Undergraduate research is an excellent and a risk-free way for you to try out being a mathematician. Many students are unaware of the multiple benefits of a research experience for their future career. Here are just some of them:
- Expanding your knowledge and learning certain techniques and methods that cannot be taught in a regular classroom;
- Having a special one-on-one mentoring experience with your professor;
- Being involved in real scientific research even if you don't feel that you are prepared to do it on your own;
- Getting additional writing and verbal practice while preparing for your presentation (in front of your classmates, other faculty members, club members, conferences, professional meetings, poster presentations, etc.);
- Getting excellent letters of recommendations from your mentors;
- Being able to write about your research experience in your application, resume, etc.;
- Getting research experience that is absolutely invaluable for your future time at a four-year college and in graduate school.
There are several possibilities for you to get involved in research projects. Some of them even have a monetary award or stipend.
Student Research and Internship Opportunities at BMCC
At BMCC, there are many different programs that give students the opportunity to work on a mathematical research project with a faculty mentor. Many of them come with research stipends.
The Honors Program at BMCC provides eligible students with academic challenges beyond the normal parameters of a particular course's requirements. Qualified students, working in close conjunction with a faculty member, on an honors Committee approved project, extend their knowledge of the theoretical or practical aspects of the course and develop or enhance their writing, critical thinking, analytical, and problem solving skills. To qualify for the program, a student needs to be free of all remediation and have GPA of 3.2. If students successfully complete all the requirements of the program, they receive an "H" designation for the course on their transcripts at the end of the term.
The S-STEM program is a year-long program for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors. An S-STEM student completes a project or conducts advanced work in an area that is supervised by a faculty member. In order to participate, the student must be a STEM major, be enrolled full-time, be a US citizen or permanent resident, have at least a 3.0 gpa (or a 2.5 in some cases) and be in financial need. Should the student finish the project successfully, the student receives a stipend of $1500 each semester, including the summer.
Research C-STEP students participate in a one-to-one research project with a mentor from the BMCC faculty. The mentor and the student agree on a research project, and the student dedicates from 5-10 hours a week on the project. The student and the mentor meet on a regular basis through the semester. Every Research C-STEP student gives an oral presentation of his/her project at the end of the semester. In March, Research C-STEP students participate in the BMCC Scholars Day poster presentation. In order to participate in the C-STEP program, a student must be a member of an underrepresented minority (African American, Hispanic, or American Indian) or qualify by economic guidelines. Students must also maintain a 3.0 gpa, be a resident of New York state, and be a full-time degree-seeking student at BMCC. After the end of each semester, if all research and presentation requirements have been completed, Research C-STEP students receive a stipend.
The Borough of Manhattan Community College Louis Stokes Alliance for the Minority Participation (BMCC-LSAMP) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a federally funded research and training program offered in all the CUNY institutions. It is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation in collaboration with the City University of New York. Vice President Bragg is the main person at BMCC overseeing this initiative. The main aim of the BMCC-LSAMP program is to encourage participation by providing research assistantships and academic support in the science, mathematics, engineering and technology fields. Also BMCC-LSAMP will like to increase the number of associate degree recipients from the populations who have traditionally been underrepresented in the sciences and engineering. To participate in the program,the student must be a member of an historically underrepresented group (Black, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native), must be a full-time student with at least 12 credits (with one course in a STEM field with a grade of B or higher), and must have a minimum GPA of 2.8. Qualifying students receive $1000-$2000 per year, depending upon the number of credits earned, and students have the opportunity to participate in a summer program as well.
The BMCC Center for Career Development has a number of internships opportunities for math majors or students with strong mathematics skills. They receive postings from a variety of industries such as Business, Media and Communications, Social Service/Non-profit, Government, and Medical (i.e.Hospitals). There are usually a number of positions available in the different departments such as Accounting, Human Resources, Finance, and even teaching assistant positions.
Some of the companies who post internship positions are:
Some of these positions, like the SONY BMG interships, are unique in that students can design what they would like the learning outcomes of the internship to be.
- Sony BMG
- Brant Publications
- The Council of the City of New York
- RiskMetrics Group (Financial Institution)
- Emmis Communications (98.7 Kiss FM)
- NYC Office of Management and Budget
- CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development
- Gouverneur Healthcare Services
- State of New York Office of the Attorney General
- NYC Department of Homeless Services
If you are interested in Internships in Mathematics, contact the Center by email, phone, or drop by during their business hours. You will be welcome to review the job listings once your resume has been reviewed by a career counselor.
BMCC Student Poster Presentation Day
Each year, students who have completed research projects have the opportunity to present their projects at the BMCC Student Poster Presentation, which is held in March. Students doing research in any discipline and under any of the research programs at BMCC (honors, S-STEM, C-STEP, LS-AMP) are invited to participate; students receive a certificate for their participation and are recognized individually at the end of the event.
Here are some of the participating student research projects from March 2009:
Maannyah Patel used the tools of statistics from MAT 150 to analyze a mountain bike company's profits and losses. She is currently a mathematics major, and Dr. Alla Morgulis was her mentor for this project.
Arsalan Malik used trigonometry from MAT 206 to build a model of a complex modern building which he designed himself. After completing his degree in liberal arts at BMCC, he plans to transfer to a four-year program in structural engineering. Dr. Claire Wladis was his mentor for this project.
Student Research Conferences
In May of 2009, several mathematics majors participated in the spring meeting of the Metropolitan Section of the Mathematics Society of America by making presentations on their research: Benjamin Mills, Anna Kunz-Gorska, and Maannyah Patel each presented at the conference.
Top:Benjamin Mills, Dr. Abdramane Serme, Anna Kunz-Gorska, Bottom: Dr. Alla Morgulis, Maannyah Patel.