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Sessions for Graduate Students

The MAA endeavors to ensure that all the mathematical sessions at MathFest are accessible to a broad audience, so graduate students are invited and encouraged to attend any of them. In addition, the MAA provides the following sessions that are aimed specifically at the interests of graduate students.


What's the Story? A Graduate Student Workshop on Formulating a Research Presentation for a General Audience

Thursday, August 4, 1:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m., Union C

Presenting our research to undergraduate students can be both fun and rewarding. It can also be difficult, however, since the gory details of our results often require a great deal of specific jargon and background. Nonetheless, the big ideas can almost always be presented at a variety of levels, and this workshop is designed to interactively help participants develop the skills needed to formulate a presentation on their research that is appropriate for an audience of undergraduate students. Since many colleges and universities require giving such a talk as part of a job interview, almost any graduate student will have the opportunity to do so, and the ability to communicate complex mathematical ideas to students is a valued trait in a candidate. This workshop will consist of hands-on activities and audience interaction aimed toward developing and improving the necessary skills for creating an engaging and accessible presentation for undergraduates. Participants should be prepared to discuss in groups a potential presentation on their research or other related topic.

Rachel Schwell, Central Connecticut State University
May Mei, Denison University

Panel Session

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

Thursday, August 4, 2:35 p.m. - 3:55 p.m., McKinley

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?

Estela Gavosto, University of Kansas
Mark Snavely, Carthage College

David C. Manderscheid, Ohio State University
Joanne Peeples, El Paso Community College
Mark Snavely, Carthage College

MAA Committee on Graduate Students

Speed Interviewing Marathon for Students

Thursday, August 4, 4:10 - 5:25 p.m., McKinley

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
Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University

Committee on Professional Development
Committee on Graduate Students
Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters

Graduate Student Reception

Thursday, August 4, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Peppercorn

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

Estela A. Gavosto, University of Kansas
James Freeman, Cornell College

Panel Session

Non-Academic Mathematical Career Paths for Undergraduates

Friday, August 5, 2:35 p.m. - 3:55 p.m., McKinley

Step one: earn a degree in mathematics. Step three: have a great career! What is step two? 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 the paths to their current positions, the ways in which they utilize their mathematical background, and offer advice to others looking for employment in similar venues.

May Mei, Dennison University
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University

Karla Dixon, Abercrombie & Fitch
Bruce Myers, National Security Agency
Derek Straiton, Gahanna Lincoln High School
Tony Hovest, Motorists Insurance Group

MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters

PosterFest 2016: A Poster Session of Scholarship by Early Career Mathematicians and Graduate Students

Afternoon of Friday, August 5, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Exhibit Hall

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.

Audrey Malagon, Virginia Wesleyan College
Jenny McNulty, University of Montana

MAA Committee on Early Career Mathematicians

Graduate Student Paper Session

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

Saturday, August 6, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Madison

Presenters in this session must be graduate students. While many graduate students will be asked to give a lecture to an audience consisting of undergraduates and non-mathematicians (possibly as part of a job interview), most students do not have much experience talking to a non-research audience. This session gives graduate students the opportunity to give a 20-minute talk aimed at an undergraduate audience (speakers should assume the audience has been only exposed to calculus and possibly some linear algebra). Both the talks and abstracts should be designed to excite a wide range of undergraduates about mathematics. All participants in this session will receive private feedback on their presentations from an established faculty member and an undergraduate student. Contact a session organizer for help writing an abstract or preparing your talk for a general audience. Optional Q&A sessions with the organizers will be held at MathFest for presenters to receive feedback on their talks. Graduate student participants in this session should also attend the graduate student workshop (What’s the Story?).

Submit an abstract

James Freeman, Cornell College
Rachel Schwell, Central Connecticut State University
Aliza Steurer, Dominican University
May Mei, Denison University

MAA Committee on Graduate Students

Great Talks Q&A Session

Friday, August 5, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Trott (Columbus Convention Center)