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Undergraduate Research

The ASU Mathematics Department offers several opportunities for students to enhance their educational experience, including:


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs)

Many colleges and universities offer a summer employment opportunity that allows students from across the nation to spend a portion of their summer at the campus of a sponsoring institution. While there, they work with faculty on a research project. Read this list of REU opportunities sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for students in mathematics, the sciences and engineering. For other research opportunities, visit the Scholarships and Grants page under Student Resources.


Student Research Courses (MATH 4091)

Request to Enroll in a Research Course - Used to register students in a MATH 4091 Research course.

The Mathematics Department makes available various opportunities for students to participate in research or independent study projects. These are usually most appropriate for junior or senior level students.

The simplest and most common way to start such a project is by contacting a faculty member to see whether he/she is able to supervise a MATH 4091 (research) course. Several students can enroll in the same research course and the format is flexible.

The course may entail a specific research project or may be conducted as either an independent study project or a traditional course, but only on a topic that is not covered in the standard curriculum.

These are some of our faculty members who may be interested in offering a MATH 4091/4391 course, along with some of the topics that have been offered in the past or may be considered in the future:

  • Dr. Susan Abernathy“Topics in Knot Theory,” “Knot and Tangle Applications,” “Topics in Topology,” “Connecting Topology and Algebra,” “Foundations of Mathematics,” “Paradoxes in Mathematics,” “Classical vs. Non-classical Logics,” “Topics in Set Theory,” “The Cantor Set,” “Philosophical Logic,” “Philosophy of Math”
  • Dr. Dionne Bailey “Chemical Applications of Group Theory,” “Discrete Optimization Problems,” “The Mathematics of Games,” “Mathematical Structures of Music,” “Applications of Graph Theory,” Abstract Algebra II,” “Exploring Hypercubes,” “Advanced Combinatorics”
  • Dr. Charles Diminnie  “Advanced Problem Solving,” “Problems in Number Theory,” “Applications of Linear Algebra,” “Problem Solving”
  • Dr. Dennis Hall “Matroids and Polymatroids”, “Topics in Graph Theory”, “Topics in Combinatorics”, “Introduction to Measure Theory”, “Introduction to Ramsey Theory”, “Unavoidable Minors”
  • Dr. Karl Havlak  “Nerve Cell Modeling,” “MATLAB Modules for Calculus,” Mathematics of Finance,” Topics in Actuarial Science,” “Mathematical Modeling,” “The Mathematics of Diseases,” “Quantitative Modeling Techniques,” “Vector Analysis,” “Mathematical Modeling II”
  • Dr. David Huckaby “Numerical Linear Algebra”
  • Dr. Andrew Siefker “Signal Processing I,” “Signal Processing II,” “Calculus IV,” “Problem Solving Seminar I,” “Introduction to Fourier Analysis,” “Introduction to Fourier Analysis II”
  • Dr. John “Trey” Smith “Intuitive Topology,” “Fibonacci Cycles,” “Turing Machines and Incompleteness,” “Topics in Complex Analysis,” “Formalism vs. Intuition,” “Topics in Probability,” “Foundations of Real Numbers,” “Matrices mod P,” “Topics in Graph Theory,” “Probability and Fractals,” “Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic,” “Applications of Fuzzy Logic,” “Games and Determinacy”
  • Dr. Jesse Taylor “Topics in Graph Theory,” “An Introduction to Matroids,” “Games on Graphs”

Many other topics are also possible, depending on the interests of the students and the faculty supervisors.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The mission of the Undergraduate Research Initiative at Angelo State University is to support and promote high-quality faculty-mentored undergraduate research, creative endeavor, and scholarship. Visit the ASU Undergraduate Research website for more information.


Problem Solving

The Mathematics Department encourages all students to participate in our informal problem-solving seminars. Problems are selected from various math journals. If solutions are obtained, they are written and submitted for possible publication. This is a good way for students to acquire valuable skills and learn some mathematics of a different sort from what is usually covered in classes.

Students whose solutions are published have their work prominently displayed on a departmental bulletin board. For more information, contact Dr. Simon Pfeil at simon.pfeil@angelo.edu or Dr. Charles Diminnie at charles.diminnie@angelo.edu


The National Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)

This contest is an opportunity for students to solve a “real world” problem in a nationwide team competition. For more information about the contest, contact Dr. Karl Havlak at karl.havlak@angelo.edu or visit the Mathematical Contest in Modeling website.


Putnam Exam

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is administered annually on the first Saturday of December. This competition is open to all regularly enrolled undergraduate students who have not yet received a college degree. The examination tests originality as well as technical competence and places a special emphasis on abstract reasoning.

A list of the top finishers is given to all participating institutions and graduate schools in the United States and Canada. For full details, contact Dr. Simon Pfeil at simon.pfeil@angelo.edu


Math Lab Tutoring

Students interested in gaining some teaching experience while making a little money can help out in our Math Lab by tutoring students in freshman and sophomore level courses. The experience gained can be a valuable asset when looking for a first job or applying for admission to a graduate program.

Recent Undergraduate research in Mathematics

Below is a sampling of mathematics research projects offered through Angelo State University undergraduate research initiatives:

Independent Study Courses