SUMR at Notre Dame
SUMR Program

What is the SUMR program?

The Seminar of Undergraduate Mathematical Research (SUMR) is a two-year enrichment program aimed at the best Notre Dame Honors Mathematics majors. The program provides support and direction to highly talented and motivated students, and gives participants an especially strong mathematical preparation to enter any of the nation's top graduate programs in the mathematical sciences.

SUMR graduates have established a remarkable tradition of accomplishment in postgraduate work, and no other Notre Dame program has had such a high percentage of its graduates winning national fellowships; see below for more details.

The elements of SUMR

The SUMR program adds a wide variety of courses and activities to the regular honors major.

  • SUMR graduate seminar: A course offered once a year, crafted to introduce SUMR undergraduates to the rigors of graduate-level study. The topic varies from year to year; past topics have included algebraic number theory, Lie algebras, Morse theory, and Riemannian geometry.
  • Summer & regular semester reading groups: (open to all interested students!) Small-group reading courses on advanced topics, led by graduate students. These reading groups give participants an opportunity to present complex mathematical ideas in a friendly atmosphere.
  • Graduate courses: SUMR participants develop a strong mathematical foundation in preparation for graduate studies, by taking core graduate courses in their junior and senior year. All SUMR students take at least one graduate course in their junior year, and two graduate courses each semester of the senior year
  • Fellowships and REUs: Participants are encouraged to apply for a variety of scholarships and fellowships, and are supported by the faculty in these applications; see here for more information. They are also encouraged to apply for summer research programs (REUs); see here for more information.
  • Senior thesis: Starting during their junior year, all SUMR students work closely with a faculty member to produce a senior thesis on an advanced topic; see here for more information.

SUMR alumni

Here is a link to the complete list of SUMR alumni, and here are the details of the awards that SUMR students have garnered.

The SUMR alumni have had remarkable success, from the program's inception in 1990 right through to today. 72 of the 75 SUMR graduates in the period 1990--2011 have pursued graduate degrees, 5 in medical or MBA programs and 67 in the mathematical sciences. Each of these 67 was admitted with financial support into some of the nation's top graduate programs. Indeed, 56 received offers from at least one of the top 25 graduate programs in their chosen field.

Although it is a small program, SUMR participants have won more than 50 national fellowships --- more than any single department at Notre Dame --- including

  • 13 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
  • 12 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
  • 7 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • 4 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships
  • a George C. Marshall Scholarship
  • a Winston Churchill Scholarship
  • a Fulbright Fellowship
  • a Lucent Technology Fellowship
  • a Sloan Fellowship
  • an Alice Shaefer prize

Three SUMR students have been finalists in the Rhodes Scholarship competition, and five have finished as either first runner-up or with honorable mention for the Alice Shaefer prize.

Updated on: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 3:00 PM
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