GRADUATE PROGRAMHere we receive 60K for stipends and 38K for tuition each year. We have applied for a supplement of an additional 55K for our third year. This part of the grant we use in a fairly traditional manner, to enable students to finish their PhDs in a timely fashion without extra teaching. The average time to degree in our department is between 4 and 5 years. All the students supported in their fifth years have now graduated, and received excellent job offers.
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSSo far, we have supported three VIGRE Postdoctoral Fellows: John Boller, Andy Engelward, and Danny Calegari. The first two are Preceptors, a new position for mathematicians especially interested in undergraduate teaching and advising. The VIGRE grant allows them to put more time into undergraduate tutorials, research, and career development. Calegari is an Assistant Professor, and the grant allows him additional time for research. He will move to a tenure-track position at CalTech after one more year here.
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMHere we have a grant of 30K per year, which we have used to fund independent undergraduate research projects with faculty, as well as undergraduate research tutorials. The considerable talents and accomplishments of our majors have been honored by the AMS Morgan Prize for Undergraduate Research every year in which it has been given. We have several VIGRE funded projects which were nominated this year.
We have found that junior tutorials, taught to groups of 4-6 undergraduates by graduate students, are an excellent way to get majors interested in writing a senior thesis in mathematics. But the students often have too many other course requirements to fulfill to take a tutorial during term time. Using the VIGRE grant, we payed students a modest amount (-) to stay in Cambridge over the summer, to take a tutorial. We also pay their graduate instructors. Based on student responses, this has proved to be a great success.