Student Research and Competitions
There are a variety of ways to enhance your mathematics education and give yourself an advantage for getting into graduate school or securing employment. There are research opportunities with CSUF faculty, student research opportunities at other institutions, and you may also wish to participate in the problem solving seminars in preparation for the Putnam competition.
Student research at the undergraduate level refers to a broad range of out-of-the-classroom activity conducted under the supervision of a mathematics faculty member, and it is becoming more common for mathematics students to add this to their resume by the time they graduate. Activities range from independent study of a topic not covered in the course offerings, solving (and publishing) solutions to problems posed in mathematics magazines, reading and summarizing the contents of a research article, to participating in the research program of a faculty member.
Students that are interested in such an experience, and that have the necessary free time, should look over the research interests on the faculty web pages and contact appropriate faculty members to see if they are currently providing such opportunities. A student could also inquire with their mathematics course instructors.
The CSUF mathematics department regularly participates in the Putnam Mathematics Competition, a national competition drawing thousands of students from hundreds of universities each December. Faculty members provide a seminar in the fall semester in order to prepare students for the examination, and in 2012, the CSUF team distinguished themselves admirably, achieving their best success in recent memory, surpassing teams from some high profile universities. For more information, contact Dr. Bogdan Suceava at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest is an international weekend-long competition in the spring semester, which challenges teams of students to extract insights and develop recommendations using a rich, complex dataset. CSUF has participated at the Chapman regional site from 2017-2019 and the UCLA regional site since 2022. While undergraduates from any discipline are welcome, mathematics majors typically make up a majority of the CSUF teams. For more information, contact Dr. Jessica Jaynes at email@example.com or Dr. Dwight Wynne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is hosted every year and allows for teams of up to 3 students to compete. Multiple teams from a given university may compete. Student teams are instructed to choose one project out of six possible themes and work over 5 days to produce a solution. The contest is open to mathematics students around the world, with a first prize of $10,000 awarded to the top four teams. CSUF teams can expect to meet with faculty mentor(s) regularly before the competition to practice solving competition problems from previous years and develop problem-solving techniques for approaching open-ended questions in mathematical modeling. Contact info for interested CSUF students: Dr. Kristin Kurianski at email@example.com.
Opportunities at Other Institutions
CSUF encourages participation into reputable programs at other institutions. These are some of the programs where our former students have participated:
- USTARS (Reed College)
- GEAR UP (California State University, San Bernardino)
- PUMP (California State University)
- WPI REU (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)