Call for Proposals: Organizing the 2021 Short Course

The AMS Short Course Subcommittee (SHORTCOURS) invites expressions of interest and proposals to organize the Society's Short Course to be offered January 4-5, 2021 in coordination with the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in Washington, DC.

The Short Course provides an unparalleled opportunity to introduce an exciting, current area of applied mathematics to a broad audience of students, faculty, researchers, and other practitioners. It is also anticipated that the proceedings of the Short Course will be published in the AMS series Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics.

Typically incorporating a sequence of survey lectures and other activities focused on a single theme of applied mathematics, the course takes place during the two days immediately preceding JMM. The course’s theme may be cutting-edge or more established, and its goal is to provide professional and in-training mathematicians an introduction that can:

  • satisfy the curiosity of those who are new to the topic
  • provide an entrée to a new research topic
  • inspire new methods of problem solving
  • be part of the participants' professional development and continuing education

The venue presents the organizers with a time frame long enough for newcomers to a topic in applied mathematics to reach insights about the state of the art, but at the same time short enough to fit the typical participant’s schedule and attention.

The Short Course Committee is also interested in proposals that may extend the traditional course in subject matter or methodology. For instance, proposers may focus on a topic with relevance to business, entrepreneurship, industry, government, and nonprofits. Or they might wish to describe a way of offering the course in a webinar format to allow for additional, offsite participants.

For 2021, the Committee is exploring the possibility of offering a Short Course on an applied mathematics topic that features an accelerated approach to programming in a current, widely used language (e.g., R or Python). The target audience would be those who do not have significant prior experience with the programming language. Consequently the mathematical topic might be one that is more established to allow participants to focus on programming methodology. The Committee welcomes expressions of interest and creative proposals that will have wide appeal.

An expression of interest may be as short as one page. Members of the community are also encouraged to nominate organizer-topic pairs. More detailed guidance is available in the Short Course Manual.

Expressions of interest, nominations, and proposals should be sent to the AMS Associate Executive Director (aed-mps@ams.org) with a cc to Robin Hagan Aguiar (rha@ams.org). For full consideration, proposals should be submitted by December 18, 2019.

Audience and Topical Focus

The mathematical background, knowledge, and experience of the participants vary greatly: from novice to specialist, from graduate student (or even undergraduate or high school student) to senior professor, from college (two-year or four-year) teacher to researcher or industrial practitioner. That said, a short course targeted on individuals with a solid background in undergraduate mathematics is most likely to draw interest and satisfy participants. Lectures overall should be coherent in terms of theme, terminology, and notation; the speakers need to keep in mind that their audience consists of non-specialists, and each talk should begin with ideas that are readily accessible to everyone. Ideally, lectures lead to an indication of the "state of the art," but in a way that acknowledges challenging aspects without placing too many technical or conceptual roadblocks in the way of the participants.