Lyman Briggs College
National Security Agency

Supported by Michigan State University, the National Security Agency, and the National Science Foundation

An REU Site in Discrete and Applied Mathematics

The Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University will be hosting a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency in the summer of 2019.


At least nine students will be selected to work with mathematics faculty from Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Mathematics, and the Department of Probability and Statistics. The research topics will include Random Fractals & Brownian Motion, Trees with Symmetries, and Combinatorial Games on Graphs. A detailed description of the projects can be found under the PROJECTS heading below.


May 26 to July 20


Each student will receive a stipend of $4000, on-campus housing, and a meal allowance. Travel money to support travel to the REU site and to conferences will be provided through generous support from the NSF, the NSA, and MSU.


Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who will be undergraduates in fall 2019 are eligible to apply. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must have completed two semesters of calculus by May 2019. Preference is given to students who are at an earlier stage of their study of mathematics (e.g. rising sophomores and rising juniors).

Preference will be given to applications received by March 1, 2019. A review of applications will begin on March 1 and continue until all positions have been filled.

To apply, please complete the following online application:
SURIEM Application


2019 Research Projects


  • From our 2017 REU
    • Mathematical Models in Biology (Emily Dorn, Philip Grossweiler, Savannah Swiatlowski, and Dr. Chichia Chiu (faculty mentor).
    • Mathematics and Neuroscience (Hanyu Gao, Cara Nix, Meraiah Martinez, Mark Reimers (faculty mentor), Jordan Tait (graduate student mentor).
    • Recursive Polynomials (Katherine Arneson, Mohit Bansil, Jason Bruce, Alexandra Embry, Dr. Wei-Hsuan Yu (faculty mentor), and Dr. Aklilu Zeleke (faculty mentor).
  • From our 2016 REU
    • Games on Graphs (Julie Anne Bowman, Arthur Diep-Nguyen, Rashmika Goswami, Dylan King, Nicholas Lindell, Emily Olson (graduate mentor), and Dr. Robert Bell (faculty mentor). Final research report: SURIEM 2016 final report: games on graphs.
    • MRI Imaging (Jade Larriva-Latt, Angela Morrison, Alison Radgowski, Joseph Tobin, Dr. Aditya Viswanathan (faculty mentor), Dr. Mark Iwen (faculty mentor), and Dr. Tsvetanka Sendova (faculty mentor). Research outcomes.
    • Random Fractals (Gabriel Raodoccia-Feuerstein, Brantley (Daniel) Simmons, Jihad Nasser, Konstantin Mckenna, Michael Delaura (graduate mentor), and Dr. Yimin Xiao (faculty mentor). Final report: Fractal report.
    • Recursive Polynomials (Michelle Haver, Kathleen Lee, William McDermott, Gregory Vaughan, Alex Wilson, Dr. Wei-Hsuan Yu (faculty mentor), and Dr. Aklilu Zeleke (faculty mentor).
  • From our 2014 REU
    • Pursuit and Evasion Games on Graphs (Taylor Ball, Jonathan Guzman, Madeleine Hanson-Colvin, Nicholas Schonsheck, and Dr. Robert Bell (faculty mentor). Research publication: On the cop number of generalized Petersen Graphs, (to appear in Discrete Mathematics.
    • Numerical Methods and Differential Equations (Benjamin Lewis, David Marsico, Jason McKelvey, Bridget Morales, Madison Wilkin, and Dr. Andrew Chrislieb (faculty mentor). Final research presentation: A particle in cell corrected approach to direct sum.
    • Grid Diagrams and Knot Theory (Nicole Catton, Elliot Kaplan, Su Jin Lim, Patricia O'Brien, David Krcatovich (graduate mentor) and Dr. Teena Gerhardt (faculty mentor). Research publications: Resolution depth of positive braids (published in the Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications in 2015).
    • Permutations and Pattern Avoidance (Carlin Purcell, Robert Dorward, Jonathan Gerhard, Thomas Grubb, Lindsey Repphun, Samantha Dahlberg (graduate mentor) and Dr. Bruce Sagan (faculty mentor). Research publications: Restricted growth functions patterns and statistics (submitted for publication) and Set partitions patterns and statistics (published in Discrete Mathematics in 2016).

Photo Gallery:

Slide Show from the 2011 REU

Slide Show from the 2010 REU

For additional information and/or application forms...

Visit the website:
Or contact Dr. Robert Bell (517) 353-4857
Map: MSU Campus