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The Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) is a summer research experience for undergraduates (REU), dedicated to preparing undergraduate students, specifically underrepresented minorities, for the challenges of graduate school-level research in biology and applied mathematics. Selected students are invited to Arizona State University for roughly eight weeks, where their time is split between classroom instruction on research methods and hands-on research projects. At MTBI, students select their own research topics, not faculty. By the end of the summer, students have completed a high-quality technical report and research poster, which are presented at national conferences to an audience of their peers and colleagues.
MTBI was originally established in 1996 at Cornell University by Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez, before it was moved to Arizona State University in the spring of 2004. MTBI funding was provided by Cornell University and Los Alamos National Laboratory (T-Division) from 1996-2004. Currently, MTBI is funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Security Agency (NSA), Arizona State University and the Office of the Executive Vice-President and Provost of the University. The high level of financial and administrative support provided by ASU to MTBI is a reflection of the serious commitment to recruitment and retention efforts within the fields of mathematics and science.