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Directed Reading Program

In the Directed Reading Program (DRP) at Columbia University, undergraduate students interested in independently reading mathematics outside of their official coursework are paired with mathematics graduate students for a semester.

  • Applications are open to any undergraduate student from any major at Columbia University and Barnard College.
  • The program matches each undergraduate student with a graduate student based on their common mathematical interests.
  • At the beginning of the semester, each pair agrees on reading material (e.g. textbooks and research articles) and goals for the semester.
  • During the semester, the student and mentor meet each week to discuss the material and progress towards their goals.
  • At the end of the semester, the program hosts a colloquium in which each undergraduate student gives a short mathematical presentation on their progress.

The DRP program at Columbia University started in Fall 2020 and is based on the Stanford Math Directed Reading Program, which itself is based on similar programs at other institutions dating back to the start of the University of Chicago DRP in 2003.



  • The student will spend ~4 hours on work for the program outside of meetings.
  • The student should have taken a proof-based math course before the start of the program.
  • Students and mentors will meet once every week.
  • Students will give a 10-minute talk on a topic that they learned during the semester.


Spring 2023 timeline:

January 22nd: Applications due

January 27th: Mentors and students paired

January 30th – April 21st: DRP

February 13th: Book orders due

April 17th-21st: Presentation week


For undergraduate studentsSpring 2023 DRP Program Application (closed).
For graduate studentsSpring 2023 DRP Program Mentor Sign-up (closed).


If you have any questions about the program, please contact one of the following organizers:

DRP Groups Fall 2022

Topic Graduate mentor Undergraduate student
Algebraic geometry Kevin Chang Dianlun Luo
Algebraic geometry Caleb Ji Stanley Jian
Category theory Emily Saunders Zheheng Xiao
Commutative algebra Alex Scheffelin Vishal Muthuvel
Functional analysis Yipeng Wang Heyuan Yao
Graph theory Zoe Himwich Keila Leonard
High-dimensional statistics Luofeng Liao Ekene Ezeunala
Knot theory Álvaro Martínez Shiv Yajnik
Number theory Hung Chiang David Chen
Probability Richard Groenewald Yimeng Sun
Probability Yier Lin Rizwan Kazi
Statistical mechanics Zongrui Yang Noah Bergam

Fall 2022 final presentation abstracts


DRP Groups Spring 2022

Topic Graduate mentor Undergraduate student
Algebra Patrick Lei David Chen
Algebraic geometry Caleb Ji Shuhan Zhang
Algebraic geometry Haodong Yao Destine Lee
Low dimensional topology Alex Xu Alan Du
Martingales and Brownian motion Zoe Himwich Harrison Wang
Mathematical physics Zongrui Yang Yipeng Wang
Modular forms Yusheng Lee Alan Zhao
Morse theory and Floer homology Juan Muñoz Zhenfeng Tu
Number theory Baiqing Zhu Michael Tulskikh
Representation theory Álvaro Martínez Iris Rosenblum-Sellers
Toric varieties Kevin Chang Ahmed Shaaban


DRP Groups Fall 2021

Topic Graduate mentor Undergraduate student
Algebraic geometry Caleb Ji Shuhan Zhang
Algebraic number theory David Marcil Destine Lee
Algebraic topology Álvaro Martínez Tuan Dolmen
Algebraic topology Avi Zeff Behshad Behan Pour
Category theory Patrick Lei Jonathan Tanaka
Differential geometry Aaron Chow Panagiotis Tsimpos
Higher category theory Fan Zhou Rafay Ashary
Measure theory and probability Zoe Himwich Harrison Wang
Modular forms Yusheng Lee Alan Zhao
Partial differential equations Kevin Smith Christopher Wang
Probability Shalin Parekh Zachary Lihn
Probability Alejandra Quintos Allison Ghuman
Real analysis and functional analysis Kevin Chang Shen Shiyang
Riemann surfaces Chuwen Wang Carter Teplica

Fall 2021 final presentation abstracts


DRP Groups Fall 2020

Topic Graduate mentor Undergraduate student
Combinatorics Mark Rychnovsky Destine Lee
Differential geometry Chuwen Wang Jason Vassilou
Differential topology Yash Deshmukh Zhenfeng Tu
Differential topology Caleb Ji Pedro Lazcano
Fourier analysis Henry Liu Zoe Zager
Graph theory Sayan Das Adiba Ejaz
Logic and category theory Roy Magen Matthew Katz
Probability Xiang Fang Ahmed Shaaban
Rational points on elliptic curves Robin Zhang Jacob Weinstein
Riemann surfaces Fried Tong Urvi Awasthi
Variational methods in PDE Jingze Zhu Josh Zhou


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