Applying to R.O.M.E.

ROME, Research Opportunities in Mathematical Evolution, is an initiative of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics intended to introduce outstanding undergraduates and beginning graduate students to the ways in which the mathematics of evolution arise across the natural sciences. Research encompasses a broad array of projects spanning mathematics (in particular combinatorics, probability theory, and set theory), physics, biology, linguistics, economics, and both the applied and theoretical aspects of computer science.

Previous ROME students have had a diverse array of talents and interests. ROME students have been Putnam Fellows, Hoopes Prize winners, International Mathematics Olympiad Gold Medallists, and winners of the MIT 50K Entrepreneurship Competition. They represent departments from across Mathematics, the Sciences, and Engineering fields. They are united by a willingness to look beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and aggressively apply sophisticated mathematical thinking in uncharted scientific territory.

The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics (PED) is directed by Martin Nowak, Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Biology. ROME was created by Erez Lieberman in 2003 while he was a graduate student at Harvard.

If you are a Harvard undergraduate or new graduate student who is interested in joining us for a research experience/rotation, please email either Alison ( or Oliver ( with a brief description of your student status, interests, and relevant coursework. Please mention what type of experience you are looking for, for example: extracurricular research during term, summer research project, research for credit, senior thesis, or graduate student rotation. Attach a CV. If we determine there may be an opportunity available, you may be asked to submit a transcript and a letter of recommendation. We highly recommend that students take Math 153 (fall term) and/or Math 243 (spring term) if they are interested in research at PED.

Summer research opportunities are also available. Funding from the Harvard College Research Program and/or the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology may be available assuming the applications are made sufficiently early. Another funding opportunity is the Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program. Please note that only Harvard undergraduates are eligible to apply for funding.

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