The Summer Math Institute (SMI) at Cornell allows 12 to 14 undergraduate students to explore the world of mathematics and helps prepare participants for the rigors of graduate school. As we are committed to increasing diversity in the mathematical sciences, we encourage women and minority students to apply to SMI. Cornell students are not eligible to apply.

SMI is an eight week residential summer program that prepares students for graduate work in the mathematical sciences. Each participant will receive housing, a $3500 stipend, and an allowance for food and travel expenses.

A major focus of SMI will be an advanced undergraduate course in algebra. This is a rigorous, intense, proof-based course that directly prepares students for the demands of graduate school.

In addition to the coursework, participants will work on projects in other areas, typically in groups of 3 to 5, under the direction of a project supervisor. The projects provide opportunities for exploration in a research-like setting, culminating in a public presentation. Many of our past participants have gone on to give presentations at national conferences. The project topics will be at the discretion of the supervisor.

In spite of the projects, we emphasize that SMI is not an REU (research experience for undergraduates) program. The primary focus of SMI is basic coursework.

The application deadline is February 15, 2009. We expect to notify successful applicants around March 1, 2009.


Program Dates: June 6 to August 1

The main course meets daily for one hour. Faculty will be available each evening to work with students individually. Participants are expected to commit 20–30 hours per week to the course plus an additional 15–20 hours per week on their project. They will often work collaboratively on assignments and move together toward a common goal.

Students will consult regularly with their project leaders, who will guide their reading. Exposition will be an important focus in the project work. We will expect students to take initiative in both the choice and presentation of project materials.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many campus and community events that occur throughout the summer, including guest lectures, concerts, plays, movies, and festivals. Participants can also take advantage of the numerous outdoor recreational activities available in the Greater Ithaca area.


Kenneth Brown, Director

The rest of the all-star cast will be announced shortly.

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Mathematics Department

Center for Applied Mathematics

National Science Foundation

Topic revision: r1 - 2009-07-23 - DickFurnas
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