MTH 599: Introduction to Mathematics Profession

  • This "Introduction to Mathematics Profession" class is coordinated by Graduate Chair, M. Peszynska, with participation by other Mathematics Graduate Faculty, and guests.

    Students who complete this class will have satisfied the Ethics component of graduate study required by Graduate School.

  • Class content: We will dicuss the ethics of the profession and more generally "responsible conduct of research", and how this is applied in our field of mathematics. There will be also meetings with Dr Swisher and Dr Beisiegel to discuss teaching issues. We will also discuss career options for mathematicians, developing skills and techniques to identify/ apply/ compete for/ and suceed in (i) academia, (ii) government, (iii) industry, and other careers. We will touch upon mathematical writing and presentations, and techniques for research using library and online tools.
    As we continue towards Spring, we will talk about how to choose an major professor/adviser who would guide you through the rest of your graduate study. There will be a few visits from Mathematics Graduate Faculty and other professionals who would present research and career opportunities in their area. We will ALSO include visits of Mathematics graduate alumni.

  • Meetings: We will meet on Wednesdays noon in STAG 112.
  • Grading is on S/U basis.
    1. Attendance in all but one class meetings is required for an S grade. In extenuating circumstances (when more absences are inevitable), please contact the Instructor.
    2. The class will be run as a "flipped" classroom: reading of some materials will be assigned, and students are expected to come to the class meetings prepared for discussion.
    3. The materials and HW will be posted/sent by email, and HW will be usually due weekly by Friday afternoon. It is the student's responsibility to read the materials ahead of the meeting.
    4. Active participation in discussions and class activities is required. This will include answering to polls, emails, and similar, as dictated by class schedule.

    Special arrangements for students with disabilities: please contact the instructor and Services for Students with Disabilities prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at 737-4098.
    Course drop/add information is at http://oregonstate.edu/registrar/.
    Student Conduct: All students are expected to obey to OSU's student conduct regulations, see OSU's Statement of Expectations for Student Conduct at this link http://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/sites/studentlife.oregonstate.edu/files/student_conduct_code_1.pdf, and specifically the information about Academic or Scholarly Dishonesty beginning on p.2. In particular, please consult the definitions of (A) CHEATING, (C) ASSISTING, and (E) PLAGIARISM, as well as recommended handling.

  • Weekly Schedule:
    1. 1/10/18: Meet the alumni: Brandon Edwards (webex)

      Topic: Career options. Read Chapters 10,11,12 in O'Leary's book and follow the links in http://www.ams.org/profession/career-info/new-phds/new-phds to articles by Kelton, or by Seitelman, or O'Neil, or any of the other career/job sites in the collection below. OSU Career Development Center, Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics?. Also: [www.maa.org], [www.siam.org], [gecd.mit.edu], [www.career.cornell.edu], [www.phdcareerguide.com], phds.org
      Discussion: what does it me to be a professional mathematician.
      HW Assignment due Fri 1/12/18 by 5:00pm. Based on the resources, please email me a paragraph on: (a) the career you would most likely choose, (b) the career you would least likely choose.

    2. 1/17/18:

      Topic: Ethics in Mathematics, Part 1. Read AMS Ethics Guidelines, and Chapter 13 from O'Leary's book. We will discuss part IV later.
      Discussion: contemporary issue in which you think mathematics/mathematicians are involved and in which ethical questions arise.
      HW Assignment due Fri 1/19/18 by 5:00pm. (a) Give an example of ethics violation for parts I, II, III. (b) Describe your own (or someone else's) experience in which you feel the guidelines were not followed, or would not apply.

    3. 1/24/18: Meet the alumni: Tim Costa. (webex)

      Topic:What does doing research (in mathematics) mean? Is (most of) research (in mathematics) innovative or incremental?
      Discussion: based on http://www.pnas.org.ezproxy.proxy.library.oregonstate.edu/content/51/6/1055 and http://www.uq.edu.au/student-services/learning/seven-secrets-doctoral-success See also http://www.uq.edu.au/student-services/learning/drivers-of-research
      HW Assignment due Fri 1/26/18 by 5:00pm. Which core class would you take the further your understanding of at least three of Millenium problems. See, e.g., the fields described in http://math.mit.edu/research/index.php Are the Millenium problems the most important in mathematics research?