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The MAA Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematics (PIC Math) program prepares mathematical sciences students for a wide range of careers post-graduation. Students are presented with a real-life problem from business, industry, or government (BIG) and have the opportunity to work in groups over the semester to solve the problem. At the conclusion of the semester, the students will present their solution at the PIC Math Student Showcase.Students from nineteen institutions were excited to present their findings at this year’s Showcase which was held online on July 31 - August 1. The showcase shifted to an online platform this year to accommodate for COVID-19 restrictions. Both days were filled with networking, informative student presentations, and thoughts from industry speakers.An important part of the program is student interaction with industry professionals. The Showcase kicked off with a welcome from Dr. Raymond Perkins, assistant vice president, and quantitative investment analyst at T. Rowe Price. Dr. Perkins recounted his experience as an undergraduate student by sharing how valuable his financial mathematics classes were to his career. He shared one piece of advice with the students, “take linear algebra,” and goes on to say “no matter where you are in your journey in mathematical sciences, linear algebra will be a staple.” The second day of the showcase featured speaker Dr. Gwen Spencer, a data scientist at Stripe. Dr. Spencer shared her experience as an undergraduate student at Cornell University and how mathematics has impacted her career. She explained the importance of learning algorithms and problem solving, how those classes were applied in her career, and specifically using mathematical applications in her role at Convoy optimizing trucking routes.PIC Math helps students put their course-work into practice. The Showcase gives students a unique opportunity to connect with industry professionals, other students, and faculty advisors to present their research and solutions. The problems given to the student groups included a wide range of business, industry, and government (BIG) topics such as social justice, economics, civil engineering, optimization & logistics, sports analytics, and much more.The student groups did an excellent job presenting their analysis and solutions. There were two groups from separate universities, Kutztown University and the University of Guam, who drew similar conclusions to support their client’s problem with inflow and infiltration. Too much inflow and infiltration burden the system thus creating financial and environmental implications. Using mathematics, the student groups were able to offer recommendations to minimize overflow, reduce costs, and refine processes moving forward.If you are a faculty member and interested in providing this program to your students, learn more, and apply. The PIC Math program co-directors, Michael Dorff of Brigham Young University, Darren Narayan of Rochester Institute of Technology, and Suzanne Weekes of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, work directly with faculty to increase their awareness and that of their undergraduate students on non-academic career options for math majors. With support from the MAA staff including Rachel Levy, the directors' train and support faculty to provide their students the opportunity to connect with professionals in various industries to work on real problems from their companies. Read the abstracts of all student presentations and click the button below to view the student's 2-minute video presentations.

PIC Math Videos