1.2. GETTING TO KNOW YOU 7 department will be told that for budgetary reasons it can only tenure one person this year—even though it has three good candidates who are ready for tenure. These days there are some very useful and active organizations that help young mathematicians and, more generally, young scholars get oriented in their new professional lives. One of these is the Young Mathematicians’ Network (YMN).2 Located at http://concerns.youngmath.net/, this is an organization founded by a group of young mathematicians who wanted to create a resource for people looking for jobs, people trying to get settled in a new department, people trying to get tenure. Going to the Website, you will see that YMN sponsors conferences, hosts Websites and discussion groups, and mentors activities around the country. Most of the founders of this enterprise now have tenure in some good departments around the country, and the torch has been passed to a new generation. But the activity continues, and it is certainly valuable and worthwhile. In fact it has spawned the book [BEC], and this is a fine resource for the beginning mathematician. Another excellent touchstone for the beginning mathematician, or more generally the beginning scholar, is Project NExT (New Experiences in Teach- ing), sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation and a number of other com- panies and organizations. Project NExT is overseen and administered by the Mathematical Association of America. This is a loose-knit organization of junior faculty across the country who want to share common interests and concerns. They are mentored by a broad cross-section of senior mathe- maticians who make themselves available for consultation or for just chewing the rag. The Project NExT people have their main meeting each year at the Summer MathFest (sponsored by the MAA) then they reconvene at a smaller event at the January AMS/MAA meetings. They also organize other special events. Project NExT endeavors to inform its members about publishing, about tenure, about teaching, and about getting along in a math depart- ment.3 It has done a lot of good for a lot of people, and I encourage you to get involved—the Website is http://archives.math.utk.edu/projnext/. 2 This group has also become known as “Concerns of Young Mathematicians” (CYM). 3 The young mathematician’s home department is required to be a part of Project NExT. In particular, it is the home department that pays for travel to the NExT meetings.
Previous Page Next Page