The directed reading program (DRP) provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at University of Michigan to work closely with a graduate student at the Department of Mathematics.

This program is designed to help motivated undergraduate students explore mathematical topics in more depth than possible in a classroom setting. In consultation with their graduate mentors, the students choose a topic for their project. During the semester, the students work independently on their project topics, and meet with their mentors regularly to discuss their progress. At the end of the semester, the students give brief presentations on their topics.

Expectations from Students

Although the program is designed to be fairly laid-back, we do have some general expectations from the undergraduate students in this program.

  • The mentors and students have weekly meetings, where the graduate students provide help and advice on the material covered. Each pair should meet for at least one hour each week. Specifics of these meetings are left up to the individual pairs.
  • In-between meetings, the students are expected to work at least four hours each week on their topic. This time should be spent reading texts, solving problems and preparing for the next meeting.
  • Near the end of the semester, the students are required to give a 15-20 minute presentation on their project topic. This presentation session will be attended by other students and their mentors.

Note that the DRP students will not receive course credit for their projects (this means no exams and no grades).

Benefits for Students

Students participating in the program

  • Learn math in a laid-back and low-stakes environment
  • Pursue a topic not covered in their curriculum
  • Connect with a graduate student mentor
  • Learn how to learn independently
  • Develop oral communication skills in math
  • Figure out if they are interested in majoring in math or going to graduate school in math