Application to 2018 Undergraduate Faculty Program


For faculty members whose main focus is teaching undergraduate students, the Undergraduate Faculty Program at PCMI offers the opportunity to renew excitement about mathematics, talk with peers about new teaching approaches, address some challenging research questions, and interact with the broader mathematical community.

The theme of the 2018 UFP will be the study of finite point configurations, which touches upon many areas of modern mathematics. The basic questions include the existence of geometric patterns, the frequency of their repetition and the presence of a variety of congruence types. We are going to look into these questions in a variety of discrete, continuous and arithmetic settings. Starting from the elementary definitions, we will quickly build up the skills needed to study a variety of research problems that have proven to be a rich source of mathematical ideas in the past ten years.

The program will begin with the discussions of the classical problems of geometric combinatorics, such as the Erdos distance problem, the Szemeredi-Trotter incidence theorem and their variants. We will then explore the possible formulations of these problems in vector spaces over finite fields while slowly developing the arithmetic and character sum tools that we will need as our program develops. Throughout this process we will be solving a multitude of small but interesting problems that will quickly take us to the cutting edge of what is currently known. The transition from learning to original research will never be announced, it will happen in the course of our investigations. 

No prior knowledge beyond high school mathematics, basic calculus and elementary linear algebra will be assumed. Lectures will be heavily supplemented with problem sessions and discussions, both individual and in small groups. The participants will be continually encouraged to make the material their own by infusing the discussions with ideas, conjectures and suggestions.

PCMI is using the web service MathPrograms.Org to receive and review applications for the 2018 PCMI Summer Session. See below for the link to the UFP application at MathPrograms.Org. Deadline for submission of applications is January 15, 2018. Supplemental materials (such as the required curriculum vitae) must be received by January 15, 2018—incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the selection committee. You will receive a decision by March 15. Financial support is available—see the Financial Support section of the application.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE – Guidelines & Requirements

Be sure to read the guidelines and requirements before accessing and completing the online application. Incomplete applications will not be viewed by the selection committee. You can email us with your questions.

  1. Applications are submitted and reviewed online using the web service MathPrograms.Org. Be sure that you use only the link below to apply. If you do not have an account at MathPrograms.Org, you will login by filling in your email address and chosen password and the checkbox “this is my first login.” If you have a MathPrograms.Org account but are using a new email address, there is no need to create a new account; just login using the old email, and switch to the new email. Your login will take you to your My Portfolio page, where all of your application materials are stored.
  2. Your first step is to complete a Standard Coversheet for MathPrograms.Org. After you have created a Standard Coversheet you can then apply to the PCMI Undergraduate Faculty Program. If you will submit a reference letter with your application (encouraged but optional), your Standard Coversheet should include the name and email address of your reference writer. You are advised to let your reference writer know about your request so they won't delete the email reference request as spam.
  3. Provide your Curriculum Vitae/Resume (REQUIRED):  Applicants must upload their CV to their online application. Your CV is necessary for your portfolio to be complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the selection committee.
  4. Provide one Reference Letter (encouraged but OPTIONAL): On the application, fill in the checkbox for your reference writer from the name you entered on your Standard Coversheet, then click on the green arrow next to the reference writer’s name so the writer will receive your reference request by email. When notified, your writer will then receive login info and upload instructions to come to the site to upload a letter. If your reference writer does not have access to a computer, they may submit the reference letter by mail or fax no later than January 15, 2018.
  5. Provide an Abstract and/or Reference Pages for your Preprint (OPTIONAL): Abstracts and reference pages can be uploaded during the online application process.


  • Do not apply before reading the Guidelines & Requirements above.
  • If you choose to submit a reference letter, have the name and email address of your reference ready.
  • Then CLICK HERE to begin your application process.

We recommend that you log in to your MathPrograms.Org account periodically and check your Status screen to make sure your application is complete or to update it (for example, to replace your CV or to send an email request to a reference writer). You may wish to bookmark the login page for that reason.


If you completed a Standard Coversheet and submitted an application for PCMI 2018 but did not receive a confirmation email, this is likely due to either

  • Your email address was entered incorrectly on the Standard Coversheet; or
  • Your email server mistakenly handled the confirmation email as spam (check your spam folder). If possible, add and to your address book or whitelist to avoid the problem.

Questions? Problems? EMAIL PCMI staff and we will try to help.