Networking Social

Please join us for the MAA Networking Social at MathFest: Friday, July 28 from 3:30-4:30pm in the Exhibit Hall, Salon D, next to the PosterFest poster session. There will be appetizers, a cash bar, and a chance to mingle and network with junior and senior mathematicians. Graduate students, early career mathematicians, and senior mathematicians are all welcome.

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Advice for applying for postdoctoral positions, as a graduate student

Most of these statements are meant as suggestions or opinions, and not requirements.

  1. Start early! You may want your letter writers to see your application materials before you start applying, and you need to give your letter writers time to write! Also, the order in which applications appear to the university is the same order in which they were submitted. So if you submit your applications on the last day, expect your application to be near the bottom. Even though most departments will do a very good job of taking every application seriously, you will stand a better chance if you are near the top, suggesting that you do not put things off until the last minute.
  2. For each job, you should look at the department webpage: see if there are professors whose research interests overlap with yours. Typically, every postdoc/visiting assistant professor is associated with a mentor. So it is important to see if there is someone you can work with. Moreover, you or your advisor can consider contacting your desired mentor, to judge their interest level. You should also consider mentioning people in your cover letter / research statement that you want to work with. If there is no one in the department who you would work with, then there is a high chance you will be rejected (although sometimes someone will want to mentor you because they realize your work can be applied to their area).
  3.  Be aware that there are no interviews for most postdoctoral positions. In particular, you should only expect interviews at the Joint Mathematics Meetings if you applied for positions at smaller teaching colleges, or for tenure-track jobs at smaller universities. Also, you usually will not hear back from any postdoctoral position until near the end of January. It is a tradition that the NSF postdocs are decided first, and most universities do not send out offers until after the NSF. So you should not worry about the possibility of becoming unemployed until late March (I have personally managed to get job offers as late as May).
  4. Unfortunately, most jobs will never inform you that you were not hired.
  5. Spend a lot of time working on your research statement, and expect to go through many drafts. Make sure to have your advisor read it, and try to get people who are not in your subject area to read it as well, to see if it is well-written enough that a `typical’ mathematician can understand what you are doing, and why it is `important’. You should look up advice on how to write a research statement. For a postdoc, your research statement and your letters of reference are the most important parts of the application.
  6. This point is a suggestion, if you want to do something risky to get your application to stand out. If you can, get a letter of reference from someone who is not associated with your current institution. Your advisor’s letter is the most important letter, but any letter from outside your department will be considered very highly as well – because such a person can write as an `objective’ observer.If you have research with someone from a different institution, then that person is an ideal choice.
  7. If you took the time to meet people at conferences, and gave presentations on your research, and discussed your research with someone who showed great interest in your work, then you could consider asking that person. As usual, refer such suggestions to your advisor, and remember point 0 above. If you are not comfortable getting a letter from `outside’ your institution, do not worry: this is a suggestion, not a requirement.
  8. If it is late March, and you do not have a job yet, you need to consider what your second option is. Industry jobs tend to hire year round. You could also consider staying in graduate school another year, focusing on publishing your results, and then try again next year. I know of people who ended up doing the latter approach, and the second time they were on the market they got hired.

Finally, feel free to leave comments asking about further questions.

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This year’s Project NExT applications are open, and due on Friday April 11th, 2014. Project NExT is an excellent professional development program for young faculty, giving them a chance to interact with their mathematical peers and with more senior members of the mathematics community. For those of you on the job market or in your first year of a full-time teaching position at a college or university, you should be thinking about applying to be one of next year’s Project NExT Fellows!

For more details, check out the Project NExT website.

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Events at the Joint Meetings 2015, San Antonio TX

Joint Mathematics Meetings 2015, San Antonio, TX:

  • Find a Research Collaborator Social Hour (open social for attendees to network and socialize while talking about their research, with the goal of finding collaborators)
    • Organized by: Ralucca Gera, Timothy Goldberg, and Gwyn Whieldon.

  • Managing Your Own Course (open social for attendees to network and socialize while talking about their teaching, for support and ideas, especially if they teach their own first course)
    • Organized by: Ralucca Gera, Timothy Goldberg and Gwyn Whieldon
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Want to Become a Contributor to the YMN Website?


Do any of the following apply to you:

  • Interested in sharing your experiences in the job hunt?
  • Curious what goes into a good talk for undergraduates or a general seminar?
  • Wondering how to get invited to exciting conferences?
  • Want to try out Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) in your classes and either share your story or ask for advice?
  • Looking for (or want to share) fun math games to play with your friends or in a math club setting?
  • Want to advertise a weekly or monthly seminar in your Department that you’d like to drum up good speakers for?
  • Curious about how to prepare your students for jobs after their bachelor’s degree?
  • Looking for suggestions for good internships or REUs to go to (or to send your students to)?
  • Interested in good undergraduate conferences or journals for your paper or that of a student?

If any of these questions appeal to you, consider becoming a contributor to the Young Mathematicians Network website! We’d love have you. Send an e-mail to our Webmasters and start getting involved right now.

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Flipped classroom at mathfest

There will be a meeting discussing the idea of flipped classrooms on Thurs 3-4pm, location TBA. The focus of the meeting will be brainstorming about forming a repository of videos and other resources for Flipping classes, probably starting with Calculus.

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Mathfest poster session

If you are attending mathfest, see link:


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Join us on FB

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Some History of YMN

The following pdf was sent to us by Mark Winstead:


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Career Possibilities for Mathematicians

2012 JMM Panel on Careers in Math

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