Career Paths in the Mathematical Sciences

An IMSI/IMA/Math Alliance Workshop


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This workshop is intended to give undergraduates who are planning to enter graduate programs in a quantitative science (e.g. math, applied math, statistics, biostatistics, data science, financial mathematics, etc.) an understanding of a variety of application areas and career paths in the mathematical sciences. Students must be nominated to attend by faculty mentors who have agreed to guide them through the process of applying to graduate programs; both students and mentors will be invited to attend. The workshop will include plenary lectures, panel discussions, active learning modules, networking opportunities, and social events.

Students are eligible to be nominated to attend if

  • they are expected to graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a mathematical or statistical science from a U.S. institution by the summer of 2025,
  • they plan to enter a graduate program in a quantitative science in the U.S. in the fall of 2025, and
  • they have a faculty mentor who has agreed to guide them through the process of applying to graduate programs.

This workshop is intended for students whose background and experience have only given them limited exposure to the opportunities which will be covered. Applications for this event have closed.

Organizing Committee

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Kevin Corlette IMSI, University of Chicago
David Goldberg Purdue University and Math Alliance
Bo Hammer IMSI, University of Chicago
Phillip Kutzko University of Iowa and Math Alliance
Dibyen Majumdar IMSI and University of Illinois at Chicago
Denise Slavinski IMSI, University of Chicago
Roberto Soto California State University, Fullerton and Math Alliance
Daniel Spirn Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), University of Minnesota


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Thursday, June 6, 2024
8:15-8:45 CDT
8:45-9:00 CDT

  • Kevin Corlette (Director, IMSI)
  • David Goldberg (Math Alliance and Purdue University)
  • Bo Hammer (Executive Director, IMSI)

9:00-9:45 CDT
Plenary talk: The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics for some of our most complex problems

Speaker: Luis Bettencourt (University of Chicago)

9:45-10:00 CDT
Coffee Break
10:00-10:45 CDT
Panel Discussion: Complex Systems and Society

Moderator: Luis Bettencourt (University of Chicago)

Panelists: Sara Del Valle (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Jordan Kemp (University of Chicago), Taylor Martin (Sam Houston State University)

10:45-11:00 CDT
Coffee Break
11:00-12:00 CDT
(Split) Student Activity: Improv
11:00-12:00 CDT
(Split) Mentor Activity: Mentoring at the transition from undergraduate to graduate school (discussion)

Moderator: Roberto Soto (California State University, Fullerton and Math Alliance)

12:00-13:00 CDT
Lunch Break
13:00-13:45 CDT
Plenary talk: Inverse Problems: Theory and Practice

Speaker: Issac Harris (Purdue University)

13:45-14:15 CDT
Coffee Break
14:15-15:30 CDT
(Split) Mentor Activity: Finding and keeping minority students (discussion)

Moderator: Phil Kutzko (University of Iowa and Math Alliance)

14:15-15:30 CDT
(Split) Student Activity: Improv
15:30-16:00 CDT
Coffee Break
16:00-16:45 CDT
Panel: Inverse Problems

Moderator: Isaac Harris (Purdue University)

Panelists: Kelsey DiPietro (GE Healthcare), Jacob Rezac (NIST), Fatima Terzioglu (North Carolina State University)

18:00-20:00 CDT
Banquet and Keynote Talk: A Mathematician that Counts

Keynote Speaker: Michael Young (Carnegie Mellon University)

Friday, June 7, 2024
8:30-9:15 CDT
9:15-10:00 CDT
Plenary talk: Career Opportunities in Data Science and Related Fields at NSA

Speaker: Carla Cotwright-Williams (Department of Defense)

10:00-10:10 CDT
Group Photo
10:10-10:45 CDT
Coffee Break
10:45-11:30 CDT
Panel: Mathematics and Government Service

Moderator: Carla Cotwright-Williams (Department of Defense)

Panelists: Erica Dawson (CDC), Javier Flores (Pacific Northern National Laboratory (PNNL)), Bashir Mohammad (Intel), Jennifer Pearl (NSF)

11:30-13:00 CDT
Lunch Break
13:00-13:45 CDT
A Quarter-Life Crisis: From Commutative Ring Theory to Computational Redistricting

Speaker: Ranthony A. Clark (Duke University)

13:45-14:15 CDT
Coffee Break
14:15-15:00 CDT
(Split) Mentor Activity: Mentor Discussion: “Facilitating undergraduate research during the academic year”

Moderator: Michael Young (Carnegie Mellon University)

14:15-15:00 CDT
(Split) Student Activity: Graduate student panel

Panelists: Rafael Ceja Ayala (Purdue University), Lauren Quesada (Colorado State University), Kaelyn Willingham (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

15:00-15:15 CDT
Closing remarks
15:15-16:45 CDT
Social Hour & Networking
19:00-20:00 CDT
Optional Outing: Chicago Blues Festival