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Sessions for Graduate Students


What’s the Story? Research Presentations for an Undergraduate Audience

Thursday, August 2, 1:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.


Presenting recent and ongoing research to undergraduate students is fun and rewarding, but frequently challenging. The gory details of mathematical results often require a great deal of specific jargon and background knowledge. Nonetheless, the big idea-the “story”-can almost always be presented at a variety of levels. This workshop is designed to help graduate students formulate a presentation on their research that is appropriate for an audience of undergraduate students, something many colleges and universities require as part of a job interview. Moreover, the ability to communicate complex mathematical ideas is a valued trait in any context. As such, this session aims to develop a framework for creating an engaging and accessible presentation for undergraduates. Graduate students who will be going on the job market in the fall may find this workshop especially useful.

Organizer: May Mei, Denison University

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students


Speed Interviewing Marathon for Students

Thursday, August 2, 3:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.


Employers suggest that communication skills are a critical component when considering a mathematics major for a job. An important time to demonstrate good communication skills is during the job interview. This session for undergraduate students, graduate students and early career mathematicians will start with an overview of best practices and tips on job interviewing, then guide participants in several speed interviewing sessions of 10 minutes each, where they can practice what they have learned and hone their interviewing skills. Speed interviewing sessions will include individual feedback for participants, as well as opportunities to network with fellow interviewees.

Jenna Carpenter, Campbell University
Edray Goins, Purdue University

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students


Panel Session

How to Apply for Jobs in Academia and Industry after Your PhD

Thursday, August 2, 4:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.


This session is aimed at graduate students and recent PhDs. An overview of the employment process will be given with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions. Questions that will be addressed include: How do you find which jobs are available? How do you choose which jobs you want to apply for? What are academic and other employers looking for in the materials that you send? How should you tailor your application materials for the job that you are applying for? How do schools conduct interviews?

Edray Goins, Purdue University
Eric Eager, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

Panelists: TBA

Sponsors: The MAA Committee on Graduate Students and the MAA Committee on Early Career Mathematicians.


Social Event

Graduate Student Reception

Thursday, August 2, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Graduate students are invited for some refreshments and to meet several of the invited speakers.

Edray Goins, Purdue University
Eric Eager, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse



Nonacademic Career Paths for Undergraduate Mathematics Majors

Friday, August 3, 3:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.


You’re about to earn a degree in mathematics. Now what? You may be surprised to know that teaching isn’t your only option; in the “real world,” mathematical knowledge is a valued commodity, and there are many interesting job opportunities for mathematicians in nonacademic settings. Whether you are a mathematics student looking for a job once you graduate or an advisor looking for advice to give to future job-seeking students, this session will help you gain new perspectives on nonacademic career experiences and what employers value in their employees. Panelists will share their paths to their current positions and offer advice to others looking for employment in similar venues.

Pamela Richardson, Westminster College
Violeta Vasilevska, Utah Valley University

Erin Valenti Bawa, Monticello Associates
Stephanie Fitchett, Transamerica
Emilie Purvine, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Tyler Rust, Fast Enterprises


Poster Session

PosterFest 2018: Scholarship by Early Career Mathematicians

Friday, August 3, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


This poster session will allow early career mathematicians, including untenured faculty and graduate students, to present and discuss their scholarly activities with other attendees in an informal atmosphere. Examples of scholarly activities suitable for this poster session include expository work, preliminary reports, scholarship of teaching and learning, and research reports. Presenters should have their materials prepared in advance and will be provided with a self-standing, trifold tabletop poster approximately 48 in wide by 36 in high. Proposals should be submitted at Questions regarding this session should be sent to the organizers.

Eric A. Eager, University of Wisconsin La Crosse
Lisa Driskell, Colorado Mesa University

MAA Committee on Early Career Mathematicians
Young Mathematicians Network
Project NExT


Graduate Student Paper Session

Great Talks for a General Audience: Coached Presentations by Graduate Students

Saturday, August 4, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


In this session graduate students give talks aimed at an undergraduate audience. Both the talks and abstracts should be designed to excite a wide range of undergraduates about mathematics.

Jim H. Freeman, Cornell College
May Mei, Denison University
Ranjan Rohatgi, Saint Mary's College
Aliza Steurer, Dominican University

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students