Research Experience for Undergraduates at VCU

The Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at Virginia Commonwealth University will host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site in graph theory and computational mathematics. The site is supported by the National Security Agency.

The REU will provide 8 undergraduates a hands-on introduction to computational research endeavors and improve their problem solving, communication, and computer programming skills. Student teams will be formed to work on the research projects listed below.

Selected students will receive a $3,600 stipend ($600 per week), on-campus housing, and reimbursement of travel expenses to and from campus. Additionally, students will be funded to present their work at conferences after the REU.


The program will run June 1 - July 10, 2020. Students are expected to arrive no later than Sunday May 31. The departure day is Saturday July 11, 2020.


Evolutionary graph dynamics: Explore and classify graphs based on how well mutants spread in a structured population. Mentors: Dewey Taylor and Jan Rychtar.

Vaccination game theory: Find the optimal use of disease prevention strategies in finite and structured populations. Mentors: Dewey Taylor and Jan Rychtar.

Pattern formations in agent-based aggregation models on manifolds: Study different patterns representing minimal energy configurations due to the competing short-range and long-range forces. Mentor: Ihsan Topaloglu.

Modeling the flow of viscous thin films: Find and study the stability of traveling wave solutions to models of thin films. Mentor: Reed Ogrosky.


Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and must be undergraduates in Fall of 2020. Applications are especially encouraged from students who identify with populations currently underrepresented in mathematics graduate programs, from schools with limited access to research opportunities and current freshmen and sophomores.


Students, please complete the 2020 Math REU at VCU - application form to apply.

Faculty, please upload the recommendation letter through the 2020 Math REU at VCU - recommendation letter submission.

The application deadline is March 6, 2020.

About VCU and Richmond, VA

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is an urban public research university located in Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Richmond is a city with the beautiful James River and many parks offering miles of hiking trails and opportunities for cookouts and barbecues. Richmond's music scene, jazz in particular, is fabulous and there are plenty of cultural attractions in the city. A proximity to DC, Virginia Beach, and mountains also offers plenty of opportunities for trips.

You can find more information about the Mathematics Department at VCU at our departmental website.


Please write to with any questions.