TREND (Training and Research Experiences in Nonlinear Dynamics)

TREND is a 10-week undergrad summer research program in nonlinear dynamics at UMD, funded by the NSF (award PHY1756179).

2021 program dates are May 31 to August 6. Application deadline is February 12.

Projects are experimental, theoretical, or both. Topics include 2D materials, biophysics, chaos, granular physics, lasers, mathematical biology, neural networks, optoelectronics, particle rings, plasma reconnection, robotics, and turbulence.

Many projects result in conference presentations and/or papers. See those here.

Learn below about mentors, projects, program activities, and how to apply.

  • 10 weeks of mentored research in nonlinear dynamics
  • Professional development training, including outreach and communication
  • Summer-long racial identity development and racial justice discussions
  • Community-building with ~9 other undergrad researchers from across the country
  • $5400 stipend + $500 for travel to UMD and back home
  • $500 to present at conferences after TREND
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled in a college or university with an anticipated graduation date of December 2021 or later
  • Minimum preferred GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. Students without the recommended GPA may apply, but GPA should be addressed in the application essay

Eligibility questions? Ask program coordinator Daniel Serrano.

To apply, check out the available mentors/projects and then submit:

  1. Application form and essay through this Google Form. The application form will ask for an essay explaining how the TREND experience will help further your academic and/or career interests
  2. Unofficial transcript sent to
  3. At least one letter of recommendation sent to (note that TREND will not send out requests for letters of recommendation; this is the applicant's responsibility)

The Physics REU sites directors will utilize a common deadline of [to be determined for 2021], for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. Sites may send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not be required to decide before [to be determined for 2021]. Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.

Program: May 31 to August 6, 2021.

February 12, 2021: Deadline for entire application package to be received (online application, at least one letter of recommendation, and unofficial transcript). Applications received after the deadline will be considered only on a space-available basis

February 22, 2021: First-round offers will be sent out (note that applicants may still receive offers after this date as first-round offers are finalized)

Date in March TBD, 2021: Deadline to accept or decline a first-round offer

After March date above, 2021 (rolling basis): Second-round offers may be sent out

More Info


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Emergence in nonlinear systems

Thomas Antonsen, Michelle Girvan, and Edward Ott

(Computation and Theory)

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Charged particle beam systems

Brian Beaudoin

(Computation and Experiments)

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Magnetic reconnection and the dynamics of energetic particles

James Drake and Marc Swisdak

(Computation and Theory)

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Turbulence, flows, plasmas, and machine learning

Landry Horimbere and Daniel Lathrop

(Computation and Experiments)

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Dynamics of living systems

Wolfgang Losert

(Computation and Experiments)

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Data-driven modeling and estimation of dynamical systems

Derek Paley

(Computation and Experiments)

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Nonlinear laser matter interactions

Phillip Sprangle and Antonio Ting

(Experiments and Theory)

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Mathematical exploration of nonlinear biological phenomena

Shelby Wilson

(Computation and Theory)