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Professional Development & Resources

PIC Math

Resource MAA

Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences (PIC Math)

PIC Math prepares mathematical sciences students for industrial careers by engaging them in research problems that come directly from industry.

The PIC Math program aims to:

  • Increase awareness among mathematical sciences faculty and undergraduates about non-academic career options.
  • Teach faculty how to make industry connections in order to provide research experiences for their students to work on real problems coming directly from business, industry, or government.
  • Prepare students for industrial careers.

A strong component of PIC Math involves students working as a group on a semester-long undergraduate research problem from business, industry, or government. Undergraduate research is a high-impact teaching and learning practice and has been shown to improve students abilities in:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Independent thinking
  • Communicating

All these traits and skills are valued by employers of STEM professionals. PIC Math will supply faculty with tools to offer students experiences designed to better prepare them for careers.

Past Participating Faculty

Look back and see who has participated in previous cohorts.

What does PIC Math include?

Summer Training Workshop 
PIC Math includes a summer workshop for faculty at US institutions that will provide participants with:

  • Information on careers and internships to share with students.
  • Guidance on developing business and industry connections and partnerships.
  • Exposure to mathematical and statistical problems that arise in industry.
  • Training on how to develop skills in students that are valued by employers.
  • Preparation for PIC Math’s research course and review.

Spring Semester Research Course
PIC Math provides faculty with resources for a semester-long, credit-bearing course focused on solving industrial problems. Each faculty participant will assemble a team of three to five students and work with them to develop their problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills. Faculty mentoring the research group will receive a $3000 stipend.

Please note: returning PIC Math faculty will not be eligible to receive a stipend from the PIC Math grant. 

Student Projects Submission
Each student project team will collaborate with a business, industry, or government partner and will submit regular progress reports. By the end of the spring semester, students will submit a video presentation and written report detailing their solution. 

Annual Student Projects Showcase
Students will have the opportunity to present their results in person at a summer showcase and be recognized for their accomplishments. Students traveling to the showcase, along with their faculty advisor, will be eligible for travel reimbursement up to $2,000 per institution.

Previous Workshops

Check out previous PIC Math workshops on Data Science

Contact Us

Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University

Suzanne Weekes, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Darren Narayan, Rochester Institute of Technology

Thomas Wakefield, Youngstown State University

Audrey Malagon, Mathematical Association of America

Please send all questions to Darren Narayan at

PIC Math is a program of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Support is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF DMS-1722275 DMS-1345499)