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Cannot get an REU and my school doesn't have any research

  1. Apr 4, 2014 #1
    What should I do if I haven't been accepted into any REUs I applied to, and my school doesn't offer any research for my major (mathematics)? Is there any other alternative to than just keep applying to tons of REUs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2014 #2
    Maybe you can do some math oriented research within the engineering or science department at your school.
  4. Apr 4, 2014 #3
    Our school does not have an engineering program or department. We have one physics research group doing nanomaterials, but they don't do much theory or math. I wanted to do research in analysis or modern algebra.
  5. Apr 4, 2014 #4


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    You might want to try and speak with your professors. Just because there are no research positions advertised doesn't mean that they don't exist. In some cases, what you really have to do is go out and find funding (ie a summer student research award) independent of the professors. In my experience many professors are willing to take on projects with a summer student if they don't have to do all the legwork.

    You can explore other options and ModusPwnd pointed out. Obviously if your desired area of research is unavailable then you have two choices - either do no research or do research in a different field. What other departments does your school have? As a mathematician you may be able to provide analysis-type work for biology projects or projects in the social sciences. While not ideal, with limited options, you have to take what you can get. Along these lines, you can also contact other schools that you'd be willing to travel to. Research doesn't have to be done within the "REU" framework.

    Finally, if it's really that important to you, perhaps transferring to another school is an option.
  6. Apr 4, 2014 #5
    I just need the research to get into graduate school (Phd program) in math, because my school is not even on the map (it doesn't even have a college profile on USNews). I only have the minimum math classes I can take (because my school doesn't offer many upper-level or advanced math courses), and then there's the math subject GRE which I should obviously aim for a perfect score. But considering that's all I have, I don't think it will land me into the school of my choice, so I think research is my only advantage here. Will it matter if my research is performed in a field other than the branch of math I apply to? (e.g., if I apply to a geometry PhD program, and my research has absolutely nothing to do with geometry or math.)

    I'm staying within REUs because I have no money to travel anywhere. I live at my school (and my school doesn't have any dormitories, mind you) so it'd be difficult to travel anywhere out of town without funding from an REU program.

    Transferring to another school is not an option because schools want the tuition paid before the beginning of the semester, and I don't have any credit to take out a bank loan. Since there is a maximum amount of government loans I can take out, it doesn't cover the tuition so I wouldn't be allowed to attend the school. I have a full scholarship at my current institution which is the only reason I am here.
  7. Apr 4, 2014 #6
    Any research at all is better than no research.

    I was desperate to get undergrad research too after being denied from all the REUs I applied too. I finally got a professor to take me on for the year, even though it was not an area I wanted to go to grad school in.

    When I applied for grad school I listed my research interests and listed my unrelated undergrad research experience and I actually got in to quite a few schools.
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