Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to go to the answer.  If your question is not answered on this page, please send e-mail to simu@cuhwww.upr.clu.eduBack to the SIMU home pageBack to the SIMU 2002 page.

  1. When will students applying to the 2002 SIMU be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance?
     

  2. How are students selected to participate in SIMU?
     

  3. I noticed that students in SIMU will participate in one of two seminars and that they will work on a research problem in one of the areas of the seminar.  If I am accepted to SIMU, will I get to choose which seminar I participate in?
     

  4. What mathematics research project would I work on if I participate in SIMU?
     

  5. What language is used in SIMU?
     

  6. Where do SIMU students live during the program?
     

  7. Where do SIMU students eat their meals?
     

  8. How much free time will I have during SIMU?
     

  9. Can my family come and visit me in Puerto Rico during SIMU?
     

  10. Where is Humacao?
     

  11. Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico?
     

  12. Where can I get a SIMU 2001 Application form?
     

  13. Can students who are not U.S. permanent residents or U.S. citizens apply for SIMU?
     

  14. Can I apply to SIMU if I am graduating senior?
     

  15. Can graduate students or high school students apply to SIMU?
     

  16. Is SIMU only for Puerto Rican students?
     

  17. Can one of my former high-school teachers write me a letter of recommendation for SIMU?
     

  18. Why is SIMU designed for Chicano/Latino/Hispanic and Native American undergraduates?
     

  19. I am considering graduate school in mathematics but am undecided at this point in my education.  Should I apply to SIMU?
     

  20. Is SIMU only for mathematics majors?
     

  21. Does SIMU give priority to students who have/have not participated in a previous undergraduate summer program?
     

  22. Who funds SIMU?
     

  23. Will it cost me money to participate in SIMU?
     

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Q. When will students applying to the 2002 SIMU be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance?

A.  The SIMU Co-Directors have already notified all SIMU 2002 applicants of the status of their application. 

 

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Q. How are students selected to participate in SIMU?

A.  After all applications are received, the SIMU Co-Directors, Professor Ivelisse Rubio and Herbert A. Medina, review each application.  After reviewing each application, they discuss the pool of applicants and come to a decision on the students who will be admitted.  They base the decision on a student’s grades, number of mathematics courses taken, letter of recommendation, and statement of purpose.  The admission process is competitive and each of the first two years of SIMU, several students who almost certainly would have been successful in the program were not admitted because there are a limited number of slots. Twenty-four students will participate in the 2002 SIMU.

 

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Q.  I noticed that students in SIMU will participate in one of two seminars and that they will work on a research problem in one of the areas of the seminar.  If I am accepted to SIMU, will I get to choose which seminar I participate in?

A.  Accepted students will communicate their first choice of seminar to the SIMU Co-Directors.  The Co-Directors then try to accommodate everyone.  If for some reason, your first choice of seminar is over-subscribed, then they may ask you to switch, but this request would be done in close consultation with you.

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Q. What mathematics research project would I work on if I participate in SIMU?

A.  The research projects for SIMU are designed by the Seminar Leaders/Research Advisor.  Each seminar leader will distribute the list of projects sometime during the first two weeks of the program and you will team up with two other students to work on one of the projects.  In October of year n, the descriptions of the research topics of year n+1 are available online. 

 

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Q. What language is used in SIMU?

A.  All SIMU activities (e.g., seminars, colloquia, laboratories, etc.) are conducted in English.  Nevertheless, because the majority of SIMU students and a good portion of the staff speak some Spanish, the program has a Spanish-English bilingual environment.  Also, students who have difficulty with English and are fluent in Spanish should not be nervous about applying because the program's bilingual environment will allow them to engage in the mathematics of the program fully. 

 

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Q. Where do SIMU students live during the program?

A.  SIMU students are housed in groups of six in single-sex, three-bedroom town homes, called “villas”, in the Palmas del Mar community.  Palmas is about four miles from the UPR – Humacao campus.  The villas are very comfortable.  They have air conditioning, two bathrooms, a kitchen, laundry room, and are close to the beach.  Students commute to and from campus in university vans.  The UPR - Humacao Transportation Department has provided invaluable service since the program began.  Muchas Gracias Miriam La Santa, Jorge Ojeda, José Ubiles, Héctor Marcano, et. al. 

 

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Q. Where do SIMU students eat their meals?

A.  Lunch and dinner on Monday – Friday are brought to the UPR campus by a caterer and SIMU students eat these meals together on the UPR – Humacao campus.  Breakfast supplies are brought by these same caterers and taken home by students so that they can eat a meal before they come to campus each morning.  On Saturdays, a bag lunch is provided for the recreational outing, and students stop at a food court for dinner.  On Sundays, the caterers bring brunch and dinner to two of the student villas and the students at these villas host a group of SIMU students for these meals.

 

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Q. How much free time will I have during SIMU?

A.  SIMU is a lot of work.  Students work Monday through Friday on mathematics during the day at the UPR – Humacao campus, and at night in the villas.  On Saturdays, there are organized trips to exciting places in PR (e.g., "El Yunque" (the rain forest), Old San Juan, the Arecibo Observatory, Luquillo Beach, and others) that allow students to relax.  There usually are not any organized activities on Sunday so students can use at least part of Sunday to relax.  By Monday, students are reenergized to begin doing mathematics again.

