Spotlight: Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Sergei Chmutov, professor of mathematics at Ohio State-Mansfield, was awarded the 2020 Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from the university's Office of Academic Success. This award honors individuals who have demonstrated success in mentoring undergraduates in their research or creative inquiry endeavors.
Sergei ChmutovChmutov received his PhD in mathematics from Moscow State University in 1985 and joined Ohio State in 2001, specializing in knot theory, low-dimensional topology and theory of critical points of functions. He has long led a highly active undergraduate research program at Ohio State on knot theory and graph theory, which play important roles in physics, biology and computer science. 
Chmutov’s Knots and Graphs program is designed for local Ohio State math honors students and is similar to other REU programs all over the country. During the first weeks of the program, Chmutov gives necessary theoretical background to participants and proposes open problems suitable for small projects. The expectation is that a small group of students works on each project with regular guidance from Chmutov. 
The Knots and Graphs program has run every summer since 2005, hosting over 169 students thus far and resulting in several publications in research journals and numerous presentations at professional and undergraduate research conferences. Several of the students who passed through the program have been awarded the Goldwater scholarship, most recently in 2019. 
The Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award is in recognition of Professor Chmutov's many years of summer mentoring work directing such research projects. 
For a list of the 2020 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award recipients, see here.