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Section 5: Suggested Activities for the Student Chapters

Student Chapters of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) serve as a mechanism for all students, regardless of major or gender, to be exposed to the world of professional mathematics, to obtain information about the varied career options in mathematics, to network with professional mathematicians, and to develop leadership skills.

The activities as suggested herein can be broken down into 7 main areas: Meetings, Seminar Lecture Series, Site Visits, Mentoring, Special programs, Community Outreach, and Collaborative Events.
  • General meetings of the whole membership should be held frequently and consistently to keep all members informed and involved with the activities of the chapter.
    • We recommend that general meetings be held at least 3 times per semester. For example, meetings could be held on the first Monday of each month.
    • At these meetings, committee reports should be given and voting should be held for proposed activities.
    • We recommend that meetings include time for discussions of topics of interest to the members.
    • The last meeting could be a social gathering such as a banquet or picnic.
  • The Seminar Lecture Series is the venue for presentations on research or careers in an area or application of mathematical science.
    • Professional mathematicians from industry, government or academia could be invited to give a lecture on their respective careers and the path that was taken, in terms of education, to arrive at that career.
    • Lectures could also be given by students or by faculty members on their research.
    • Lectures by professional women mathematicians may be followed by informal discussions with the lecturer (perhaps over tea or a meal) concerning her experiences as a woman in mathematics.
  • Site visits refer to field trips to and tours of various mathematical-related firms and companies.
    • Proposed sites are governmental facilities or labs such as NSA, NIST, NIH, FDA, or engineering firms.
    • It is also suggested that the chapter attend or participate in professional meetings, whenever possible.
  • Community Outreach involves hosting seminars for the respective college communities on mathematical-related topics as well as tutoring, mentoring, or providing enrichment for young students at community K-12 schools.
    • Outreach at the college level could include the organizing of group tutorial sessions or the development of a chapter web page that would provide information about internships and fellowships in an area of mathematical science.
    • Outreach for local elementary and high schools could include tutoring, mentoring or organizing on-campus math/science demonstrations/exhibits or career days. The chapter may also participate in or organize ongoing mathematical enrichment programs for local students either on campus or at the local schools.
  • Mentoring and encouraging students in their mathematical development. Examples of mentoring programs include:
    • Matching more senior students with junior students to discuss their experiences and any difficulties they may be facing. Possible matches include graduate students with undergraduates, seniors with sophomores or juniors, math majors with first-year students considering mathematics as a major, etc. The chapter may want to organize events such as luncheons in which all the mentoring pairs get together.
    • Members of the chapter may also want to mentor children in the local community.
  • Special programs. For example, the chapter may invite a panel of faculty members to discuss how to choose graduate schools or to discuss opportunities for students in the mathematical sciences such as REU programs or research programs on campus.
  • Collaborative Events are those that are jointly planned and organized by the student chapter and either other AWM student chapters in the area, or other organizational student chapters such as MAA. Examples include hosting of the following activities:
    • Team Competitions
    • Regional Conferences
    • Panel Discussions
    • Career Days

Section 4: Guidelines

Student Chapters Intro

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