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Texas A&M University

Directed Reading Program

The Directed Reading Program (DRP) gives undergraduates the opportunity to:
  • work one-on-one with a graduate mentor for the semester,
  • learn an area of mathematics not covered in any course, and
  • gain valuable presentation skills.


The DRP pairs undergraduate students with graduate-student mentors for an independent reading course. Undergraduate participants are expected to:
  • meet once per week with the graduate-student mentor,
  • work independently for approximately three hours between meetings, and
  • give a 10- to 15-minute talk on their project at the end of the semester.

DRP Activities - Spring 2019

  • Kick-off event (Jan. 16 at 5pm)
  • A presentation on "How (not) to give a talk" (Wed. Apr. 3 at 5pm in Blocker 605 AX)
  • Final presentations by undergraduate participants (Wed. and Thurs. April 24 and 25 at 5pm in Blocker 220 [Wed.] and 628 [Thurs.])
The Spring 2019 participants and their topics are:
  • Maryam Almaskin (mentor: Ayo Adeniran) - Introduction to Graph Theory
  • Melissa Cruz (mentor: Weston King) - Non-Crossing Partitions
  • Jackson Haynes (mentor: Oguz Gezmis) - The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture
  • Trevor Hollister (mentor: Wei-Lun, Tsai) - The Zeroes of the Riemann Zeta Function
  • Bailey Johnson (mentor: John Griffin) - Set theory Applications
  • Brent Loving (mentor: Weston Baines) - Introduction to deep learning and neural networks
  • Yifei Liang (mentor: Jianyan Ye) - An Introduction To Markov Chains
  • Kate McCollough (mentor: Nida Obatake) - Topology and the Neural Code
  • Nathan Medrano (mentor: Eric Tovar) - Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations and Methods
  • Jonathan Reed (mentor: Sheagan John) - Transcending Rationality: A Discussion of Transcendental Numbers in Mathematics
  • Guadalupe Vallers (mentor: Pablo Sanchez) - Classical Theorems in Affine Space
  • James Woodcock (mentor: Priyanga Ganesan) - Convergence of Series in Banach Spaces

DRP Activities - Fall 2018

  • Kick-off event (Wed. Sept. 5 at 5pm in Blocker 605AX)
  • A presentation on "How (not) to give a talk" (Wed. Nov. 7 at 5pm in Blocker 605 AX)
  • Final presentations by undergraduate participants (Wed. Nov. 28 at 5pm in Blocker 220)
The Fall 2018 participants and their topics were:
  • William Brett Boyer (mentor: Quyuan Lin) - "Some mathematical theories to fluid dynamics"
  • Chase Colbert (mentor: Wei-Lun Tsai) - "The distribution of prime numbers"
  • Tyson Mailloux (mentor: Weston Baines) - "Survey of machine learning With applications"
  • Kristopher Rakestraw (mentor: Konrad Wrobel) - "Percolation theory"
To participate in Fall 2019, see below.

(NEW!) How to participate (undergraduates) - Fall 2019

We encourage applications from any undergraduate who:
  • will be a sophomore, junior, or senior during the semester of the program, and
  • has completed a year-long calculus sequence, and
  • is interested in learning interesting mathematics outside of the classroom.
To apply to participate in Fall 2019: Applicants will be notified by April 4, 2019.

How to participate (graduate students) - Fall 2019

To be announced!


The DRP is organized by Kari Eifler and Eric Tovar, with faculty mentor Anne Shiu.


Project ideas from other DRPs can be found at the websites of the DRP Network, the Maryland DRP, and the University of Texas DRP.


The DRP is supported by the National Science Foundation (grant DMS-1752672), a Montague-CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence) Scholar grant, and a DRP Network mini-grant supported by the National Science Foundation (grant IUSE-1740143).