Tripods/STEM for All REU

July 18 - August 12, 2022

**The application deadline for Summer 2022 has been extended to March 14, 2022.**


One of the most beautiful ideas generated by modern science over the past few decades is the concept of neural networks (neural nets), a computational framework that imitates the workings of the human brain. These networks have been used to understand the outcome of scientific experiments, make weather predictions and political forecasts, and even aid in mathematical research. Through the Tripods NSF REU and STEM for All summer research programs, students will take a comprehensive approach to neural nets, focusing on both the theoretical and applied aspects of this beautiful, emerging discipline. Students will learn the basic theory of neural nets in the mornings, followed by intensive programming sessions in the afternoons.

We are looking for participants who are equally excited about the pure and applied aspects of the neural - students who are just as willing to delve into the mathematical intricacies as they are to write complex code to implement the resulting ideas. This program is committed to recruiting participants who are women and members of underrepresented groups.

In addition to research, the program will also have an outreach component. We will expose a small group of middle school students from inner city Rochester schools to mathematical explorations using Python. Participants in the program will be asked to assist in this wonderful and rewarding process.

Program Structure and Timeline

The Tripods REU program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Tripods grant. The Principal Investigator (PI) at the University of Rochester is Mujdat Cetin, and the PI at Cornell University is David Matteson.

The Tripods REU program will run in person in Rochester, NY for four weeks from July 18 to August 12, 2022. The application deadline is February 21, 2022. Fifteen (15) participants will be selected in the last week of February 2022.

Participants will be asked to learn background material prior to the start of the program and will be provided with notes, videos, and computer code to give them the necessary skills for the program's research phase. Regular (hybrid) meetings will be held starting in March 2022, to reinforce the material. In early May 2022, participants will receive a description of the research projects, and will make a preliminary project selection within a few weeks, after which they will begin holding hybrid meetings with their research group. The composition of the research groups will remain in flux until the first few days of the program in July 2022, to give participants the chance to explore different groups and get a better feel for the projects. Participants will receive a $1600 stipend for successful completion of the program.

Several mini courses covering a variety of areas in mathematics will run throughout the program. Each mini course will focus on the computational aspects of one or more advanced undergraduate courses offered at the University of Rochester. Courses will also explore the broader question of how modern data science techniques can contribute to the understanding certain concepts in mathematics, and vice-versa. All mini courses will be announced in the coming months.

Summer 2022 Team

picture of alex iosevich

 Alex Iosevich

Program Coordinator
Professor of Mathematics, University of Rochester

Stephen Kleene

 Stephen Kleene

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Rochester

picture of azita mayeli

Azita Mayeli

Associate Professor of Mathematics, City University of New York (CUNY)

Patricia Medina


F. Patricia Medina

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Yeshiva University

Yujia Zhai

Yujia Zhai

University of Nantes

Tripods NSF REU
  1. Candidates must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. If you are not a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident, you can still apply as a STEM for All participant (see below).
  2. Candidates must be undergraduate students at the University of Rochester, Cornell University, or another college or university in the Rochester area.
  3. Proficiency in linear algebra and multi-variable calculus.
  4. Knowledge of mathematical analysis at the level of Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis book, or equivalent.
  5. Proficiency in elementary probability, including moment generating functions, central limit theorem and related concepts.
  6. Proficiency in Python programming, including knowledge of numpy and other computational packages
  7. Willingness to prepare for the program by reading the introductory materials and carefully reviewing the Python code depository that will be prepared ahead of the start of the program.
STEM for All

Same as eligibility requirements as above, except that applicants NEED NOT be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

Financial support for STEM FOR ALL 2022 participants is contingent upon the availability of funding from the University of Rochester. We will have more information about funding for STEM FOR ALL participants in the coming weeks.

How to Apply

The application deadline for both the Tripods NSF REU and STEM for All summer 2022 programs has been extended to March 14, 2022.

If you wish to apply, please send an email to by Monday, March 14, 2022 with the subject heading "Application to TRIPODS NSF REU 2022" or "Application to STEM for All 2022," depending on which program you are applying to. Your email should containing the following information:

  1. Official college transcript.
  2. One letter of recommendation from a mathematics instructor, preferably from an upper level course.
  3. One letter of recommendation from a computer programming instructor. Both letters of recommendation can be emailed by letter writers directly to
  4. A page-long statement describing your interest in the program and future plans.