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Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 3:30pm
PDL C-38 & Zoom


  1. Call to Order
  2. Chair's Remarks
  3. Announcements
    • Chair Selection Committee - Rohde
    • Mathday - Ostroff
    • Graduate Admissions Committee - Koblitz
  4. Committee Reports
    • Appointments Committee - Viray
    • Undergraduate Program Committee - Taggart
  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, February 7, 2023. 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 Assistant Teaching Professor search is moving into the video interview stage. If you would like to share your thoughts on any of the candidates, please do so soon.

This is a reminder to please vote on the current reappointment cases. More than half of the voting faculty should be voting on these cases in order to meet the university’s threshold.

The chair led a discussion amongst the faculty on the book “The New Education,” the concept of assigning grades in calculus courses, and reevaluating what is taught and whether these courses are still relevant in their current forms.

Faculty meetings for the remainder of this academic year will be held solely via Zoom.


Faculty in the tenure-stream are strongly urged to sign up to meet with the Chair Search Committee for 15 min interviews on Feb. 23 & 24. Steffen Rohde, who was a member of the Chair Selection Committee and now joins the Search Committee, will not be present at these interviews. Members of the department will be meeting solely with Munira Khalil (Chemistry) and Marina Meila (Statistics) for these confidential interviews. These interviews serve a crucial function in the chair selection decisions made by the Deans. Please do your best to participate in this process.

Math Day is very short on volunteers this year. Typically, there are 70-90 volunteers confirmed for this event; however, there are currently on twelve. Please encourage as many students as you can to help out. No experience or math background is necessary. The event takes place on March 20th.

The Graduate Admissions Committee has sent out offers to 53 students with approximately 30 more on the waitlist. One-quarter to one-third acceptance is anticipated per previous records. There was a strong cohort of female candidates this year, as well as an increase in competitive candidates from underrepresented minority groups including international students. Specific faculty were tasked with reaching out to their matched student candidates and a Zoom meet-and-greet has been scheduled for this Thursday and Friday. Prospective students will be visiting the campus on March 9th and 10th. Thanks to all the committee members who worked tirelessly to review the 396 applications that were received this year.

Committee Reports

On average over the last five years, the department received approximately 350-400 applicants for tenure-track searches with the first round narrowed down to about 70 candidates then 14-18 for the second round and around 8 who make it to the interview stage. This year, the Appointments Committee has been reevaluating the rubrics used at the various stages of the evaluation process. Traditionally, research has been a top priority when evaluating a candidate. However, challenges arose when trying to determine scores for this rubric. Additionally, trying to incorporate non-committee member input for candidates has been difficult as these do not typically align with the rubric used by the committee. To address some of these challenges, the committee has proposed adding an additional round (Round 0) to the review process. This would fall before the first round and all faculty can advance their recommendations to this stage for more detailed consideration. A second proposal is to reframe the rubric categories as axis labels to take into consideration the multi-dimensionality of the candidates.

The Undergraduate Program Committee proposes the following:

  • Add an RSN (Reasoning) designation to MATH 180: Undergraduate students at UW must complete 5 credits in Reasoning (formerly Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning) in order to graduate. Our MATH 180 Topics courses do not currently have this designation. Adding this designation may attract more students from across campus to these courses.
  • Add a 5 credit option to MATH 380: Currently MATH 380 is listed as a 3 credit course. Neal Koblitz has proposed (and UPC has approved) a course for next winter that’s been running as a 5 credit course under HONORS 221. Rather than cutting back the course, we would like to add a 5 credit course option for MATH 380.

 Votes for both proposals were held, passed, and approved.


There being no new business, the meeting passed into executive session at 4:45pm.

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