The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is the largest mathematical society in the world that focuses on mathematics for students, faculty, professional mathematicians, and all who are interested in the mathematical sciences; that is, mathematics at the undergraduate level. Our members include university, college, and high school teachers; high school, undergraduate and graduate students; and others in academia, government, business, and industry. Our core interests are Education, Research, Professional Development, Public Policy, and Public Appreciation. The student web pages cover topics in academics, careers, research/summer opportunities, meetings for students, and more. If you are not yet a member, we urge you to consider joining and ask you to visit our membership page. As a member, you can help the MAA fulfill our goals to benefit you, the student.
AMS Graduate Student Blog is a new blog by and for math graduate students, managed by Frank Morgan.
The MAA offers plenty to graduate students. From our site, you can access pages for meetings, find helpful and innovative teaching ideas, check for summer or travel support, and find information and assistance in your job search. Whether you are getting a Master's or a PhD, whether you wish to stay in academics or go into industry, we can help you.
Teaching assistantships are an integral part of many a graduate student's education. It's an important job and there are many web resources to help you do your best. This link will take you to the Handbook for Mathematics Teaching Assistants by Tom Rishel of Cornell University. Bonnie Gold, from Monmouth University is the editor of the Innovative Teaching Exchange, containing a collection of novel teaching experiences. The Mathematics Digital Library is a vast resource of articles for teachers and students. After graduation, interested young professors should apply for the MAA's wildly successful Project NExT and join the Young Mathematicians Network.
Meetings have always been a large part of academic life. Now students can get involved early in their undergraduate careers and continue to be active in thier post-graduate career. Both the MAA and the AMS have small conference held throughout North America. The MAA Sectional Meetings are especially good for PhD students working on their "job search talk". The larger meetings are the Joint Mathematics Meeting and MathFest. The JMM has plenty of sessions at which to speak or listen, along with panel discussion, job help, and social events. MathFest hosts a Graduate Student Poster Session. This is the ideal presentation venue for Master's degree students.
Fellowships and Opportunities
There are a lot of ways to become an active and influential member of the mathematical culture. There are research opportunities while in school, summer programs, and post-graduation activities. Consider these:
- Project NExT
- Preparing Future Faculty
- National Academy of Sciences Fellowships
- National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellowships
- Internships from the American Statistical Association
- AMS-AAAS Mass Media Fellowship
- The Sloan Foundation Fellowships
- Department of Homeland Security Fellowships
- NSF National Research Fellowships
- Naval Research Labs Post-doctoral Fellowships
- Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program
- AWM Education Resources
Plenty of jobs are out there for people with degrees in mathematics. If you have a PhD and wish to go into academics, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the AMS (using EIMS) have sites for you. If you want to go into industry (with any degree) then the Math Classifieds is tailored for your needs. This site will let you post your resume and seek employers, while at the same time businesses can hunt through the postings to find you.
For many academics, teaching and research alone will not earn you the tenure and promotion for which you're looking. The new phrase is "Continued Scholarly Growth" or "Scholarly Engagement". These include items such as development of experimental programs, papers delivered at national and regional meetings of professional societies, offices held in professionial organizations, participation in panels at meetings of professional organizations, and editorships of professional journals. The MAA is a place to become involved in so many of these acitivities. At the Sectional level you can be an officer, helping to organize or even host meetings. On the national level we publish several journals that you can become involved with, we have almost a dozen special interest groups (SIGMAAs) you can join, and we rely on well over 100 different committees you can be on to help us run the MAA.
If you are not yet in graduate school, but are considering adding to your Bachelor's degree, then the following information is for you:
Perhaps you've found a favorite subject that you want to investigate more deeply. Maybe you wish to add to your undergraduate degree and make yourself more marketable. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of options for Master's degree programs. At most of them, you'll qualify for a Teaching Assistanship or Research Assistantship which will help pay for the program. It's an investment which can have a big return. According to the Census Bureau, a Master's degree is worth almost $500,000 more over a working lifetime than a Bachelor's alone.
Professional Master's Degree
What is a Professional Master's? It is a degree which is not meant to feed into a PhD program and is capable of standing on its own. Terminal Master's degrees in mathematics can be found with concentration in fields such as Biology, Finance, and Operations Research. For a good list of subjects, and schools with professional Master's in that subject, go to the AMS page.
A PhD in mathematics usually brings to mind a career teaching at a university. While this is true, there are a lot more opportunities available. Operations researcher, statistician, cryptanalyst, and more are available. A good presentation on finding an industry job is here. For advice on both non-academic and academic jobs go to this site run by the AMS.
Graduate School Fair
Since 2008 the MAA and the AMS have hosted a Graduate School Fair during the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Representatives from graduate schools throughout North America come to show off their programs to prospective students and talk to interested undergraduates. Hundreds of students have used this opportunity to talk to spokespersons from universities in which they are interested. Take advantage of this unique gathering this coming January in San Francisco!