MCTP Undergraduate Research Program in Mathematics

The MCTP project at ASU and Scottsdale Community College

The goal of the Mentoring through Critical Transition Points (MCTP) initiative is to help students at critical junctures in their mathematics degree programs. The MCTP project is funded by the National Science Foundation. At ASU, the project provides up to 5,000 US dollars in stipends for students to pursue research projects in mathematics and statistics. At Scottsdale Community College, MCTP provides up to 1,000 US dollars in stipends for a summer enrichment program for promising calculus students.

We are currently recruiting ASU students for

  • Calendar year 2017 (January to December, including 8 weeks from mid-May to early July)

At Scottsdale Community College, we are recruiting students from any Maricopa Community College campus for

  • May/June 2017 (3 weeks)

All research projects carry academic credit in mathematics and may be applied to major and university graduation requirements.

MCTP group 2015

What kinds of projects do students work on?

The MCTP program offers several types of projects in areas of scientific interest and expertise of the mentoring faculty. The general areas include weather and climate forecasting and environmental fluid dynamics; the mathematics of imaging; mathematical models of biological processes, including brain tumors, cellular transport, and cell networks; stochastic processes and mathematical finance; and the dynamics of networks. Several types of projects are planned. Projects will vary by year.

Students work on their projects full-time in summer and part-time for two semesters and present their work at an appropriate research conference. Each project will be suitable material for an Honors thesis, and we hope that some of them can be published in research journals.

Eligibility requirements for ASU students

To be eligible to apply for the program, you must be

  • a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • a Computational Mathematical Sciences major or a Mathematics major (or be a double-major in one of these two areas)
  • a sophomore or junior (i.e., with 3 to 5 semesters of full-time study remaining at ASU)
  • have an ASU GPA and major GPA of at least 3.3.

You should also have completed the following courses (or their equivalents) before the summer in which you want to participate:

  • MAT 272 (Calculus III)
  • MAT 274 or 275 (Differential Equations)
  • MAT 342 or 343 (Linear Algebra)
  • CSE 205 (Data Structures)
  • MAT 420 (Scientific Computing) is recommended.

Time commitment and stipend information (ASU students)

Students selected for the ASU program will enroll in the Undergraduate Research Seminar beginning in January. The time commitment is expected to be

  • part-time (5-10 hours/week) during the academic year
  • full-time (40 hours/week) for 8 weeks from mid-May through early July.

Students are expected to enroll in the Seminar for at least 2 semesters. Stipends of up to 5,000 US dollars for summer projects are available to qualified students. Office space and laptop computers will be supplied to all project participants.

How to apply

Approximately 15 students are selected each year. The selection is based on

  • academic achievement
  • letters of recommendation (from math or science course instructors or advisors), and
  • a personal statement

Arizona residents and first-generation college students are encouraged to apply. Simply complete and submit the MCTP application form.



Eligibility information for Maricopa Community College Students

To be eligible to apply for the program, you must be

  • a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • currently enrolled at any Maricopa Community College campus
  • currently enrolled in an engineering calculus course (MAT 220, 230, 240) or differential equations (MAT 261, 276, or similar course)
  • have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and at least a 3.0 average in your math and science courses

For more information

Contact the project coordinators:

Eric Kostelich  480-965-5006
Roberto Ribas  480-423-6775

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