Note: This is an archival page. Webpages on the VIGRE@LSU grant are no longer maintained.

Vertical Integration of Research and Education
Louisiana State University

Programs and activities by target audience


High School Math Circuit

The High School Mathematics Circuit is supported by VIGRE@LSU and the BoR enhancement grant, Human Resource Development in Mathematical Science. The primary purpose of the Mathematics Circuit is to encourage students to enter mathematics. Co-PI L. Smolinsky, with the help of VIGRE trainee D. Chun, organized and carried out the program in 2009. PI, Professor, and Steering Committee member, Lawrence Smolinsky, is organizing the Mathematics Circuit for 2011.

Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day at LSU

On May 8, 2010, the first Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day at LSU will take place. This is a day of activities, including math workshops, talks, games, and competitions. It will take place in Lockett Hall on the LSU campus. The events are free of charge. The main goal of this activity is to encourage young women to continue their study of mathematics. The program will be mainly aimed towards 10th and 11th grade students, but exceptional younger students are encouraged to apply. See the Kovalevsky Day webpage.


SMILE@LSU Summer Program

The NSF VIGRE summer program is designed for motivated mathematics majors who have completed their first two years of college. Such undergraduate students who are a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident may apply. Non-LSU students please see your department chair for an application.

Research Capstone Experiences (VIR Courses)

The Vertically Integrated Research or VIR courses offer a Research Capstone Experience for advanced undergraduate students, providing an opportunity to interact with graduate students and faculty members in group-oriented research activities. See the VIR courses page.

Travel Support

VIGRE@LSU and the Louisiana Board of Regents grant, Enhancing Students Professional Success, allows for limited travel funds for Math undergraduate students of up to \$800 per travel. The application process for both grants is the same. These funds are limited to conferences and workshops in the USA and to undergraduates who are making presentations. Students are also expected to apply for support to the organizers. Students are required to submit a written report not later that one month after the end of the travel.

See the travel participation page for a list of participants.

Student Colloquium

VIGRE@LSU and a Board of Regents grant, Enhancing Student's Professional Success, support a VIGRE colloquium for students. The goal of the LSU Student Colloquium is to give both graduate and advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to hear and interact with researchers in mathematics and applied fields with strong mathematical component. Each invited speaker will spend several days at LSU, giving one or more talks and making himself or herself available to students and faculty members. The talks are open to everyone. In particular, students majoring in related fields are encouraged to come. See the student colloquium page.

Undergrad Research

VIGRE@LSU offered a stipend of \$1,500 per semester for undergraduate students to work with an LSU faculty member on research. The student had to contact a faculty mentor and then submit a proposal to the VIGRE committee with a short description of the proposed research and a supporting statement from the faculty mentor.

For participants and reports, see the VIGRE@LSU Undergrad Research page.



There are three types of traineeships. The duration of each traineeship is not fixed. It may be up to 11 months with a possible 11-month extension. It may also be restricted to one semester or summer support. Trainees have reduced or no teaching load but are expected to participate in vertical research and mentoring activities, like helping with extended computer lab work, assisting in the Mathematics Consultation Clinic and the VIGRE REU, the LSU Summer REU, the GEAUX Math@LSU warm-up, or the appropriate K–12 outreach projects. All trainees have to submit a written report to the PIs through email not later than one month after end of the support.

  • Doctoral Foundation Traineeships: The purpose of these traineeships will be to support exceptionally promising doctoral students in their initial study at LSU with no duties required other than those that enhance the profession. The trainees will have to take one extra course in the second semester. This course can be a research crew or one of the core-two courses. The initial duration is one academic year. The selection of the DFT students is made by the Graduate Director in consultation with the Graduate Committee and the VIGRE PIs.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Traineeships: DDTs are offered to promising doctoral students who have already started research work with an advisor.
  • Dissertation-Year Traineeships: DYTs will be offered to students who have already had at least one year of teaching experience at LSU and are strongly expected to complete the doctoral dissertation during the one year of such support.

See the list of traineeship participants.

VIR Courses

The Vertically Integrated Research or VIR courses are a new research experience for graduate and undergraduate students. These are the main educational instrument of the VIGRE activities.

See the VIR courses page for more information.

Student Colloquium

Please see the student colloquium page.

Research Connections Program

Exposure and experience in working in applied mathematics and applications provide valuable professional development for graduate students. The duration can be one term or a summer. The Center for Bioinformatics at Colorado State University, Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), and the LSU Department of Chemistry have agreed to support our VIGRE activities by incorporating LSU mathematics students into their projects. Other programs might be added.

It is the main objective of this program to give students in pure mathematics the opportunity to have some experience outside of academic mathematics. This may give a student a broader perspective when searching for employment

In addition to providing internship opportunities, this program will bring mathematicians to LSU from industry and national labs to speak to students about their work and employment opportunities. LSU has a rich tradition of graduates, who have risen to prominent positions in industry.

Steering committee member L. Smolinsky is the main organizer for this program.

Participants and reports appear on the Research Connections Program page.

GEAUX Program

The current graduate students welcome the incoming graduate class with the GEAUX program (Graduate Education and Acclimation to the University eXperience), pronounced "go", as in "Geaux Tigers", a common cheer at LSU sporting events. In the two weeks preceding classes, new students will have the opportunity to meet their classmates, meet older graduate students and faculty members, warm up to the rigor of graduate level mathematics, prepare for teaching and tutoring, learn about the university, and explore Baton Rouge.

Please visit the GEAUX pages for more information.


