor and REU Coordinator.

* What is the REU Project Report?

Students will record their work in a written report due at the end of the summer program. Thus, significant time during the summer is allotted to writing the report. This is a very important part of the research training. Students are responsible for completing their reports on time. Files in pdf format containing your report should be sent to before the completion of the project.