Math majors present there research at the annual Student Symposium

All math majors, especially those considering graduate school, are encouraged to participate in research projects. You have the opportunity to work closely with faculty during summer research projects on campus or to engage in programs at other institutions. Cornell's block plan also makes it easy to pursue or expand research projects through independent study.

Cornell summer research

Students present their research analyzing competitive balance in various professional sports leagues at the annual Student Symposium.

The aim of our summer research program is for students to experience how mathematics really works. As a student researcher, you not only seek answers to novel questions, you also decide what questions interest you and determine how best to address them.

Recent projects have investigated a range of topics, including:

  • Biofluid mechanics of fish suction feeding
  • Cellular automata clusters
  • Elliptic curves
  • Menger sponge in n-dimensions
  • History of the Gamma function
  • Dispersal of dogbane beetles in tall-grass prairies

Off-campus research

Students have also been successful in landing summer or semester-long research placements at a variety of prestigious institutions. Two recent students spent research semesters abroad: at the Aquincum Institute of Technology in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover, Germany. Others have completed summer research at places like the University of Nebraska, the University of Iowa, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University.


Math majors are also encouraged to complete internships where they can apply their classroom skills in a professional setting. Students have recently taken part in internships and fellowships at AEGON, the National Cancer Institute, and BCS Inc., among others.

Student symposium

Each spring, Cornell students from many disciplines present their academic work at the Cornell Student Symposium. During the symposium, students describe their research and creative projects through oral presentations and poster sessions. View abstracts from recent symposia

Independent study & interdisciplinary projects

One of the advantages of studying mathematics at a small liberal arts school is that connections are easily made across disciplines, and One Course At A Time makes it easy to dedicate a month or more to independent projects. Math majors have recently completed projects on bioinformatics and the mathematical modeling of HIV, for example.