The Directed Reading Program (DRP) is an initiative that matches undergraduate students with graduate student mentors to work on independent study projects. Over the course of the semester, the pair work together on a reading assignment, culminating in a presentation given at the end of the semester.
Bryn Mawr's DRP is one of at least 38 similar programs running at colleges and universities around the country. The program is run by graduate students with limited faculty oversight.
How it works
Interested students apply to the program by filling out a mentor or mentee application provided by the DRP organizers, who use these applications to match graduate mentors with undergraduate mentees based off their indicated interests. The pair work together to read through a mathematical resource (e.g. part of a book or paper). At the end of the semester, the mentee prepares a presentation, given at the DRP Symposium.
Why you should participate
The DRP welcomes any undergraduate student interested in learning a mathematical topic outside of their current coursework while gaining skills and experience useful in a research setting. There is no background prerequisite to apply. By focusing on reading rather than research, a DRP project provides the opportunity to:
develop independent learning skills;
improve communication and presentation skills;
experience working one-on-one with a mentor;
explore topics that are not part of the standard curriculum;
prepare for research experiences while in a low-pressure environment;
experience the cultural norms of the graduate community, allowing undergraduates to see grad school as a potential reality.
Not only does the DRP benefit the mentees, it also benefits the mentors! Graduate participants are able to develop their teaching skills while mentoring a wider variety of topics than is typically available as a teaching assistant or instructor.
Statement of Inclusion
The organizers are committed to the DRP being a supportive, inclusive, and safe environment for all participants. Discrimination and harassment cannot be tolerated. Furthermore, the organizers believe in Federico Ardila-Mantilla's Axioms:
- Axiom 1: Mathematical talent is distributed equally among different groups, irrespective of geographic, demographic, and economic boundaries.
- Axiom 2: Everyone can have joyful, meaningful, and empowering mathematical experiences.
- Axiom 3: Mathematics is a powerful, malleable tool that can be shaped and used differently by various communities to serve their needs.
- Axiom 4: Every student deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.