I am a junior in college who is very interested in doing some sort of REU/research internship in theoretical computer science this summer, as I would like to get research experience before potentially applying to grad school. However, I have not had much luck in finding many research opportunities. The most theoretical focused one I stumbled upon was at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, but I want to apply to more than just one program, of course. If anyone has any advice or knows of any good research opportunities for an undergrad in theoretical computer science I would love to know, as I am beginning to have difficulty finding other options.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you limited to the Chicago area? In any case, one general search algorithm is to pick a university within your target area, then go through the faculty there that do the kinds of things you're interested in, then contact them, listing specifically which topics/papers of theirs you'd be interested in studying. The more specific your letter, the better your odds are of getting a response. $\endgroup$
    – Aryeh
    Dec 20, 2020 at 1:03
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    $\begingroup$ Not limited to Chicago, that was just the best one I found for what I am looking for. Thank you, contacting professors is a great idea. I will definitely do that. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2020 at 4:48
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    $\begingroup$ When I was an undergraduate student, my experience with contacting people directly was hit or miss. Please be prepared for some warm and some not so warm replies. In addition to doing your own search for programs, sometimes it is good to ask for advice and suggestions from multiple classmates or your past professors / advisors as well. They might be able to share about what has worked for them before and about some programs that they are familiar with. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2020 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think that there should be many programs out there for TCS, but here are the two that I have heard of before: REUCAAR program (UMD) and DIMACS REU program (Rutgers). Also, doing a quick search, I found REU opportunities in theoretical computer science listed at Oregon State University and Baruch College on mathprograms.org. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2020 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe there aren't as many as I thought. Those five that have been mentioned were the only ones that I have found so far. If anyone out there finds more, please let us know. Thank you! $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2020 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Here is a tweet thread by Prof. Vijay about research for undergraduate students.

Also, you can apply for a summer research internship in Europe.

  1. INRIA France, contact individual groups if they have an intern opening.
  2. Max-Planck Institute, Germany, Offering remote internship also, This year's deadline 31st Dec/31st Jan
  3. IST, Austria
  4. EPFL, Switzerland

Edit 1: Just now I got this link.

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    $\begingroup$ I fully recommend IST Austria, I did an internship there during summer 2017. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2020 at 18:12

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