The Mathematics Advanced Study Semesters (MASS) program started in the Fall of 1996 and is held during the Fall semester of each year. The program combines advanced learning with research initiation and provides a highly charged interactive environment among a
critical mass of talented and motivated students and a committed group of strong research faculty and top graduate students. For most of its participants, the MASS program serves as a spring board to graduate schools in mathematics.
The program consists of three courses chosen from major areas in Algebra, Analysis, and Geometry respectively, specially designed and offered exclusively to MASS participants, and a weekly working seminar. Additional features include, colloquium-type lectures by visiting mathematicians and mathematical projects involving research and creative use of computers.
Participants are selected from applicants who will be juniors or seniors in the following academic year (sophomores may be admitted in some cases). All participants are expected to have demonstrated a sustained interest in mathematics and a high level of mathematical ability and to have mastered basic techniques of mathematical proof. The expected background includes a full calculus sequence, basic linear algebra, a transition course with proofs (such as discrete mathematics) and advanced calculus or basic real analysis. The search for participants is nationwide. Each participant is selected based on academic record, two recommendation letters from faculty, and an essay.
MASS program is supported by Penn State and the NSF MCTP grant. Successful applicants are awarded the Penn State MASS Fellowship, which reduces their tuition to the in-state level. Applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents are awarded the NSF MASS Fellowship, which covers room and board, and travel to and from Penn State, and provides an additional stipend. Applicants with outstanding previous record are awarded additional MASS Merit Fellowship. Participants who significantly exceed expectations during the MASS program will be awarded MASS Performance Fellowships at the end of the semester.
Department of Mathematics
The Pennsylvania State University
111 McAllister Building
University Park, PA 16802