Career Paths in the Mathematical Sciences

An IMSI/IMA/Math Alliance Workshop

IMSI, 1155 E. 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637


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The Math Alliance is a national community of faculty mentors in the mathematical sciences working together to increase the representation of minority students and professionals in quantitive fields at all levels. The rapidly changing landscape in these fields makes it is critical that Math Alliance mentors and their students have the most up-to-date information concerning opportunities for graduate training and future career opportunities. This workshop will bring together participants in the Alliance’s F-GAP program and their mentors with leaders in applied mathematics and statistics working on issues related to climate, computational science, data science, and health care. The workshop will consist of plenary lectures, panel discussions, active-learning modules, and networking opportunities.

Organizing Committee

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Nitsan Ben-Gal 3M and Math Alliance
Kevin Corlette IMSI, University of Chicago
David Goldberg Purdue University and Math Alliance
Javier Rojo Indiana University and Math Alliance
Padmanabhan Seshaiyer George Mason University and Math Alliance
Daniel Spirn Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), University of Minnesota


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Thursday, June 8, 2023
8:30-9:00 CDT
Breakfast and Check-in
9:00-9:30 CDT
Welcome and opening remarks

Kevin Corlette, Director, IMSI
David Goldberg, Executive Director, Math Alliance, and Purdue University
Angela Olinto, Dean of the Physical Sciences Division, University of Chicago
Takis Souganidis, Mathematics, University of Chicago
Mary Silber, Statistics and Committee on Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of Chicago
Bo Hammer, Executive Director, IMSI

9:30-10:15 CDT
Plenary Talk: [email protected] and [email protected]

Speaker: Sven Leyffer (Argonne National Laboratory)

10:15-10:45 CDT
Coffee Break
10:45-11:45 CDT
Mentor Activity: Mentoring at the transition from undergraduate to graduate school (discussion)

Facilitator:Roberto Soto (California State University, Fullerton)

Topic: F-GAP takes students who are rising juniors and pairs them with a doctoral facilitator. What are the role(s) for their undergraduate mentor in this process and how to best coordinate the efforts of the doctoral and undergraduate mentor. More generally, how should we be mentoring students as they get close to the graduate application process?

10:45-11:45 CDT
Student Activity: Yes And, Networking 101 – Being Your Best Self
11:45-13:00 CDT
13:00-13:45 CDT
Plenary Talk: Mathematics in Data Science: Advancing Scientific Discovery

Speaker: Rebecca Willett (Statistics, Computer Science, and Data Science Institute, University of Chicago)

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

Facilitator: Philip Kutzko (University of Iowa)

Topic: In order to produce more professionals in the quantitative science among TEAM (Traditionally Excluded American Minorities) populations, we must be producing more undergraduate majors. One very successful model was pioneered by William Vélez at University of Arizona. Are there, in addition to Bill’s model, strategies that will “tweak the system” as an initial approach to increasing the number of TEAM math majors at schools that have no prior experience with this?

14:15-15:30 CDT
Student Activity: Yes And, Improv Skills to Help Build Your Career
16:00-16:45 CDT
Panel Discussion: Emerging Opportunities in Data Science

Moderator: Rebecca Willett (University of Chicago)

Panelists: Jacob Bond (GM), Jim Harmon (Liberty Mutual), Holly Wiberg (Flatiron Health)

18:00-20:00 CDT
Banquet and Plenary Talk

Speaker: Kathy Ensor (Statistics, Rice University)

Title: Exciting and Rewarding Careers in Statistics, Data Science and Technology

Friday, June 9, 2023
8:30-9:00 CDT
9:15-9:45 CDT
Plenary Talk: Selected Applications of Statistical Methods to Biological Research Studies. From a Mathematics Student to an Applied Biostatistician.

Speaker: Ramon Durazo-Arvizu (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)

10:00-10:10 CDT
Group Photo
10:10-10:45 CDT
Coffee Break
10:45-11:30 CDT
Panel Discussion: Emerging Opportunities in Biostatistics

Moderator: Ramon Durazo-Arvizu (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)

Panelists: Adrian Coles (Bristol-Myers-Squibb), Miriam Nuño (University of California, Davis), Jenny Yang (Apple)

11:30-13:00 CDT
13:00-13:45 CDT
Plenary Talk: Applied Statistics, Data Science, and the Assessment of Climate Risk

Speaker: Steve Sain (Jupiter Intelligence)

13:45-14:15 CDT
Coffee Break
14:15-15:00 CDT
Panel Discussion: Emerging Opportunities in Computational Science

Moderator: Bo Hammer (IMSI)

Panelists: Brian Boonstra (Jump Trading), Robert Bridges (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Emil Constantinescu (Argonne National Laboratory), Bridget Manning (Amazon)

15:15-16:00 CDT
Mentor Activity: Creating opportunities to explore emerging quantitative sciences at the undergraduate level (discussion)

Facilitators: Phyllis Okwan (Southern University and A&M College) and David Uminsky (University of Chicago)

In recent years, one major evolution for the Math Alliance has been its embracing of emerging quantitative sciences. It is critical we give students opportunities to explore areas, such as data science and machine learning, in a mathematical context. Such opportunities should present themselves within the curriculum, as well as research experiences (e.g., REUs). We should also be developing opportunities for faculty to build collaborations with experts in these fields. What are the best ways for faculty to engage in these activities?

15:15-16:00 CDT
Student Activity: Graduate Student Panel

Panelists: Govanni Grandos (Purdue University), Whitney Mgbara (University of California, Berkeley), Quindel Jones (Virginia Commonwealth University)

16:15-16:30 CDT
Closing remarks
16:30-18:00 CDT
Social Hour & Networking
19:00-20:00 CDT
Optional Outing: Chicago Blues Festival