Participants’ Comments

Participants data indicate CURM’s positive effect on students’ attitudes toward mathematics and STEM graduate school attendance:

Valuable Experience:

“Researching and attending this wonderful conference was a truly amazing experience and not much else can compare to the increase in knowledge, relationships and passion for mathematics that this has had on my life. I am honored and so appreciative that I could participate this year. Thank you again. (Josh Beverly, Concord University; 2014 CURM student participant)
“I’m going to graduate school in the fall, most likely for a PhD in Mathematics. I feel like doing research now helped me get used to the idea that I can come up with good ideas.” (Felicia Stover, Concord University; 2014 CURM student participant)
“I’m grateful to CURM for this rewarding research experience. It was exciting to tackle an equation which is still in the early process of being understood and which holds promise in the field of high-speed communications. I also enjoyed learning about numerical modeling and the widely applicable spectral method. Overall, I came away from this experience with better presentation skills, knowledge of fundamental mathematics that I will surely use again, and a greater understanding of how progress is made in the mathematical sciences. Much thanks to all the professors involved in organizing the CURM program.” (Jose Barrios, student participant)
“I feel that CURM has helped me not only to know how it is like to be a professional mathematician by giving me the opportunity to do research and attending a conference in mathematics, but it has helped me develop my skills at communicating mathematics as well.”(student participant, The College of New Jersey)
“I feel that being a part of CURM has allowed me to grow not only as a mathematician, but also as a person. Being in a male-dominated field, it is sometimes hard for a woman to feel confident. However, this experience has given me confidence to be able to present my own work in a non-confrontational way.” (Christa Bauer, student participant)

Focus and Perspective:

“Up until I attended the research conference at your school, I wasn’t planning on going to graduate school. CURM has opened many doors for my future. It encouraged me to apply for a summer REU (got accepted and attended) . . . If it weren’t for CURM, I wouldn’t be where I am today; I wouldn’t know what it meant to do research, and I wouldn’t be applying for graduate school.” (Amy Stockman, student participant)
“Because I plan to attend graduate school, the process of working on a year-long research project helped me to gain a better perspective of what graduate research will require. Also, our topic was one that I would not have encountered otherwise within my emphasis–it was interesting to work within applied mathematics because of its overlap with engineering and computer science. Finally, the research through CURM was important to my overall intellectual development because it required new experimentation, conjectures, and theorems; it was a very different experience from a typical classroom environment.” (Jennifer Bonsangue, student participant)

Academic Support:

“To my delight, the student outcomes of my 2007-08 CURM-funded research project were precisely those I had hoped for. . . . My students now have first-hand experience in the promise and peril of relating experimental results to theoretical proof, the power of working as a team, and the uncertainty of diving into a problem with no known solution. . . . More personally, I have grown tremendously as a mentor during this first year. I am eager to apply what I have learned–how to manage a group, how to identify appropriate research problems, how to break a problem into manageable pieces, how to maintain student enthusiasm and motivation–with next year’s students.” (Kathryn Leonard, faculty participant)
“Because of the CURM grant, I was able to work with a large number of students . . . All it took was this one year of the CURM grant to fan the fire, and our department has begun to foster an environment that encourages undergraduate research. This coming year there will be four professors working with students or groups of students on research projects.” (Joan Lind, faculty participant)
Fig. 2: Math Majors going on to Graduate School