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Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
PDL C-38 & Zoom


  1. Call to Order
  2. Chair's Remarks
  3. Announcements
    •  WDRP - Grad students
    • Chair Selection Committee - Rohde
    • Graduate Admissions Committee - Koblitz
    • Putnam Committee - R. Liu
    • PIMS - Athreya
  4. Committee Reports
    • Graduate Program Committee - Lieblich
  5. New Business
  6. Executive Session
  7. Adjournment


The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics was held in-person in C-38 Padelford Hall and virtually via Zoom at 3:30pm PST, October 11, 2022. John Palmieri, Chair, presided at the meeting. Rose Choi was recording secretary.

The meeting began with approval of the previous meeting’s minutes.

Chair's Remarks

The department is conducting two non-tenure track searches—one for postdocs and the other for an assistant teaching professor. Encourage anyone you might know who would be a good fit for these positions. The deadline for both is December 1st.

On-line calculus and Math 381 (Discrete Modeling) are in need of more instructors. If you are interested in teaching this next year, please reach out to John Palmieri, Sarah Garner, Jenni Taggart, or Max Lieblich.

The Executive Committee recommends renewing the current policies:

  • Merit and merit salary increases for full professors: The Personnel Committee would advise the chair on recommendations for salary increases for professors, other than the members of the Personnel Committee. The chair will determine merit and salary increases for members of the Personnel Committee.
  • Part-time lecturer hiring: The current policy is to delegate authority to a committee consisting of the chair, the UPC, and the GPC.

A motion was carried, votes held, and passed. All were in favor of retaining these policies.

A recent change to the pre-emptive retention policy set by the College is that offers will only be considered if the faculty member is at the finalist stage at the competing institution.


The Washington Directed Reading Program (WDRP) aims to create a tangible connection between the undergraduate and graduate programs by pairing interested undergraduate students with mathematics graduate student mentors to embark on a quarter-long independent reading project. These projects cater to various levels of mathematical experience and help build a community within the department while strengthening undergraduate student resumes/CVs.

The department’s internal Chair Selection Committee (Steffen Rohde (chair), Zhen-Qing Chen, Alexandra Nichifor, and Cynthia Vinzant) is tasked with taking the “pulse of the department” by talking to members of the department about where we are, where we should be going, and who would be good candidates for future chairs of the department. To that end, they would like to schedule meetings with individuals over the next few weeks wrapping up in early November. This committee was formed by the Executive Committee (absent the current chair). The dean’s committee will also be reaching out to speak with members of the department about the search.

The Graduate Admissions Committee would like to increase the pool of strong applicants from those who have received their undergraduate degrees outside of the United States. To this effect, they have updated the wording on the department’s application information page to reflect this goal but have not yet seen a noticeable increase in this applicant group. Therefore, they are seeking the department’s help in evaluating applications from abroad and by reaching out to colleagues at foreign universities to encourage their students to apply to our department. Faculty who are knowledgeable about universities and mathematical communities in other parts of the world and can be consulted on institutional reputations, letter writers, transcripts, etc. should volunteer to help by contacting Neal Koblitz. Another area of focus is underrepresented minorities, women, and first-generation students. The committee is especially interested in recruiting underrepresented minorities from among successful Master’s students in the California system. Please let Neal know if you have contacts at any of these universities. The committee is planning to devote spots to students who have shown great potential under adverse conditions regardless of any gaps or rough spots in their academic record. To increase the potential of their success in the grad program, priority will be given to those students who are matched with faculty open to serving as mentors/thesis advisors early on if they join the program. Financial assistance for applications will be made available.

Putnam prep sessions will begin on Monday, October 10th, in SAV 136. They meet from 6-8pm every week leading up to the competition on Saturday, December 3rd. They are being run by Ricky Liu (chair), Gaku Liu, and Danny Shi. Pizza will be provided.

The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) provides support and funding for collaborative activities across the network of mathematical sciences departments in western Canada and the US. There are a lot of funding opportunities, especially those under $5,000 CAD. Questions and requests can be directed to Jayadev Athreya (PIMS Co-Director, International).

Committee Reports

The travel funding structure has changed this year: graduate students will receive $150 for books and $900 for travel.

Students in their sixth year of the graduate program who are eligible to graduate are encouraged to do so as funding will not be guaranteed next year.

New Business

Neal Koblitz reminded the department to sign the letter to the AMS posted in the mailroom if you agree with the proposal to not hold meetings in states where women’s reproductive rights have been threatened.


There being no further business, the meeting passed into executive session at 4:18pm.

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