"The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he or she studies it because he or she delights in it and he or she delights in it because it is beautiful." - Henri Poincare


We started this program to share beautiful mathematics with students as soon as they are ready for it, rather than having to wait years to build up prerequisites. The Directed Reading Program pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors to read and explore a mathematics topic or text over one term.

The goal of this program is to enable undergraduate students to study mathematics at a deeper level than can be done in the classroom, to increase diversity in mathematics by involving undergraduates from various backgrounds, and to foster a supportive environment for students seeking to go into mathematics.

Structure of the Program

You'll meet with your graduate mentor about once a week for approximately an hour to discuss reading and exercises. You should be prepared to spend about 4 hours a week reading and solving problems.

Students can choose which topics sound interesting and which ones for which they have the required background. Undergraduates will be paired with graduate mentors based on their mathematical interest and availability.

Funds for books will be covered by the program.

At the end of the term, undergraduate participants present short summaries of what they have learned.

Note that for graduate mentors with multiple projects listed, not all projects may be offered. By the same token, if you are very interested in a particular topic that is not on the list, there may be a graduate mentor who would be happy to read through that topic with you. This does not give course credit.

Why should you participate?

You like math, and want to see what and how people actually "do" math.

You're interested in learning some topic beyond what is offered in classes and would like to have a reading buddy.

You want to spend hours thinking about why something is true, only to realize that you forgot that 2+2=4, and now the problem is solved.

Who is eligible?

We encourage any mathematics related majors who are interested in learning more advanced math to participate. You don't have to have plans to go to graduate school, just curiosity and interest in mathematics are enough. We particularly encourage women and students from underrepresented minority groups to participate.

The program is not meant as a replacement for introductory classes, and students should make sure they look at the prerequisites for individual projects before applying.

Apply Here


If you have any questions about the program, or are wondering how you can be involved, don’t hesitate to contact us.