Summer Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Accelerator (SUMSA)


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The Summer Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Accelerator (SUMSA) is an eight week mathematics and statistics summer bootcamp for undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities which will be hosted by IMSI on the campus of the University of Chicago. The aim of the program is to help prepare students for the rigors of graduate school in a mathematical science with lecture series and problems sessions taught by experienced postdocs and advanced graduate students from the University of Chicago. The primary focus of this bootcamp is basic coursework; in particular, the program is not an REU, which tends to be more project-oriented.

The bootcamp offers an avenue for “standardizing” the backgrounds of undergraduates to help them develop competitive candidacies for graduate school. The topics likely to be covered will include:

  • Linear algebra: real and complex vector spaces (including infinite-dimensional ones) linear transformations, bases and dimension, algebra of linear transformations, invertibility of linear transformations and isomorphism of vector spaces, determinants, positive-definite inner products, symmetric and orthogonal linear transformations and projections, singular value decompositions
  • Topology of metric spaces: continuous functions, open, closed, compact, and connected sets, convergence of sequences, completeness, Heine-Borel, Bolzano Weierstrass, Banach Fixed Point Theorem
  • Advanced calculus: differentiability of functions in R^n, critical points and constrained extrema, vector fields and flows, Inverse and Implicit Function Theorems. Integration in several variables, Fubini’s Theorem, Change of Variables Formula, Stokes’ Theorem with special cases in low dimensions
  • Probability: Overview of probability models for random phenomena, independence and dependence, distribution theory, probability inequalities and limit theorems, probabilistic foundations of statistical inference, Bayes rule and diagnostic testing
  • Statistical modeling: Linear and non-linear models, regression analysis, categorical data analysis, basics of inference
  • Data science: Data structures, missing and irregular data, regression analysis and supervised learning, training, testing and cross validation for performance evaluation, optimization

The weekly schedule is expected to include two lectures per day on Monday-Thursday, and problem sessions on Fridays. The bootcamp will be an intensive experience; participants will be expected to invest a substantial amount of time working through the material outside lectures and problem sessions.

Accepted applicants will be offered travel support and housing on the University of Chicago campus, and a stipend. The bootcamp is only available to participants who are able to attend in person. Participants are expected to spend the full eight weeks in residence during the program.


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This program is open to students who will be rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at U.S. colleges and universities and will be at least 18 years old at the time to program begins. Participants should have had a full year of calculus (or equivalent experience) by the time the program begins. Participants must be able to spend the full eight weeks in residence during the program.

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The deadline for applications was February 17, 2023.