Students in the math honors program are expected to do an independent study or research project as one of the requirements for completing the honors program. They register for MA 491. Other students who arrange to do an independent study or research project register for MA 499.
Besides research projects with NC State faculty, students can participate in Research Experiences for Undergraduates, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, at other institutions.
NC State Projects
Usually math students work with faculty in the math department, but occasionally students work with faculty in other departments. Honors program research projects must be approved by the student’s adviser and the honors program director. A list of faculty who have agreed to mentor honors program students, together with possible research projects, is available. These faculty may also be available to mentor other students.
Since MA 491 and MA 499 can be used to fulfill the senior writing requirement for the university’s GER, the student is expected to write a summary of work done in the course.
The National Science Foundation sponsors summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) at many colleges and universities in the United States. Please see the REU website for more details. The list is updated as sites are approved. Applications are usually due by February 28 or March 1. These programs are quite selective. If you’re interested in doing an REU, it’s useful to have your basic application materials (resumé, references, etc.) ready early because new programs may be listed shortly before the application deadline. Other summer research programs are listed by the Mathematical Association of America and by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Research Presentations and Prizes
Students who do research projects, either here or elsewhere, are encouraged to present their work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by Sigma Xi and held in April at the McKimmon Center. Awards are given in four different categories (Biological Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences). Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary contributions are encouraged. You can get more information online or from the offices of the Associate Deans for Research and Academic Affairs.
Students may also wish to present their results at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, which is held every year in March. The Morgan Prize is a national award given to an undergraduate student (or students submitting joint work) for outstanding research in mathematics.