The SURGE program is a Department of Mathematics initiative to enhance undergraduate education in mathematics. The program provides mathematically talented and financially needy students with scholarships and strong mentoring support to ensure that SURGE program students receive baccalaureate degrees in a timely manner, and that they are well-prepared to enter the workforce or to continue advanced graduate studies.
The Department of Mathematics is actively seeking funding from various sources to fund scholarships through the SURGE program. The recent grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) allows the department to provide generous scholarship support to students with strong academic performance and demonstrated financial need. The grant is funded through the NSF's S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program with a focus on students in mathematics. Recipients of these scholarships can receive up to $10,000/year for up to three years, depending on their financial needs and availability of funding. Eligible students at all levels - freshman (including incoming high school graduates), sophomore, junior, and senior - will be considered for these scholarships. Students from historically underrepresented groups, including females and underrepresented minorities, are especially encouraged to apply to the SURGE program.
In addition to offering generous scholarships, the SURGE program also provide students with the following support programs to help SURGE students.
- The university support programs offer a wide variety of services, including career workshops, counseling, tutoring, and writing skill enhancement.
- The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Chapter in the Department of Mathematics provides students with an active mathematics learning community in the department.
- The faculty mentoring program ensures that each SURGE student has a personal faculty mentor, who meets with the student weekly to closely follow his/her academic and professional progress, and to identify potential problems at an early stage so that corrective measures can be taken in a timely manner.
- The peer mentoring program provides SURGE students with senior undergraduate and graduate student mentors. These peer mentors provide SURGE students with information on classes, study skills, student community, and graduate schools from students' perspective.
- The industrial mentoring program draws on the expertise and experience of UT Arlington math alumni working at major corporations in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area. They serve as external career mentors to SURGE students and meet with them monthly to discuss how to build successful careers, provide information on internship opportunities, and alert SURGE students of job openings.
For those SURGE students interested in continuing to graduate studies, the SURGE program will team them up with graduate student mentors, encourage them to participate in faculty research projects and REU programs at UT Arlington or other universities, and send them to conferences to interact with other mathematicians. These activities give them an early exposure to graduate studies and research, build their confidence in pursuing advanced study and doing research, and establish connections with research mathematicians outside UT Arlington Mathematics Department.
The current SURGE faculty team includes five faculty members, Dr. Aktosun, SURGE Program Director, and Dr's. Gornet, Kojouharov, Shipman, and Su. They all have extensive experience in undergraduate education, mentoring, and research, and each of them has specific responsibilities in SURGE program management, recruiting, financial aid, mentoring, MAA student chapter, and special activities.