xii Foreword: MASS and REU at Penn State University
this, as well as intensive interaction among the students, usually leads
to a dramatic increase in their mathematical enthusiasm and achieve-
ment. The program is unique for its kind in the United States.
The summer mathematical REU program is formally independent
of MASS, but there is a significant interaction between the two: about
half of the REU participants stay for the MASS semester in the fall.
This makes it possible to offer research projects that require more
than seven weeks (the length of the REU program) for completion.
The summer program includes the MASS Fest, a two to three day
conference at the end of the REU at which the participants present
their research and that also serves as a MASS alumni reunion. A non-
standard feature of the Penn State REU is that, along with research
projects, the participants are taught one or two intense topics courses.
Detailed information about the MASS and REU programs at
Penn State can be found on the website www.math.psu.edu/mass.