Developing a Career in Research

Easel notes

Conference for African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Berkeley, California, June 21-23, 1995

1. Qualifying Exam
Study together/alone
Try.. try again
Practice exams / seek experienced help
Know undergraduate subjects well
Iron out weaknesses
Demonstrate ability to think on your feet

2. Thesis Topic / Advisor
Be careful
Attend seminars
Get to know professors beforehand
Choose an established/secure person -- junior faculty may be OK if you
finish fast
Compatible personalities
Pick a "hot", non dead-end, ambitious topic - and like it
Show initiative
Recognize dead-ends
Shop around - independent studies
Be true to yourself and develop mathematical intuition
Explain the topic to someone else
Switch, if necessary
Choose someone who wants to work with you

2.5 Prepare for Job Market
Postdoctorate position
Publish thesis
Attend/present at conferences

3. Race Matters
Do we pinpoint successful schools?
Why do students leave?
What are the obstacles?
Get a mentor

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