Mubarak A. Shah, Kevin W. Bowyer, Louise Stark and Niels da Vitoria Lobo
This project represents a continuation of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates site which has operated successfully for the past seven years. Over sixty undergraduate students from a half dozen institutions in Florida have participated in this program. The key distinctive elements of our approach are (1) to have a full calendar year experience planned for the participants, so that they have time to follow a substantial project through to completion, (2) to present each participant with several possible project topics, so that they can feel they have chosen a project which is most interesting to them, (3) to immerse the participants in the general research environment essentially as if they were graduate students, by having them meet with the faculty member once each week to discuss their project, participate in the weekly research group meetings, attend research presentations and meet with visiting researchers, and (4) to follow through over the year by working with the students to write a technical report on their project, to prepare for the GREs and to apply to graduate programs. In past years, a large fraction of our REU participants have been able to prepare a paper for submission to a conference, have the paper accepted and then attend the conference to present the paper. Several past participants have even accomplished substantial enough research to also result in journal publications. Many of our past participants are now pursuing graduate studies at various institutions.