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Summer 2010 Plan B (or C, or D)

  1. Feb 18, 2010 #1
    I'm a sophomore interested in pure math who's been looking at an applying for REU's for the last 2 months (in fact, I discovered this forum while looking for REU advice), but I'm not going to be surprised if I'm not accepted into any of the programs.

    My plan B is to try and get a research position at my home institution (which starts taking applicants after they know which majors were able to find REU positions) but that's not a sure thing by any means either.

    In the event I find myself with no research opportunities how should I best spend my time this summer to get in a better position for 2011 REUs / grad school?

    I was considering getting some text books and self teaching myself about an area of mathematics I'm interested in, or going back and filling any gaps in my understanding of foundation courses like linear algebra and calculus if I find myself with 3 months of time to fill.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2010 #2

    I'm in the same situation as you.

    I'd say my plan B will be to contact professors at my own university and see if any have a potential research project for me or if they know any other professors who could act as a sort of mentor.

    Alternatively, yeah I guess I'll do some independent study, or try and form a study group with other friends who didn't get into research programs.

    If anyone has any ideas, do share!
  4. Feb 19, 2010 #3
    Are there any classes you could take over the summer that would be worth your time? A number of schools will let outside students take courses over the summer, so if you look around you may be able to find something.

    Of course, the huge disadvantage to this is that it will be expensive probably, so I don't know if it'd be worth it.

    I haven't heard back from any of the REUs I've applied to either, so I too am bracing myself for the possibility that I won't get into any of them.
  5. Feb 19, 2010 #4
    I'm thinking about taking courses, but my department is pretty awesome at really getting me to understand the material completely, and it's not like I don't have enough time to take all the math I want from them (I'm done with distribution, so I have 14 to 16 courses left since I'll probably take a few courses off to write my thesis). So I guess I'm having trouble justifying the price of summer courses given the risk that I might end up with shaky understanding of the subject.

    I suppose I could take the summer to reinforce my linear algebra and multi-variable in preparation for the GRE. Anyone have other idea's?
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