Practicum for Undergraduate MAthematicians (PUMA)

PUMA is a series of programs designed to support and encourage participation in specific mathematical sciences research areas, particularly among a diverse cohort of students from the Los Angeles area.  Over the course of two weekend days, invited undergraduate applicants are immersed in a dynamic learning experience.

Modeled after the PUNDiT program designed by Dr. Edray Goins focused on number theory, each PUMA includes tutorials, problem sessions, expository lectures, and professional development sessions.  Foundational concepts are introduced with tutorials, and hour-long problem sessions are facilitated by graduate TAs to complement the material.  Expository lectures delivered by experts in the research area introduce students to exciting questions currently pursued by researcher.   Beyond exploring the mathematical topic, the professional development sessions cover essential topics for STEM professionals such as constructing a curriculum vitae (CV), preparing materials for summer research opportunities, and guidance on seeking letters of recommendation. In addition, mentors provide valuable advice and students gain access to supportive networks.

The PUMA program is aimed at rising sophomores, including community college students, transitioning into upper-division mathematics courses. The goal is to motivate students and expose them to various directions of modern-day mathematics.  PUMA seeks to empower students to navigate their mathematical journey with curiosity and confidence.

Faculty members or researchers interested in organizing a PUMA program with IPAM, we welcome your initiative!  Please reach out to director@ipam.ucla.edu for further information.

2023-2024

Practicum for Undergraduate Mathematicians in Combinatorics, April 13 – 14, 2024

PUNDiT: Practicum for Undergraduates in Number Theory, October 21 – 22, 2023

2021-2022

PUNDiT: Practicum for Undergraduates in Number Theory, October 16 – 17, 2021