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The Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics (SURIM) is a ten-week program (6/20–8/26) that provides Stanford undergraduates the opportunity to work on mathematical problems in an extra-curricular context. Most students in the program will work on interesting mathematical problems in a collaborative environment, while others may work work one-on-one with faculty member. Summer funding will be provided to all participants, thanks to funding from VPUE.

To apply: Applications for SURIM 2016 are closed.

2016 Information

Application Deadline: March 2nd.

Program Dates:  Monday, June 20 through Friday, August 26, 2016

Eligibility: All Stanford students who will be enrolled full/part-time during the Fall of 2016 are eligible to apply.

Financial Support: Participants receive a $6400 stipend for 10 weeks of full time work.

Goals of the program:  At SURIM, students will be exposed to questions that are of interest in current mathematics, as well as the research and exploration aspects that accompany such questions. With their mentor’s assistance, students will study the prerequisite materials to understand their program’s topic and will then participate in exploration of their questions about the subject. The emphasis will be on self-discovery of examples and properties. In addition to learning new mathematics and gaining experience in mathematical research, students will practice presenting research in a seminar environment, learn to typeset mathematical research results using LaTeX, use various software packages to explore mathematics, and have valuable interactions with mathematics faculty and graduate students.

Program Format

Most students will be divided into groups depending on their mathematical interest and background. Each of these groups will work closely with graduate students. Other students may want to work one-on-one with a faculty member, and should have some idea of their project at the time they apply.

A Typical Week

SURIM is a full-time program for 10 weeks.

There will be a couple of formal meetings with mentors each week. At the start, the mentors will lay out the beginning of the project, and the groups will decide how best to begin. Each group will prepare presentations to the entire institute each week, giving status reports to their peers working on different problems. (Communicating difficult ideas is essential to doing and teaching mathematics!)

Much of the week will be spent working individually and in groups, and in informal discussions with mentors.

There will be roughly two additional events per week. Some will be introductions to research tools (from writing with LaTeX to the use of various software packages). Others will be lectures from researchers in academia and industry on what research is actually about—how it is done, how to do it, and what it is like. Please check back for the schedule. The SURIM group will also have access to various classrooms during the summer, which will be listed later in the year.

Projects for SURIM 2016

  • Quantum Cohomology of Toric Varieties (with François Greer)
  • Lefschetz Fibrations and Mapping Class Group Factorizations (with Ben Dozier and Oleg Lazarev)
  • Toric Varieties and Their Geometry (with Michail Savvas)
  • Boundary Value Problems for the Capillary Equation (with Prof. Robert Finn)
  • The Cap Set Problem (with Prof. Jacob Fox)
  • Étale Cohomology and the Weil Conjectures (with Prof. Ravi Vakil)

Faculty Speakers for SURIM 2016

  • Ravi Vakil — “Cutting and Pasting in Geometry”
  • Gunnar Carlsson — “The Shape of Big Data”
  • Brian Conrad — “Rational Right Triangles and Elliptic Curves”
  • Jenny Wilson — TBA
  • Yakov Eliashberg — TBA
  • Wojciech Wieczorek — TBA

Contact SURIM

To contact the program staff, please email

Stanford University Department of Mathematics
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