The American Mathematical Society invites individuals and groups of individuals to serve as organizers of summer conferences of the Mathematics Research Communities program to be held in Snowbird, Utah, in the summer of 2012.
Young mathematicians are often overwhelmed when beginning their research careers. Some receive little guidance about initiating their research programs, either before or after earning their doctorates. Others end up in positions at colleges or universities where research is not a top priority, and so are isolated from other active researchers in their own fields or from any researchers at all. Programs exist at individual institutions and at the national level to assist young mathematicians with teaching and juggling the many demands on their time. Until now, there has been no national program that initiates them into a research community, guiding them to form working relationships with other researchers as they begin life as research mathematicians. The AMS has created such a program, contingent on funding from the National Science Foundation.
The goal of the MRC program is to create research cohorts of young mathematicians that will sustain themselves over time, fostering joint research and coherent research programs that will, eventually, reach all research areas of mathematics. Of course, young mathematicians will be supported in other aspects of their professional careers, through interactions with senior researchers and their peers, gaining advice in subjects ranging from gaining tenure to writing grants. However, it is the formation of research cohorts that sets this program apart from any other (national) professional development programs for mathematicians that currently exist.
The Mathematics Research Communities program aims to achieve this goal through:
An introductory article giving background information about the MRC program appeared in the February 2008 Notices, and may be found at http://www.ams.org/notices/200802/tx080200247p.pdf
The MRC program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, which has funded the MRC program for the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The Division of Meetings and Professional Services of the AMS coordinates the Mathematics Research Communities program, and supports organizers throughout the entire program. Questions about the overall MRC program should be addressed to Ellen J. Maycock, Associate Executive Director, at email@example.com or 401-455-4101.
There will be a one-week conference in each topic area chosen, held at Snowbird, Utah. During the summer of 2012, the dates are: June 10-16, June 17-23, June 24-30, 2012. Participants arrive at Snowbird on the first day, a Sunday; the sessions will run all day on Monday – Friday; and participants depart early on the last date, a Saturday. The focus of these conferences will be on the young mathematicians. These one-week conferences will be either a large conference with 40 young mathematicians, or two small conferences run simultaneously that will each include 20 young mathematicians. A conference coordinator from the AMS serves before and on site at the conference to take care of the logistical details. A mathematician from the AMS staff serves as the MRC coordinator, and will also be on site.
Each senior organizer receives a stipend of US$3,000; Additionally, each organizing committee has the option of hiring a graduate student to assist with work before and during the conference, for a stipend of US$3,000; The program pays for air transportation for all participants and organizers, up to US$630, as well as room and board for the stay at Snowbird. Senior organizers stay in single rooms, and the young mathematicians share doubles. As part of the Snowbird package, participants are provided with transportation by van from the Salt Lake City airport to the resort and back. Participants will arrive at some time on Sunday (note that they are on their own for Sunday night dinner), and will depart on Saturday, after a breakfast provided in the package. All meals beginning with Monday breakfast and ending with Saturday breakfast are included. There will be a hospitality lounge open most evenings, with snacks and beverages available for a small charge.
The MRC program allows the organizers a great deal of flexibility in structuring the week of their conference at Snowbird. Although the main emphasis of the summer conferences will be on the scientific program, it will be important to spend time discussing some professional development topics, such as the job search, writing grant proposals, giving talks or other activities. These topics can be covered in several evening sessions, or incorporated into the scientific program. An AMS staff member will schedule a short session on the various aspects of the MRC program, to be held on the second day of the conference (Tuesday).
Members of the MRC Advisory Board and AMS staff members are pleased to provide guidance on the preparation of proposals. Core funding for the MRC program is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Mathematics Research Communities
American Mathematical Society
Mail: 201 Charles Street, Street, Providence, RI 02906
All individuals who submit proposals will be notified of the decisions before August 1, 2011.
About Snowbird Resort
Situated in a beautiful, breathtaking mountain setting, Snowbird Resort provides an extraordinary environment for the MRC program. The atmosphere is comparable to the collegial gatherings at Oberwolfach and other conferences that combine peaceful natural ambience with stimulating meetings. MRC participants have access to a range of activities such as a tram ride to the top of the mountain, walking and hiking trails in the surrounding mountains, and swimming in heated outdoor pools. Participants also enjoy the simpler pleasures of convening on the patios at the resort to read, work, and socialize. At the conclusion of the day's program colleagues may enjoy informal gatherings to network and continue discussion of the day's sessions over refreshments. Within a half hour of the University of Utah, Snowbird is easily accessible from the Salt Lake City International Airport. For more information about Snowbird Resort, see http://www.snowbird.com.
For myself and many others in mathematics, mentoring strong, eager students in small groups is one of the most rewarding things we do. Imagine the opportunity to choose a group of advanced graduate students and beginning postdocs in your field, from around the country, and spend an intense week getting to know them and helping them learn some new and valuable elements of your field.
--David Eisenbud, Chair, MRC Advisory Board