Postdoctoral Associates

The VIGRE postdoctoral program is supported by the NSF VIGRE program, the LSU College of Science, and the LSU Center for Computation and Technology.

Each postdoctoral position is a two or three year appointment with teaching duties of two courses per academic year. Postdoctoral associates are expected to actively participate in VIGRE activities, in particular the VIR courses and other vertically integrated research experiences. Each postdoctoral associate has a research and teaching mentor.

VIGRE postdoctoral Associates
  • Scott Armstrong, Partial Differential Equations (August 2009 - May 2010)
  • Andrew Barker, Numerical Analysis (2009), Mentors: Susanne Brenner & Li-Yeng Sung
  • Mark Bilinski, Graph theory (2008), Mentor: Guoli Ding
  • Christopher Bremer, Algebraic Geometry (2008), Mentors: Pramod Achar & Daniel Sage
  • Chris Davis, Numerical Analysis (2011), Mentors: Hae-Soo Oh and Susanne Brenner
  • Ben Harris, Lie Groups, Representation Theory, Harmonic Analysis on Homogeneous Spaces (2011), Mentors: H. He and G. Olafsson
  • Mary Kate Kearney, Topology, Knot Theory (2011), Mentors: Patrick Gilmer
  • Gregory Muller, Algebraic Geometry and noncommutative geometry (2010), Mentor: M. Yakimov
  • Heather Russell, Low-Dimensional Topology, Knot Homologies, Springer Varieties (2009 - 2011), Mentor: Oliver Dasbach
  • Aaron T. Welters, Applied Mathematics (2009 - 2011), Mentor: R. Lipton and S. Shipman


The VIGRE program, or Vertical Integration of Research and Education, is one of the main parts of the NSF Enhancing the Mathematical Sciences Workforce in the 21st Century (EMSW21). It started around ten years ago, with the long term goal to "increase the number of well-prepared U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and to broaden their background and perspective. The program is intended to help stimulate and implement permanent positive changes in education and training within the mathematical sciences in the U.S.", as stated in the program solicitation.

The Department of Mathematics at LSU has worked on VIGRE applications since 1999. This discussion has impacted the way we teach and introduced several new ideas and projects that are developed further in our VIGRE activities. More details are in our complete proposal.

Program Components

Research crews: A group of faculty members, postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and undergraduate students working on focused topics in mathematics and/or its applications.

Traineeships: New form of graduate students support that allows the trainees to concentrate on research and/or participate in selected activities that conforms with the VIGRE@LSU goals. There are three different kinds of traineeships: Doctoral Foundation Traineeships to recruit promising young American students, especially from the southeastern region; Doctoral Dissertation Traineeships for accomplished graduate students already at LSU; and the Dissertation-Year Traineeships for students who are finishing their thesis and preparing for postdoctoral research activities.

The Graduate Component: The graduate component is focused on increased research activity and prepares our graduate students for postdoctoral research positions. The tools are, among others, the research crews, the Research Connections Program, the new Traineeships, the Student Colloquium, travel support, and GEAUX Math@LSU. It is expected that this component of the project will be one of the catalysts for increasing the emphasis on research in the Department. The Student Colloquium and the travel is also partially supported by a Board of Regents Grant.

The Undergraduate Component: The undergraduate component involves research crews, Apprenticeships, and the Student Colloquium. Undergraduate students will undergo training and interact with high school students and high school teachers on substantive mathematics. The undergraduate students are challenged to be clear and understandable in their explanations. They will develop their communication skills and deepen their mathematical knowledge.

The Consortium: The program will interact with nearby universities and colleges, both on the level of students and advisors.

A VIGRE REU: The VIGRE REU will be a 5-week program coinciding with the LSU summer schedule. The mentors will be two faculty members from LSU and two from the consortium schools. The VIGRE REU will have research topics chosen to align with faculty lecture topics. The projects will be arranged by the faculty members. Projects will be primarily directed by graduate students. At the conclusion of the VIGRE REU, students will conduct a poster session that will be open to the faculty, participants in our national NSF REU, students, and the public. The program offers faculty members from participating colleges to take part in running the program. Visiting faculty will also have an opportunity to interact with LSU researchers in their area. The program will help to develop a regional center of activity in Baton Rouge. The summer program will also interact with several ongoing educational summer programs already in place at LSU.

High School Component: A faculty member and a graduate student will visit high schools in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, and Shreveport — traveling in one large circuit like an old circuit court. The faculty member will give a fun and interesting mathematical talk to get students involved in a follow-up discussion. The graduate student may talk about more personal matters of their life in mathematics as an undergraduate and graduate student, their attraction to mathematics, and perhaps job prospects and interests. The opportunity will also be used to discuss with high school teachers and students in an informal gathering after the talks.

Postdoctoral Component: The VIGRE@LSU allows us to consolidate our postdoctoral program. We will offer four postdoctoral positions in fields representing our traditional strength and two in computational/applied mathematics. Those positions are partially supported by by the College of Arts and Sciences and by CCT.


The daily management of the VIGRE project is by the PIs and the VIGRE Coordinator.

Principal Investigators (PIs)

VIGRE Coordinator

  • Doris Glass-Heckert, Lockett 323,
    Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 2:00pm.

Steering Committee

Advisory Committee

Alejandro Adem Diaz de Leon, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Topology, University of British Columbia. [Notices story on his appointment as the Director of the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences]

John B. Conway, Chair Department of Mathematics, George Washington University

Paul J. Sally Jr., Professor, The University of Chicago. [Chicago Alumni magazine story on Paul Sally]