IPAM Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS)-2004

A Program for Undergraduates

June 27 - August 27, 2004

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Program Poster PDF

Participants and Mentors

RIPS2004 Opening Day Schedule - June 28, 2004

RIPS2004 Projects Day Schedule - August 20, 2004

RIPS 2004 Students Present Project
Project Abstract

IPAM gratefully acknowledges additional grant support from the
National Security Agency for this program.


When you do RIPS, you’re treated like a pro. RIPS participants effectively own the IPAM building, with their own private offices, workstations, telephone lines, and the wonderful IPAM staff. The projects are cutting edge and it takes a lot of hard work (and creativity) to get anywhere, but you really feel like you’ve done something of lasting value after the end of the program. So if you want to do some cool math that could actually effect emerging technologies (and get a free trip to LA at the same time), get on the horn and apply to RIPS 2002.

James Kelly (Penn State University), RIPS 2001

This was the most rewarding summer I remember. Of course, there were some hard times, but now looking back, I wish it was longer. The program was very close to perfect in all aspects: people, place, work, leisure. It showed me that opportunities that I only dreamed of before are in fact very real! A very encouraging feeling.
PS: this may sound like a commercial ad, but the thing is that I really feel this way :-)
Thank You for everything.

Lucas Kroc (Charles University, Prague), RIPS 2002

RIPS2003 has been an amazing way to spend my summer. The campus is absolutely amazing with so much to do such as tennis, basketball, swimming, Mercedes Benz cup, badminton, a full gym, and even movies being filmed! RIPS wasn't all fun and games though, we did serious work but enjoyed it all. The atmosphere at IPAM is very relaxed. we could come to work as early (or late) as we wanted and leave as early (or late) as we wanted. It is truly an exciting atmosphere in which you can use the level set method and then talk to the person who invented it. Even while we were at work, we definitely had fun with antics such as office chair races.

Neil Kumar (USC), RIPS 2003

Thanks for RIPS, which took me flying across the Pacific ocean, and an interesting culture gulf. I am not sure if I am still in the air at the end of the program, because it opens up infinite possibility to learn. But I would find somewhere to land, someday. It is good to experience the ups and downs in research. I know I totally enjoy those difficult times. In fact, I miss those days when my entire mood was dependent on the project. RIPS provides a good atmosphere to explore - research, friendship, and pastime. Although people keep their individual tastes, but we try our best to group ourselves to many LA spots. Our footprints went from the Hollywood to almost every beach along the coast here. I would say this is totally LA experience. During this program, I met some very impressive figures which enriched my character. I would keep these impressions in my memory as I move on.

Kathy Valentino (Zhekiang College, China), RIPS 2003

The RIPS Program was a great way to work and have fun. I had the opportunity to learn much about doing research as well as to explore new areas of mathematics. I also enjoyed meeting and talking to many interesting people at IPAM and Los Alamos. The other participants in the program were wonderful people and I had really good time with them. I learned to work in a team which I think will be very beneficial for me in the future. In a word I had a great experience this summer.

Mariana Raykova (Bard College), RIPS 2003

Visit the RIPS2003 web page to see more information about last year's program and comments from the core participants.


What is IPAM-RIPS? The Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics is sponsoring the 3rd year of a new program, Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS), based on the successful Math Clinic concept that originated at Harvey Mudd College in 1973 as well as the well established  Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. In the RIPS program, teams of students, directed by faculty advisors, work to solve industry-related problems. RIPS brings together highly qualified undergraduates in mathematics or related majors with sponsoring industry, government, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate on projects. Each team of three to four advanced students spends two summer months working on a problem posed by the sponsoring organization under the leadership of a faculty advisor. At regular intervals during the two-month period, oral and written presentations reporting on the progress of the team are made. Company liaisons provide regular contact between the team and the sponsor, monitoring and helping to guide the work effort. Projects focus on problems of serious interest to the sponsor and stimulating challenges to the students. Participation in RIPS provides valuable real-world technical and managerial experience for students and valuable R&D for the sponsor.

Project Information:

What kind of projects will be available?  A selected project must have a major component in mathematics or have direct interactions with mathematical concepts. If you, as a potential industrial sponsor, have a challenging problem, chances are high that it could form the basis of a summer project.

Click here to review RIPS 2004 projects

For Students:

IPAM’s first objective is to recruit from the top tier of undergraduate students at the national level and international level. So for students, RIPS is a unique research and learning experience. It provides an opportunity to work on real-world industrial problems and contribute to their solution. In addition, important contacts are made in academia and industry. The program adds an important element to the student’s curriculum vitae, enhancing future marketability upon graduation. The educational, environmental, and social aspects at UCLA also contribute to the appeal of this program. UCLA is located in Westwood Village, a scenic location approximately 4 miles from the ocean and within driving distance to a multitude of attractions. Students are housed in UCLA's residential housing and are provided board and lodging facilities plus a weekly stipend. A faculty advisor oversees the project with additional guidance from the sponsor's liaison. The one-on-one interactions present a golden opportunity to learn mathematical and problem solving skills in a practical environment. Students have offices in the IPAM building and daily opportunity to meet with fellow team members and other students. 

For Sponsors:

What are the benefits to the sponsor?  The sponsor acquires a skilled labor resources dedicated to solving a problem. The sponsor receives the final work products, which might take the form of a research summary, design proposal, a prototype of a piece of hardware or software or even an actual device or program to be put into production. The sponsor gains valuable visibility and exposure to a national talent pool of mathematicians and other scientists, which help enhance recruiting efforts and broaden public recognition of the sponsor's interest in education.

What role does the sponsor take in the project?  A project liaison, appointed from the sponsoring organization serves as the primary source of project-related, industry-specific expert information. In addition, the sponsor helps to provide mentoring, and career related information to the students. The amount of time that the liaison devotes to the project is variable, but the success of the project depends, in part, on the good working relationship between participants and the liaison. In some cases the company may appoint a liaison 'team' to work on the project with the students.

 For Faculty Advisors:

Each project team consists of three to four students, one faculty advisor (mentor) and liaisons from the sponsoring company. The role of the faculty advisor is to oversee the progress of the project and to foster a unique learning opportunity for the students. Advisors teach and guide the students to achieve results and develop their individual and teamwork skills throughout the duration of the project. A faculty advisor devotes up to 50% of their time to the project, allowing abundant time for personal research or other academic activities. A stipend commensurate with the percentage effort is provided.

Comments from RIPS 2001 Graduates

Comments from RIPS 2002 Graduates

Comments from RIPS 2003 Graduates

Company Sponsors and Faculty Advisors:
If you are interested in participating in RIPS Summer 2004, either as a project sponsor or as a faculty advisor-please email rips2004@ipam.ucla.edu . The four companies that sponsored projects for RIPS 2001 were Arete, Digital Domain, HRL and Protein Pathways. The company sponsors for RIPS 2002 were Arete, HRL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Protein Pathways and Synopsys.
The company sponsors for RIPS 2003 were Arete, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pixar Animation and  Protein Pathways.


Program Director: Michael Raugh (Harvey Mudd College)
Auxillary Mentor: Luminita Vese (UCLA)


Application to Program:

The deadline for applications has passed.

Contact Us:

Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM)
Attn: RIPS2004
460 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles CA 90095-7121
Phone: 310 825-4755
Fax: 310 825-4756
Email: ipam@ucla.edu
Website: http://www.ipam.ucla.edu/programs/rips2004/

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