Undergraduate Research

Participating in undergraduate research is a great way to see how mathematics is used in a genuine real-world situation. Hence it can consolidate your ideas on the kind of mathematical career that you desire to design for yourself. There are usually two primary parts of applied research. One part is to discover how phenomena can be quantitatively modeled using mathematics, and the second part is to develop and refine the mathematical tools that provide the best solutions for the models. Any scientific problem is approachable from a mathematical viewpoint if the user chooses to, and has the ability to, select this kind of approach. In fact, with the enormous advances in computing power, more and more applied problems are being effectively treated mathematically; problems from areas such as psychology or medicine that were previously treated mainly by experimentation.

One of the links on this page will give you general information on undergraduate research in mathematics at Virginia Tech, and a snapshot of how the program is run. The second link on this page will show you the list of the undergraduate research projects that our students have performed in the past four years. The topics have included impurities in crystals, graph theory, mechanical oscillations, computational algebra, optimal shape design in elastic systems, and viscoelastic damping in beams. For each project, the directing professor provides a brief summary of the type of study that will be pursued. If you want to know more about the professor's personal research involvement in the listed area, you can see a record of faculty publications in the past five years by clicking on the Faculty Research link that accompanies the project descriptions.

General Info Information about research opportunities for undergraduate students. Information about research in regular courses, scholarships and national and regional research you can participate in.

Summer Option A number of summer programs are available, including the Science and Engineering Research Semester (SERS) program through the Department of Energy, the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, the AT&T Laboratories Graduate Research Program for Women, the Geometry Center Summer Institute in Minneapolis and the NASA Summer Program. For information contact Dr. Robert Rogers.

Honor Option This is part of the University Honors Program and is available to Sophomores and Juniors who have QCA of 3.5 or higher. An undergraduate research project can serve as an Honors Thesis for students in the University Honors Program. The Honors Coordinator is Dr. Ezra Brown.

4994 Credit These are Spring semester projects directed by mathematics professors in their own areas of expertise. An individual student or group of students will assemble with a professor to define the project, set research goals, devise rules and do the work.

Projects The following is a partial list of undergraduate research projects that have been performed in mathematics at Virginia Tech since 1996.