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Review my REU statement purpose

  1. Dec 30, 2012 #1
    School writing center is closed during the break, so I need a help from PF. I have to submit my application ASAP, so my references can get the email with instructions to submit their letters.
    This is for Mathematics REU for small college. I am physics and math double major and I have not previous research experience in any field. By the way, is it too much to ask my professor to send letters to seven different places? Should I cut down the places I am applying for?
    Here we go, the statement is below.
    A short essay, less than one page, addressing the following points:
    • How did you become interested in mathematics research?
    • Describe your future career goals.

    I was first introduced to mathematics through its applications in natural sciences, especially the high applicability of calculus in many different subjects. In the first couple of years of my undergraduate study, I tried many different branches of science, from biology to chemistry to physics and it is mathematics behind any scientific theories that I happen to encounter that drew my attention more than the reality it is related to in the world.

    Only last fall semester while taking my first course in linear algebra with Professor ______, I really felt the liberation that follows the proof of mathematical theorem. Although I had not done any significant work in mathematics by myself, beyond the scope of my linear algebra or multivariable calculus homework, I realize that mathematics is the genuine subject that I would like to study and contribute to. Small proofs such as diagonalizibility of symmetric matrix or eigenvalues of triangular matrix in linear algebra and the immense application that grow out of them, really showed to me the power (and beauty) of mathematics and I would very much like to explore further what mathematical research is like and try myself in the challenge of accomplishing something on my own.

    My future career goal includes graduate school in either pure or applied mathematics. It does not seem to me that undergraduate education is enough to fulfill my curiosity and graduate school is the place to do the original mathematical research and teaching, after which I would be free to work and teach my favorite subject – mathematics.

    If I were asked, I am especially interested in Supersymmetry research of Professor ____________ in ____ College summer REU and hoping I would be offered the chance to be there. Although I will not have any of the upper-level math prerequisites in that research, my experience in computer programming—familiariy with C++ and Mathematica, I am hoping, would qualify me for this research.


    English is my second language; therefore if there is any a grammatical mistake or poor word-choice, please point it out to me. Thank you
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2012 #2
    I do not know a lot about these things, but I think it would be a very good idea to expand on the research you are interested in, particularly if it aligns with research a professor associated with the REU is doing. Remember that these things are competitive, so anything you can write that shows that YOU are a GREAT fit for THIS program will take you a long way (I think). Since you have a professor you are interested in, maybe be more specific about what you like about their string theory work.

    Best of luck
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