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2009 Summer REU Program

Department of Mathematics
University of Georgia
2009 Summer REU Programs

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Georgia announces two REU programs for research groups of 6-8 students during summer 2009. These programs will admit students from across the country for a fast-paced and challenging research experience, working closely with our mathematics faculty. Students will work with UGA faculty and graduate students on problems of current interest in mathematics research. The REU programs are linked to our well-regarded graduate program in mathematics, and students accepted into the REU program will be counseled on their preparations for graduate study.

Both of the 2009 REU programs will run from June 8-July 24.  They will be held on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia. Housing, travel support and a stipend will be provided. Course credit is also available. "Following NSF rules, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to receive REU stipends."  Students from minorities and/or disadvantaged groups are especially encouraged to apply.

The topics for this year are:

Graphs, Root Systems and Cohomology -- June 8 – July 24, 2009 – Closed for Applications
Group Leader: Leonard Chastkofsky

The Mathematics of Paper Folding -- June 8 – July 24, 2009

Group Leader: Robert Rumely

Origami, the art of paper folding, has deep geometric roots. However, the mathematical theory behind origami has really only been developed within the past twenty years. This REU will focus on learning, applying, and extending that theory.

There are several different styles of origami.

Classical origami focuses on creating models of animals, people, and inanimate objects, with a balance between realism and abstraction depending the taste of the designer. Here, the mathematical theory provides tools for a creating suitable base, or preliminary fold, which can then be folded into the desired object.

Modular origami focuses on creating models of geometric objects, such as the platonic solids, out of simple units which can be linked together. Here the fact that the model is built of many pieces opens the possibility of using different colors, exposing the underlying geometry in fascinating ways.

Tesselation focuses on folding paper into surfaces with repeating patterns, some of which show hidden features when held up to light. Here, geometry and symmetries again play a leading role.

This REU will provide an introduction to paper folding and the mathematics behind it,
exploring all of the styles above. Participants will then use the theory to design new models, and investigate open questions in the theory. This REU will run for 7 weeks, from June 8 through July 24.

Prior experience with paper folding is desirable, but not necessary. Participants need to have creativity, good geometric insight, and good fine motor skills; people who enjoy making things typically have those skills. Applicants should document these qualifications, and should have had at least two upper division math courses which involve reading and writing proofs. Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2009.



Application materials will be due on April 1, 2009 including a transcript, a statement on why you are interested in each project, and two letters of recommendation from faculty. Decisions will be announced before April 15, 2009. Please download the application form <here> and send application materials to:

UGA REU Program
Attn: Laura Ackerley
UGA Math Department
Athens, GA 30602

Further inquiries can be directed to Laura Ackerley or to Dr. Rumely directly.