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.
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