UTTER Program Overview
The UTTER program provides an integrated research and education experience for cohorts of undergraduates in biology and mathematics. Each cohort of eight students pursues a two-year program of mentoring, seminars, research, and specially designed interdisciplinary coursework.
One goal of the UTTER program is to recruit talented undergraduate students
to complete interdisciplinary training in mathematical biology.
Students from historically underrepresented groups,
including females and underrepresented minorities,
are especially encouraged to
apply to the program.
Each cohort is balanced between four biology majors
and four mathematics majors, and is divided into two interdisciplinary balanced teams of four during their first semester in the UTTER program.
A second goal of the program is to develop curriculum and infrastructure for this training through
new courses and formalized interactions between faculty and students from the Mathematics and Biology departments. We anticipate that curriculum, mentoring practices, and research collaborations developed in this project will become a sustained part of our academic community as well as serve as a model for other
A third goal of the UTTER program is to involve participating students in interdisciplinary research
through structured long-term experiences within and across cohorts/teams. Year-round UTTER activities include
summer research and coursework, with opportunities to participate in research at our university, in nationally
recognized interdisciplinary summer programs, or at a field site in Alaska, Georgia, or Mexico.
Early stages of UTTER activities focus on acquiring necessary knowledge and skills in mathematics and in biology, leading to a formulation of the research projects.
Following the formulation phase, students conduct an initial research phase, followed by a period of time for reflection, analysis, summary and reporting of the initial phase.
Each team conducts research in areas of theoretical, aquatic and plant ecology, and epidemiology. Presentation and
communication are emphasized throughout, with first-year participants reporting on foundational papers
in their research area, and reporting their own results in the second year, culminating with presentations at
professional meetings and the writing of publications.
Finally, the program also facilitates participant transitions into graduate studies and other
interdisciplinary careers through extensive faculty, peer and
industrial mentoring as well as guidance in pursuing
The UTTER mentors team includes faculty and Ph.D. students from the Departments of Biology and Mathematics at UT Arlington. All faculty mentors have extensive experience in interdisciplinary research and education, and each of them has specific responsibilities in UTTER program management, research and seminar coordination, curriculum development and assessment, recruiting, and special activities.