BU Directed Reading Program

The Boston University Directed Reading Program (DRP) is a new program which pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors to work together on an independent reading project in mathematics, applied mathematics, or statistics.

Our goal is to engage undergraduate students who are curious and motivated to learn more about mathematics beyond what they may find in their coursework, in a way where their interests drive their learning experience. We hope the DRP will build a bridge between undergraduate students and graduate students and add to a sense of community in the department.

In spring 2020 we are excited to continue running the DRP for our second year. Applications are now closed for the spring DRP. Check back in the beginning of fall semester for applications for the fall 2020 DRP.

Here are the slides from the fall 2018 info session: Undergrad Info Session

Practical Information

The project lasts for 10 weeks, and mentor/mentee pairs will meet for an hour each week to discuss the week’s readings. Undergraduate student mentees are expected to commit to at least 4 hours of work outside of the meetings independently reading and working through the text. Each student will also give a short final presentation, which the mentor/mentee pair will work on preparing together.

Application Requirements

Applicants must be BU undergraduates who have completed most of the lower division mathematics major courses. Students do not have to be math majors, and we strive to admit students from a range of years and mathematical backgrounds. We are actively seeking students with diverse backgrounds and experiences in mathematics: in addition to students who are excelling or want to take their math knowledge beyond what is offered at BU, we would be excited to see applications from students who have not taken many high level courses, and students who may struggle with a traditional classroom format. We also especially encourage applications from women, LGBTQ students, and underrepresented minorities. If you are curious about mathematics and motivated to spend at least 5 hours a week on an independent reading project, then consider applying.


Here are some sample presentations from the Fall 2018 DRP:

Learn about how persistent homology lets you interpret data with topology, how to win mathematical games with combinatorial game theory, or how network analysis can be applied to analyzing social group dynamics!

Or, get excited by browsing possible projects from other DRPs!

Example Projects

Book Suggestions

The DRP Network has additional resources from other DRPs.

About us / Contact

The BU DRP in the 2019-2020 academic year is organized by Sachi Hashimoto, Ricky Magner, and Jessica Nadalin, with faculty advisor Margaret Beck. You can email us at bostonudrp[at]gmail[dot]com with any questions.

We are grateful for funding from the BU Mathematics and Statistics department.