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Inspiring the Next Generation of Mathematicians and Biologists: NSF-Simons NITMB Launches Inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Program

NITMB Deputy Director of Outreach William (Bill) Kath presents to NITMB’s summer undergraduate researchers during orientation 

Undergraduate researchers were welcomed into the NSF-Simons National Institute for Theory and Mathematics in Biology offices on Monday, June 17th for the launch of NSF-Simons NITMB’s inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Program. The program offers students majoring in fields related to mathematics or biology the opportunity to participate in hands-on laboratory or computational research. 


20 students from institutions across the world will be joining NITMB supported research projects. NITMB research projects focus on questions requiring the confluence of mathematics and biology. Contributing to NITMB research will provide the summer undergraduate researchers a unique opportunity to explore work conducted at the interface of disciplines. The undergraduate researchers participating in this program have a wide range of research interests, including mathematics, biology, artificial intelligence, chemistry, neural engineering, cognitive science, and more.  

Daniel Abrams, Professor of Engineering Science and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University, speaks with Favour Ogukwe, undergraduate student majoring in biology and mathematical modeling at Northeastern Illinois University during a mentoring workshop 

Throughout summer, the undergraduate students will work closely with faculty mentors to develop and apply cutting-edge mathematical and computational models and theory to address fundamental problems in biology. Each of the 20 undergraduate students has been paired with an NITMB supported research project being conducted at either Northwestern University or the University of Chicago. While students will be conducting their research on the campuses of Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, they have access to the space, resources, network, and support of the NITMB. Furthermore, students are invited to participate in workshops and networking opportunities at the NITMB offices designed to support their professional development. The undergraduate researchers were provided a guided tour of the 875 North Michigan Avenue building and the NITMB’s office, revealing all the resources available to NITMB members and affiliates.  

NITMB Program Assistant Kierra Hannon guides the summer undergraduate researchers on a tour of the 875 N. Michigan Ave. building 

At the end of their first week in the program, undergraduate researchers attended Science + Tea, a weekly social gathering for the NITMB community. This presented the first of many opportunities these undergraduate researchers will have to connect with other members of the NITMB community, such as graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, affiliated faculty, and other researchers. 

Helen Yoo, undergraduate student majoring in chemistry and music at Bradley University 

The NITMB is proud to support these excellent undergraduate researchers, and we look forward to witnessing their contributions and career development throughout the summer. 



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