An ini­tia­tive devel­oped by mem­bers of Northeastern’s math­e­matics and sci­ence fac­ulty that will pro­mote interest in those sub­jects among col­lege and high-​​school stu­dents by con­necting them to research has gar­nered a five-​​year, $1.98 mil­lion grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (NSF).

North­eastern math­e­mati­cians, physi­cists and biol­o­gists will con­nect with first– and second-​​year North­eastern stu­dents to pro­vide men­toring and engage them in math and sci­ence research through inter­dis­ci­pli­nary sem­i­nars, a Summer Dis­covery Expe­ri­ence between freshman and sopho­more years and research-​​related co-​​ops and intern­ships. The Co-​​Principal Inves­ti­ga­tors are pro­fes­sor­sAlain Karma (Physics), Christo­pher King (Math­e­matics), Dagmar Sternad (Biology, Elec­trical & Com­puter Engi­neering, and Physics) Jonathan Weitsman (Stone Pro­fessor of Math­e­matics), and Christos Zahopoulos (STEM Edu­ca­tion Center).

The University’s Center for Sci­ence, Tech­nology, Engi­neering, and Math Edu­ca­tion will inte­grate Boston-​​area public high-​​school stu­dents into the pro­gram through after-​​school and summer pro­grams and advanced place­ment out­reach. For stu­dents enrolling in North­eastern, there will also be an inten­sive Summer Pre­view pro­gram on exploring mathematics.

The pro­gram will enable stu­dents to see and explore pos­sible futures in math and sci­ence fields, said Richard Porter, the program’s prin­cipal inves­ti­gator and acting chair of the Depart­ment of Math­e­matics at North­eastern. It also will build a strong com­mu­nity of stu­dents sharing an interest in math and sci­ence and pro­vide ongoing sup­port through grad­u­a­tion and beyond, he added.

The ini­tia­tive is enti­tled “PRISM: Attracting Stu­dents to Math­e­matics, Physics, and Biology through Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Research and Dis­covery,” based in part on the name of the NSF divi­sion that made the grant, the Proac­tive Recruit­ment in Intro­duc­tory Sci­ence and Math­e­matics (PRISM) division.