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The MIT mathematics department offers a directed reading program (DRP) in mathematics during the IAP period. Undergraduate participants will be paired with graduate student mentors to read a selected math book.

Who is Eligible

The program is aimed at MIT undergraduate mathematics majors, but could also be suitable for MIT undergraduates with mathematical interests who would like to further explore the field. Applicants must have completed, or be in the process of taking, two .100 level classes (or higher) in course 18. We particularly encourage applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.

Why Should I Take Part?

  • You've always wanted to learn about (insert random math topic here) but have never had the time to do so.
  • You like math and have considered a mathematics major, but want to learn more about what math "is".
  • Directed self study is far more effective than traditional classroom learning: you really have to understand something to be able to explain it to someone else.
  • Boston Januarys are cold, and math is typically an indoor sport.
  • You get free math books out of it - and they can be expensive!

Program Format:

  • Late November: undergrad participants and grad mentors will be paired. The mentor and mentee will agree on an appropriate reading project, and books will be ordered. A list of suggested topics can be found here.
  • During IAP: Participants will meet with their mentors on campus at least 3 times per week, and present/discuss the material they read. No more than 2 meetings during the entire IAP are allowed over skype. The graduate student mentor will be able to clarify points of confusion, highlight subtle points, and explain how things fit into the "big picture."
  • End of IAP: Participants and mentors will submit online feedback forms to help improve the future development of the program.


  • Application deadline for Jan 2020 IAP was November 8. Application for IAP 2021 will open in mid-October 2020.


DRP Faculty Advisor is Prof. Julee Kim. Program Director is Dr. Slava Gerovitch. With questions, email


The MIT DRP program is part of the DRP Network, a network of universities across the US with directed reading programs in mathematics. DRP mentors and mentees can find additional DRP resources through the DRP Network’s website: