REU 2012

In the summer of 2012 the Mathematics Department of the Pennsylvania State University will host a Research Experiences for Undergraduates site. Participants will be selected from qualified applicants. We encourage students to apply for both, Summer REU and our MASS program which runs in the Fall semester of each year. Participation in REU followed by MASS provides an opportunity for completing a more substantial long-term research project.

Application deadline is February 29, 2012.

The program will run from June 27 to August 8, 2012. It will combine learning with research and include:

  • One mini-course: Topics in Convexity 
    Instructor: Viorel Nitica, Professor of Mathematics
  • Weekly seminar run by the program coordinator Misha Guysinsky
  • Research projects
  • MASS Fest, a two day conference

Only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for funding. Applications from international students are accepted, but if admitted, they will have to cover their own expenses.

Each eligible REU 2012 participant will receive a stipend of $2,500, reimbursement for room and board, and travel reimbursement up to $500.

International applicants:

(1) If English is not your native language please ask your recommenders to comment on your English proficiency in their letters;

(2) If admitted to the program, you will need to provide a proof of health insurance that meets the Exchange Visitor regulations or proof of personal funds sufficient to purchase such an insurance, and a proof of additional personal funds of $550 for miscellaneous expenses;

(3) Please make sure that your transcripts are translated into English.

Application Materials

Applications will be considered as long as positions are still available.

  • Application Form
  • Transcript
  • Record of Mathematics courses
  • Essay describing student's interest in mathematics
  • Two Faculty Recommendations
Send your applications to:
REU Summer Program
111 McAllister Building
Department of Mathematics
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Make other inquiries at:
Phone: 814-865-8462
FAX: 814-865-3735

Course Description


INSTRUCTOR: Viorel Nitica, Professor of Mathematics

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We start with introductory topics in topology: topological spaces, Euclidean topology, continuous functions, compact spaces, metric spaces, Heine-Borel theorem. We continue with topics in convexity: Helly, Radon and Caratheodory theorems. We intro- duce convexity in dioids (max-plus and max-min algebra) and discuss segments, semispaces, hemispaces and hyperplanes. For the rest of the course we will read through the book ”Introduction to Geometric Proba- bility”, by Klain and Rota and try to find an analog of Euler formula in higher dimensions.


On Tilings with L-shaped Trominoes and Tetrominoes
Published in Discrete Mathematics, 313 (2013) 611–621
    Robert Sharp,
    Dustan Levenstein
    Matthew Chao

Tiling Deficient Boards with L-Pentominoes
    Akhil Upneja

Tiling Deficient Rectangles with T-Tetrominoes
    Shuxin Zhan

Transitivity of Infinite-Dimensional Extensions of Anosov Diffeomorphisms
    Zev Rosengarten
    Asaf Reich

Establishing a Metric in Max-Plus Geometry
Published in Rose Hulman Undergraduate Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 13,No. 2, Fall 2012
    Uri Carl
    Kevin W. O'Neill
    Nicholas Ryder

Imposing a Metric on  Rnmin,max
To appear in a volume of Contemporary Mathematics, AMS
    Jonathan Eskeldson 
    Miriam Jaffe

Area Minimization in Normed Space
    Madeline Barnicle
    Nicholas Ryder
    Christoph Schlom

Discrepancy Theory and Connections to Convex Approximation
    Wilson Cheung 
    Martin S. Copenhavr 
    Joseph Ferrara 

Some Positive Livsic-Like Results
    Walker Stern
    Winston Leslie

Behavior of Transient, Exhaustive Polling Systems with N Nodes
    J. Kraisler 
    A. Zimmer