September 13 and October 18 and 24, 2020

The GROW 2020 conference is aimed at female-identified undergraduate students who may be interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the mathematical sciences. The conference is open to undergraduates from U.S. colleges and universities, including international students.

The conference will feature

  • lectures
  • panel discussions about graduate research in the mathematical sciences
  • networking opportunities
  • advice on preparing applications for graduate school

The conference will take place online via Zoom. There are no costs associated with attending.

Speakers include:

The organizing committee consists of:  Kevin CorletteMimi DaiDenis HirschfeldtVera Mikyoung HurMaryanthe MalliarisNikki PitcherLaura SchaposnikMary SilberTakis Souganidis, and Rebecca Willett.

Contributors to GROW organization: Chloe Avery (UChicago), Guher Camliyurt (UChicago), Radwa Dawood (UIC), Meg Doucette (UChicago), Thomas Hameister (UChicago), Denis Hirschfeldt (UChicago), Kasia Jankiewicz (UChicago), Roxie Jiang (UIC), Yundi Kong (UIC), Howie Masur (UChicago), Peter May (UChicago), Vinh Nguyen (UIC), Nikki Pitcher (UChicago), Sarah Reitzes (UChicago), Megan Roda (UChicago), Mariya Sardarli (UChicago), Yike Tang (UIC), Danielle Tucker (UIC), Dolores Walton (UChicago), Shmuel Weinberger (UChicago), Emily Wenger (UChicago), Miaomai Zhou (UIC), Seyed Zoalroshd (UChicago)

Applications for GROW 2020 can be submitted at  The committee will begin screening applications on June 15, 2020, but will give full consideration to applications submitted by September 1, 2020.

For questions, please email .

This event is being supported by the University of Chicago Department of Mathematics and the National Science Foundation.

Previous iterations of GROW took place at Northwestern (2015-17), the University of Michigan (2018), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019).

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Sunday, September 13

All times CDT
11:30 Zoom meeting opens
11:45 Welcome and opening remarks Kevin Corlette, Director, IMSI
1:15-2:45 Panel Discussion: Graduate Admissions Takis Souganidis (UChicago and IMSI, moderator), Alejandra Alvarado (Eastern Illinois University), Izzet Coskun (UIC), Denis Hirschfeldt (UChicago), Vera Hur (UIUC), Bryna Kra (Northwestern), Mary Silber (UChicago), Beth Tipton (Northwestern), Tandy Warnow (UIUC), Amie Wilkinson (UChicago)
2:45-3:15 Breakout rooms
3:15-4:15 Graduate Student Panel Emily Wenger (CS, UChicago, moderator), Chloe Avery (Math, UChicago), Meg Doucette (Math, UChicago), Ruoxi Jiang (CS, UChicago), Sarah Reitzes (Math, UChicago), Dolores Walton (Math, UChicago)

Saturday, September 26

6:00 Game night organized by graduate students
Organizers: Megan Roda (UChicago), Danielle Tucker (UIC)
Platform dependent on number of participants. Follow up events may be scheduled if there is interest.

Sunday, October 18

11:30 Zoom meeting opens
11:45-12:45 Talk: Categorifying cardinal arithmeticIn this talk we will prove that $$a\times(b+c)=a\times b+a\times c$$ via a roundabout method that takes us on a tour through several deep ideas including categorification, the Yoneda lemma, universal properties, and adjunctions. Emily Riehl, Johns Hopkins University
1:15-2:45 Panel Discussion: Research in the Mathematical Sciences Rebecca Willett (UChicago, moderator), Dana Mendelson (UChicago), Mary Silber (UChicago), Jingshu Wang (UChicago), Amie Wilkinson (UChicago)
3:15-4:15 Talk: Combinatorics and card tricks Sami Assaf, USC
4:15-5:00 Breakout rooms

Saturday, October 24

11:30 Zoom meeting opens
11:45-12:45 Talk: Predictive inference with the jackknife+We introduce the jackknife+, a novel method for constructing predictive confidence intervals that is robust to the distribution of the data. The jackknife+ modifies the well-known jackknife (leave-one-out cross-validation) to account for the variability in the fitted regression function when we subsample the training data. Assuming exchangeable training samples, we prove that the jackknife+ permits rigorous coverage guarantees regardless of the distribution of the data points, for any algorithm that treats the training points symmetrically (in contrast, such guarantees are not possible for the original jackknife). The jackknife+ can also be combined efficiently with bootstrapped or ensembled prediction methods. Our methods are related to cross-conformal prediction proposed by Vovk [2015] and we discuss connections. This work is joint with Emmanuel Candes, Aaditya Ramdas, Ryan Tibshirani, Byol Kim, and Chen Xu. Rina Foygel Barber, Statistics, University of Chicago
1:15-2:45 Panel Discussion: Careers in the Mathematical Sciences Kevin Corlette (UChicago, moderator), Lorin Crawford (Brown University and Microsoft Research), Mimi Dai (UIC), Daniel Hess (UChicago), Richard Laugesen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Bo Peng (IDEO), Valerie E. Taylor (Argonne National Laboratory), David Uminsky (University of San Francisco and University of Chicago), Suzanne L. Weekes (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
3:15-4:15 Talk: Groups and transformationsWhat I find most exciting about mathematics is how tools and ideas from one area can inform, and sometimes even transform, another area. This talk will illustrate one such connection between different areas: algebra (group theory) and dynamics, the study of how spaces change under transformations. As a concrete example, and one that I’ve explored in my own research, I’ll introduce you to “orderable groups” and show you how this very algebraic definition secretly means that your group is a set of transformations of the real line. Time permitting, we’ll then delve a little deeper into how to think of groups visually in terms of geometric spaces and their transformations. No background in group theory is required, but even those who have taken four semesters of it should expect to find something new in this talk. Kathryn Mann, Cornell University
4:15 Closing remarks followed by breakout rooms