Research Opportunities

Get a taste of what research in mathematics is like, develop your mathematical intuition and learn about different fields of math! You'll get to work closely with mathematicians and other students who like mathematics, and even present your research at meetings or conferences. Research looks great on your resume whether you are applying for a job, or for graduate school. And best of all, you can get paid to do it.

You can work with a Westminster math professor during the semester or summer on a topic of your choosing, or participate in a summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at one of many programs across the country.

To work with someone at Westminster, just talk to them directly and tell them what you are interested in doing. If you don’t have any ideas, ask us! Here are some recent projects:

  • Lexi Pasi and Diandre Ryan - Mas worked on numerical solutions of higher order differential equations with reproducing kernel solutions under Richard Wellman's guidance, and presented their work at the Joint Meetings of the AMS in Baltimore in January 2014.
  • Matt Wentzel, Lexi Pasi and Kirkwood Donavin found differential equations with reproducing kernel solutions under the guidance of Richard Wellman. Lexi presented her work at the Joint Meetings of the AMS in January 2013.
  • Sarah Martin Dorich conducted research on the arrow polynomial of periodic virtual links under the guidance of Sean Raleigh, and presented her talk "Algebraic and Combinatorial Invariants of Knots" at the AMS Central Section meeting in St. Louis, MO in October, 2013.
  • Sean Groathouse analyzed optimal strategies for the Colonel Blotto Game under the guidance of Janine Wittwer in the summer of 2012.

Current Student Resources

S-Cubed

Computer Science, Math, and Physics students can apply to the S-Cubed program for financial and academic support. Apply to receive several networking benefits, mentoring support, and a four-year scholarship.

Learn More about S-Cubed

On-Campus Math Help

Math, Physics and Computer Science Tutor Center

On-Campus Activities—Get Involved!

  • QUARC
  • Putnam Competition: This is an undergraduate national exam given every December. We offer a 1-credit preparation course during the fall semester. Contact Jonas D'Andrea (Meldrum 274) for more information.
  • Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM): This is a 96-hour international, undergraduate, team competition held every February. We welcome participants from any majors. We begin preparing for this contest in late October. Contact Holly Zullo (Foster 208) for more information.

What Can I do with a Math Degree?

  • WeUseMath.org: Check out this website for all things math related, including a long list of careers that require math.
  • Math Matters, Apply It!: A great series of mathematical topics put together by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Actuarial Science: This page has all the information you need to learn how to get into a profession that consistently ranks near the top in terms of job satisfaction.

Professional Organizations

Mathematicians have a wide variety of interests, so there is a correspondingly wide variety of professional organizations to support those interests! Most of these organizations have very inexpensive student memberships - always a good thing to consider. They also have very helpful websites with a lot of resources for students about careers, graduate schools, and so on.

Summer Opportunities

It's great if you can spend at least one summer during college doing research or an internship related to your major. We offer research opportunities on campus - just talk to any math faculty member. Applications for funding are due in March. Alternatively, there are many opportunties for research and internships off campus. See the links below for just a few of these, and talk to any math faculty member for more ideas. The earliest deadlines are in October, but most are January/February.

  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs): These summer research programs hosted at colleges and universities across the country combine high-level research with great graduate school and career exploration opportunities.
  • Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI): This program provides internships at any of 17 DOE national labs, invovling state-of-the-art research. Internships are available for all technical majors.
  • National Security Agency Internships: The NSA employees the most PhDs of any organization in the country. If you're interested in national security issues, this is the place to go! The deadline for the Director's Summer Program is October 15, so this is one to think about early in the fall.