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REU - Research Experience for Undergraduates

Mathematical Biology 2015-2016

The Mathematical Biology program at the University of Utah will be conducting a mathematical biology research project for undergraduates during the academic year.

We are looking for two math majors and two biology, physics, chemistry, or bioengineering majors who are interested in working together in an interdisciplinary group. Prior programming experience will be beneficial but is not necessary for your participation.

Program Details

The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on Friday, September 4, 2015.

Please email any questions to or


How cells migrate is a fundamental problem in modern biology. Actin and other proteins provide the fundamental building blocks that individual cells use to produce and transmit forces to their environment. But how do cells coordinate these forces to produce motion in a specific direction? How do cells "decide" which direction to move?

We will use mathematics to attempt to tackle these questions and others that arise during our study. We will see that differential equations and numerical methods give us remarkable insight into the mechanics of cell motility. This is your chance to see how math can inform biological observations and provide understanding that can’t be gained in a traditional bio lab. This is your chance to develop new skills and work in an area of active biological and mathematical research. See why mathematics is now an indispensable part of modern microbiology!

If you are interested in studying a fascinating biological problem and learning how mathematics can be used to further biological understanding, this REU is for you!

Applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.

Participants will be paid for their research.

To apply, please submit the following by 5:00pm on September 4, 2015:

  • Application Form
  • A copy of your unofficial transcripts should be provided to Owen Lewis ( ).
  • Letter of Recommendation. Have a faculty member from your major who is familiar with your work write a letter on your behalf. Please have the faculty member send the letter directly to Owen Lewis. Emailing the letter is fine (

Past REU Announcements

2005-2006 2008-2009
2009-2010 2010-2011
2012-2013 2014-2015