EMSW21-MCTP: Penn State MASS Program

Project: Research project

Project Details


Penn State's MASS program (Mathematics Advanced Study Semesters) is an intensive, semester-long activity for undergraduates recruited from around the country, integrated with summer REU program (Research Experience for Undergraduates). MASS consists of three custom-made core courses in topics chosen from algebra, analysis and geometry with oral final examinations for each course, a weekly MASS interdisciplinary Seminar and MASS Colloquium, a weekly lecture series by visiting mathematicians. The program totals 16 honors credits. MASS is aimed primarily at juniors and seniors and is run every fall semester. PMASS (Preparatory Mathematics Advanced Study Semesters) will take place in the spring semester and serve mostly sophomores or advanced freshmen passing through the transition-to-proofs stage. PMASS will consist of three core courses in discrete mathematics or algebra, analysis and geometry, a problem solving seminar and a biweekly lecture series. REU consists of individual or small-group research projects, a weekly seminar, topics 2-week mini-courses and MASS Fest conference at the end of the program.

MASS program provides a unique and mutually reinforcing blend of learning and research activities for its participants. Its goal is to guarantee the successful transition of its students from undergraduate to graduate study in mathematics. MASS participants often enter the program with limited prior exposure to advanced mathematics, and they exit with the experience and confidence they need to succeed in graduate school. The MASS program very effectively increases the number of students choosing careers in mathematics and related fields. The target audience for PMASS are students with basic mathematical literacy and whose intended major is in exact sciences, engineering, education. PMASS will engage these students with core mathematical topics and ways of thinking, teach them to understand, communicate and apply basic mathematical concepts, and encourage some of them to choose a mathematical career path. The original MASS course material was published by the American Mathematical Society in the Student Mathematical LIbrary (5 books published, 3 in various stages of preparation); this dissemination effort will continue to benefit the broader mathematical community.

Effective start/end date7/1/106/30/15


  • National Science Foundation: $1,251,456.00


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