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What is SURIM?

What is SURIM?

SURIM is a paid 10-week summer research program at Stanford University introducing Stanford undergraduate students to research in mathematics. SURIM 2021 will be held online and remotely. 

Program Dates:

SURIM 2021 will be held from Monday, June 21– Friday, August 27.

Program Goals 

At SURIM, students will be exposed to questions that are of interest in current mathematics, as well as the research and exploration aspects that accompany such questions. With their mentor’s assistance, students will study the prerequisite materials to understand their program’s topic and will then participate in exploration of their questions about the subject. The emphasis will be on self-discovery of examples and properties. In addition to learning new mathematics and gaining experience in mathematical research, students will practice presenting research in a seminar environment, learn to typeset mathematical research results using LaTeX, use various software packages to explore mathematics, and have valuable interactions with mathematics faculty and graduate students.

Program Format

Most students will be divided into groups depending on their mathematical interest and background. Each of these groups will work closely with graduate student mentors. The group project topics will be determined by the SURIM graduate student mentors, and the participants will choose which project(s) they prefer in the first week of the program. Other students may want to work one-on-one with a faculty member, and should have some idea of their project at the time they apply. Students applying for individual project should also obtain the approval of the professor with whom they are planning to do research.

Typical Week

There will be a couple of formal meetings with mentors each week. At the start, the mentors will lay out the beginning of the project, and the groups will decide how best to begin. Much of the usual week will be spent working individually and in groups, and in informal discussions with mentors. There will be roughly two additional events per week. Some will be introductions to research tools (from writing with LaTeX to the use of various software packages). Others will be lectures from researchers in academia and industry on what research is actually about—how it is done, how to do it, and what it is like. The SURIM group will also have access to various classrooms during the summer. To get a better idea of SURIM’s week-to-week structure, and for examples of faculty talks, please see the Archive page.


Below are the criteria you must meet in order to qualify for SURIM:

  • You must be a current Stanford undergraduate student to be eligible for SURIM. Students must retain an active undergraduate status throughout SURIM.
  • Students must be on their Flex quarter to be eligible for SURIM in the Summer.  This is a University wide policy and not solely subject to VPUE or Haas funded programs.
  • Students do not need to be enrolled in classes during their Summer Flex quarter.
  • Students must have been enrolled in at least two quarters in the 2020-21 academic year to be eligible for SURIM. The two quarters do not need to be consecutive.

You are not eligible for SURIM if:

  • You are on suspension.
  • You are on a Leave of Absence.
  • You are paying graduate tuition.
  • You are entering Stanford; before matriculation.

Prior experience with proofs

Since proof-writing is an essential part of SURIM, students should have experience in writing mathematics proofs before applying to SURIM. There are several mathematics courses at Stanford that teach proof-writing: MATH 56, MATH 61 (CM or DM), MATH 110, MATH 113, MATH 115.


The stipend students will receive for SURIM will be calculated based on criteria determined by VPUE. All accepted SURIM students will receive at least a minimum of $5,000. Based on need and your location, you may be eligible for additional funds that will be determined on a case-by-case basis by Financial Aid and VPUE.

Additional stipend information:

  • Grant funds cannot be disbursed, retained, or used during quarters when students are on suspension.
  • Students may only be awarded full-time funding during a Spring or Summer Flex Term.
  • Students may not receive both academic units and a stipend for any single project activity.