Frequently asked questions

  • A lot of other REUs specifically say what the research projects will be for the coming summer. If I come to your REU, what will I work on?

We believe a research experience is best when the projects are chosen with the background, strengths, and mathematical tastes of the participants in mind. For this reason, we will choose project areas in consultation with you during the late stages of the application process and shortly after the other participants have been selected.

  • Why should I pick your REU instead of one of the 57 or so other math REUs?

Our REU is focused exclusively on number theory, so if you like number theory, ours is a great program for you. Only 10 or so of the 47 REU’s listed on the NSF’s math REU list mention number theory as a possible research topic. Many REUs have program directors that rotate from year to year, and so it can sometimes be fairly difficult to tell if an REU will offer research projects in number theory in a given summer.

Both of the project directors are young and energetic, and we are excited about working with undergraduate students on research projects involving elementary number theory, quadratic forms, algebraic number theory, analytic number theory, elliptic curves, and modular forms. Also, we believe a research experience is most successful when a student has a challenging research problem that fits her mathematical interests and tastes, but is also doable in a limited amount of time.

  • Will my results be published?

Yes. It is our goal for each student group to write an original research paper and submit it for publication before the end of the summer (most likely co-authored with one of the program directors). In the event that the paper is not quite ready by the end of the summer, we expect the students to be actively involved in revising and submitting the paper later.

  • What should I do if I’ve been accepted into another REU and I really want to come to WADE Into Research?

Please contact the program directors immediately. We can let you know where you stand.

  • What will the program pay for?

The program will pay each participant a $4500 stipend. The program also has some funding to cover travel to and from Wake Forest University, and to send participants to the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings. (We expect the funding from the program and the Mathematical Association of America to be enough to cover expenses for all participants.) The program will also pay for on-campus lodging during the program (in 2015, the students were housed in Davis Hall, and in 2016 they were housed in Taylor Hall), and REU participants will have access to the Wake Forest library and exercise facilities.

  • How will I eat?

We are not able to offer funding for food. However, the Wake Forest dining hall will be open during the summer, as well as several on-campus restaurants. The participants will have access to a kitchen in the dorm they are staying in.

  • How can I get to Winston-Salem?

Winston-Salem is located in the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina. It is accessible by car from I-40, I-74 and I-85. The closest major airport is the Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO).

  • Is the stipend taxable?

The answer is a little bit complicated. The National Science Foundation says that “the stipend that is paid to REU student participants is not a salary or wage for work performed. It is a traineeship, a form of student aid (like a scholarship or fellowship) provided to support a student’s education/training in a STEM field. In this case, the student’s training consists of closely mentored independent research. The funds received by students may be taxable income under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and may also be subject to state or local taxes.” For more details, see the IRS publication on Tax Benefits for Education. For more information, consult a tax professional.

  • Can I participate in the program if I obtain funding from another source, or pay my own way.

No, unfortunately. We cannot allow the program to be too large, since we want to make sure that each participant will have enough opportunity for interaction with each other and the program directors.

  • How much work is involved in the program?

You can expect to spend 40-60 hours per week on the program. This includes time spent reading mathematics, attending lectures, writing computer code, collaborating with other group members, meeting with the program directors, attending professional development activities, and writing up proofs. We expect that each student group will write an original research paper and submit it for publication, ideally before the end of the summer.

  • Will I have any fun?

Doing math is fun! There will also be weekly social events that may include hikes to Pilot Mountain, annual Winston-Salem Fourth of July events, game/movie nights. There will be opportunities for students to plan social events and of course there will be an end-of-summer celebration.

  • Will any mathematical activities continue past the end of the summer?

Yes. We will be asking participants to give presentations at their home institutions about their research experience. Also, every couple of months we plan for each project group to meet on Skype and chat about how things are going, what classes they are taking, etc. The program directors will also be available to assist with referee’s reports on papers, write letters of recommendation, and suggest possible senior thesis topics.

  • Do I have to go to the Joint Mathematics Meetings?

Although attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings is optional, we strongly recommend it. This conference is the largest annual conference of mathematicians in the world, and by attending it you will have a chance to meet other mathematicians, give a presentation on your work, learn about lots of exciting mathematics, and meet representatives of graduate programs and potential employers.

  • Will you run the program again in future summers?

We do not currently have any plans to run the program in the future. That could change, and if it does we will update this site.