I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research and have in mind several possible projects for students with different backgrounds. If you are a Niagara University student who is interested in getting involved in research, or if you would like to discuss possibilities, please email me.
Work that Zachary Harris, a recent Niagara University graduate, and I did was featured in this story on the Niagara University website. You can look at our paper if you'd like to know more about what we did.
We normally take a group of Niagara University students to the Mathematical Association of America Seaway Section Meeting every semester. These conferences are held at various institutions in Upstate New York and Ontario. For example, in Fall 2019 we took seven students to Ithaca College and our trip was featured in this story on the Niagara University website. Unfortunately the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021 meetings have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we anticipate them resuming in Spring 2022.
These conferences provide an opportunity to hear about some of the mathematics that students and faculty at other institutions have been doing and to make connections with math-inclined people from other institutions. For students who have done research, they are also an opportunity to present this work. If you are interested in attending one of these conferences, let me know so that I can be in touch when we are planning the next trip.
There are many things students can do in the summers to enhance their academic programs. Here are a few examples:
Most programs for undergraduate research away from Niagara University go by the name Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs). A list of math REUs can be found at MathREUPrograms.org, and that site also gives good advice about applying. REUs generally pay a stipend and provide lodging, and some provide travel and/or meal allowances. The majority of the application deadlines are in February; the application process should be started early because it takes time to prepare the necessary materials and because letters of recommendation are required. Summer research at Niagara University is also possible, though usually with lower pay than an REU; students who are interested in this should talk with a faculty member with whom they might want to do research.
Many companies offer summer internships (usually paid), and this can be a good opportunity to learn about what working in a particular industry is like. We have had a number of students who did a summer internship and later got a full-time job at the same company after graduation. The range of possible companies is wide, but the SIAM internships page and the AMS internships page may be helpful in thinking about some possibilities. Internships have a wide range of application deadlines, but some of the best opportunities have deadlines in early fall for the following summer, so it pays to look at opportunities early.
Working at a program for high school or middle school students
There are many summer math programs for high school and middle school students that hire undergraduates as teaching assistants or counselors. Working at these is not only fun but also provides experience working with high school or middle school students. A few examples of these programs are AwesomeMath Summer Program, Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, and the Center for Talented Youth Summer Programs. A long list of summer math programs, only some of which hire undergraduates, can be found at this page maintained by the AMS.
Even if studying abroad in the fall or spring doesn't fit into your academic program, studying abroad in the summer is something to consider. Three math-specific study abroad programs that offer summer programs are Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education, and Mathematical Sciences Semesters in Guanajuato.
Help from me
I am happy to talk with students who are considering any of the above things for next summer. Based on your interests, we could identify some specific possibilities that could be good fits for you. I am also glad to share advice (gleaned both from my experiences as a student and from previous Niagara University students) with students applying for summer opportunities.
Two math-specific study abroad programs have been around for a number of years and are well regarded. I participated in both of these programs as an undergraduate and am happy to talk with students about them.
Another semester program that has been around for many years and is well regarded is held each fall:
Mathematics Advanced Study Semesters (MASS) at Penn State University
The following two study abroad programs are newer and have somewhat different emphases from the above programs. This program in Budapest is focused on teaching mathematics, and the program in Guanajuato is more focused on applications of mathematics than the above programs.