The AMS is hosting its annual one-day workshop for chairs and leaders of departments of mathematical sciences to be held in conjunction with the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver, CO. You are invited to join us for this important workshop to be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.
What makes a chair different than any other engaged faculty member in the department? This workshop will examine the chair’s role in leading a department. The day will be structured to include and encourage networking and sharing of ideas among participants.
Workshop leaders will be: Luca Capogna, Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI); Kevin Knudson, Chair, Department of Mathematics, University of Florida; Gloria Marí-Beffa, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Jennifer Zhao, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, University of Michigan-Dearborn.
1. Modernizing mathematics and mathematicians
Mathematics departments must evolve to meet rapid demographic and technological changes.
We will discuss how departments are embracing and contributing to computational and quantitative programs being launched on campuses (e.g., in data science); how open access texts and online homework systems can help us better serve students from lower income families; and how more robust mentoring along with more flexible work assignments can help guide junior faculty to a positive tenure decision.
These issues are not insurmountable, but require thought, and cognizance of the balance we must achieve in the context of our desire to maintain the rigor and rich history of our discipline. This session will help chairs know where to begin.
2. Evaluating teaching
There is no simple system for evaluating teaching. However, careful thinking about the
purposes of evaluation, and crafting multiple methods of evaluation that meet these varied purposes, can lead to evaluation systems that are fair, reliable, and valid. Questions we will consider include:
3. Difficult conversations
How do we deal with difficult situations and difficult colleagues, in the department, elsewhere on campus, and at the community level? What are some guidelines for conflict management and resolution? This session will focus on two aspects of this encompassing topic.
4. The “entrepreneurial” mathematics department
Departments can benefit from collective projects to improve the education offered, and from funding to support such projects. Smaller departments and/or poorly resourced departments can be particularly challenged to undertake such projects.
One suggestion is to look for allies across campus to team-up on educational opportunities or in research proposals; or towards external entities, be they local industry, departments in nearby institutions, to the professional societies, or through the broad network of NSF math institutes.