SPUR, Summer Program in Undergraduate Research
SPUR, the Summer Program in Undergraduate Research of the MIT Mathematics Department, is a program for MIT undergraduates founded in 1996 by Professor Hartley Rogers. The current director is Professor Pavel Etingof. The program administrator is Dr. Slava Gerovitch.
SPUR is open to MIT students who have completed their first, second or third year. Students are considered relative to their year. It is not required that a participant be a mathematics major. Up to ten undergraduates are supported each summer.
A lively interest in mathematics and serious desire to try out and develop one's own research abilities and skill at communication.
SPUR's Definition of Success
Significant progress, relative to one's own background and experience, in developing interests, satisfaction, skill, and ideas, rather than getting the complete solution to a problem.
Students in the program work full time for six weeks on an original research problem. Each undergraduate is paired with a graduate student mentor. Undergraduate and mentor meet together about an hour each weekday. During the first few days, the undergraduate and mentor identify one or more suitable problems to work on. In the final days of the program, the undergraduate writes a short paper (about ten pages) describing his or her progress and presents a 20-minute talk to the mentors, to the other undergraduates in SPUR and to a panel of faculty members. Each week during the program, the entire group of undergraduates and mentors meets for a seminar and discussion with a faculty member.
Rogers Prize: After the final presentations, the faculty panel awards the Rogers Prize to the best student-mentor team or teams. The Prize was funded by Professor Rogers's family in his honor. A list of past award recipients can be found on the student awards page
2012 Details and Dates
2012 Dates: Monday, June 25 to Friday, August 3, 2012.
Application: Deadline February 17th 2012
Late applications will be considered if space is available. Positions will be offered by email starting Monday, March 12. For inquiries, contact Jan Wetzel.
In 2012 each undergraduate participant will receive a stipend of $3,500.