 

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Q. Can my family come and visit me in Puerto Rico during SIMU?

A.  This is not advisable.  SIMU is a lot of work and trying to tour the island with your family would not allow you to do the mathematics that is required of every student in the program.  If someone in your family does decide to come and visit you during SIMU, then they cannot stay with you in your villa and they have to be aware that you will not have much time to hang out with them as you will be doing mathematics most of the time.

 

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Q. Where is Humacao?

A.  Humacao is a forty-minute drive from San Juan, the capital of PR.  Puerto Rico is an island with roughly a rectangular shape.  Humacao is at the south east corner of the island.  Click here to visit a Puerto Rico site that has lots of information about the island.

 

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Q. Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico?

A.  No.  Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth thus the immigration service, postal service, currency, and many other things are the same as they are in the States.

 

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Q. Where can I get a SIMU 2002 application form?

A.  Application forms for the 2002 program are available here in Microsoft Word format and Adobe PDF format.  You can request  an application by sending us an e-mail simu@cuhwww.upr.clu.edu.  Make sure and tell us if you want the application e-mailed to you as an attachment or if you want a hard copy mailed to you.  If you want a hard copy mailed to you, make sure you send your mailing address.

 

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Q. Can students who are not U.S. permanent residents or U.S. citizens apply for SIMU?

A.  No.  SIMU is funded mostly from federal grants and its participants have to be U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

 

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Q. Can I apply to SIMU if I am graduating senior?

A.  No.  SIMU receives substantial funding from the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.  This grant money cannot go to students who already have earned their bachelor's degree.  In the past, before SIMU began receiving REU funds, the program had accepted a couple of graduating seniors.  Note, if you will not receive your bachelor's until Fall 200X, you are eligible to participate in SIMU 200X. 

 

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Q. Can graduate students or high school students apply to SIMU?

A.  No.  SIMU is a program for undergraduates. 

 

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Q. Is SIMU only for Puerto Rican students?

A.  No.  SIMU designed for Chicanos/Latinos/Hispanics and Native Americans from the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.  In fact, over two-thirds of the students who participated in the 1998 - 2001 SIMU’s were not from Puerto Rico.  In the past, about a third of the SIMU students have come from Puerto Rico, another third from California, a sixth from Texas and the other sixth from all over the country (e.g., Massachusetts, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New York, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, etc.) 

 

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Q. Can one of my former high-school teachers write me a letter of recommendation for SIMU?

A.  This is not advisable.  The SIMU Co-Directors want a letter of recommendation from someone who knows you as an undergraduate.

 

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Q. Why is SIMU designed for Chicano/Latino/Hispanic and Native American undergraduates?

A.  Because these groups are very underrepresented in mathematics and each year make up a larger percentage of our population.  For example, from 1988 – 1998 only 1.3% of all doctorate degrees in the mathematical sciences were awarded to Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans.  These numbers are alarmingly low when one considers that these two ethnic groups account for 12.2% of the current U.S. population and that the U.S. Census projects that they will account for 20% of the U.S. population in 2030.  Can the United States afford to have almost one-fifth of its population contribute so little to a discipline as important as mathematics?  The Co-Directors of SIMU think that the answer is “No” and they designed SIMU to address this issue.

 

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Q. I am considering graduate school in mathematics but am undecided at this point in my education.  Should I apply to SIMU?

A.  Yes.  One of the aims of SIMU is to help undergraduates who are talented and like mathematics to decide on a career path.

 

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Q. Is SIMU only for mathematics majors?

A.  No.  Students from any major may apply to SIMU as long as they have taken at least two years of university-level mathematics courses (e.g., Calculus I, II, III, differential equations, linear algebra, etc.).  In fact, during the first four years of SIMU students majoring in physics, engineering, computer science, statistics and (of course) mathematics participated in the program.  You are encouraged to apply if you think that SIMU is a program in which you would like to participate regardless of your major. 

 

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Q. Does SIMU give priority to students who have/have not participated in a previous undergraduate summer program?

A.  No.  Past participation in a summer program does not raise or lower an applicant's priotity.

There is one exception: students who already have participated in SIMU are given lower priority than those who are applying to participate for the first time.  The reason is simple: we want as many as students as possible to participate in the program.  Nevertheless,
in the second - fourth years of the program, there were some students who previously had participated in SIMU (two in each 1999 and 2000 and four in 2001).  The co-directors envision that this pattern will continue; i.e., there is a high likelihood that, because of their strong applications, a couple of students who have participated in past SIMU's will be chosen for SIMU 2002.  In summary, we welcome applications from past SIMU participants.

 

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Q. Who funds SIMU?

A.  SIMU 2001 is funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  

 

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Q. Will it cost me money to participate in SIMU?

A.  No.  In fact, students who participate in SIMU will receive round-trip travel to Humacao, PR, room and board for the duration of the program, and a $2,200 stipend.

 

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