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/.
group has also become known as “Concerns of Young Mathematicians” (CYM).
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.
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