Hi, I'm currently an undergrad freshman in some university. I think I should be applying to REU programs right now...well I just got a couple of questions: 1. how likely is it for a freshman to get into a research opportunity? I am probably above average Joe, i am taking some second year class right now, but I'm no Ivy league genius...just an above average guy who likes physics. Also, I don't have any prior experience except a math summer program I took when I was a junior (in high school), and neither do I have great skills in computer programming (I only know a tiny bit of java). Furthermore, I'm not a minority (well, I'm an Asian, I guess that doesn't count as minority in the field of physics), and neither am I a female... Despite all these, is there any chance that I can get into a REU program? 2. how many should I apply to? are some programs more competitive than others? I checked out the REU websites about physics research programs... I looked over some programs from Cornell and Calc tech and they seem very demanding and competitive...Maybe I should be looking for ones that "feel" less intimidating? 3. As for recommendations, so far I can only get one from my Calc techer (we often discuss math problems/theorems after class)...I can probably get one more from my Physics TA, but that's about it...my physics professors do not really know me...So, is that going to be a problem? Thank you for your time reading my posts. I am just really worried about getting good experiences for my future physics career.