American Mathematical Society

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Information for Department Leaders

Are you a new department leader, or looking to represent your department's needs effectively to university administration?  The AMS provides services in support of academic departments of mathematics and helps to enhance networking and the transmission of data and best practices  among departments.  Below are links to resources for departments on subjects ranging from research practices in the mathematics profession to news for students.

Network with colleagues

AMS Workshop for Chairs and Leaders of Mathematics Departments, at the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings

Each year the AMS Washington, DC office organizes and hosts a one-day Workshop for Department Chairs, held in the same location as and just prior to the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Topics include personnel changes, departmental communications, and departmental leadership. For information on forthcoming workshops:  Email the AMS Washington Office

Share Best Practices and the Culture of Mathematics

AMS Departmental and Program Awards

  • Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department     Given annually to a department which has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community, internally or in relation to the rest of society.
  • Award for Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference      Awarded annually to two programs that 1. aim to bring more persons from under-represented minority backgrounds into some portion of the pipeline beginning at the undergraduate level and leading to advanced degrees in mathematics and professional success, or retain them once in the pipeline; 2. have achieved documentable success in doing so; and 3. are replicable models.

Information Statements on the Culture of Research and Scholarship in Mathematics

The AMS Committee on the Profession created a series of information statements relating to the evaluation of mathematicians. The goal of the statements is to highlight the ways in which the traditions in mathematics differ from those in other disciplines, especially other sciences and engineering.

Background and Insight on Leading Mathematics Departments

Towards Excellence: Leading a Mathematics Department in the 21st Century (edited by John Ewing, 1999) provides background and insight on a number of issues.

Developments in Mathematics Research

The National Science Foundation is the leading supporter of fundamental mathematics research in the United States. Mathematics: An Overview of NSF Research covers some of the latest developments in mathematics research.

Access Data

Explore Education Initiatives; Resources for Students

  • Learn more about Homework Software (also known as Web Assessment) by reading an analysis of data collected in a 2009 survey; explore the Notices article, the full report, and a spreadsheet of data. 
  • Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics: Confronting Diverse Student Interests
    A three-year joint project of the Mathematicians and Education Reform Forum (MER) and AMS, funded by the National Science Foundation, structured around six interrelated national workshops together with ongoing networking among the participating departments. The project aims to help departments strengthen their undergraduate programs, especially targeting the courses below calculus, upper-level undergraduate courses, and courses for preservice K-12 teachers.
  • Proceedings of the Conference on Promoting Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, edited by Joseph A. Gallian.
    In 2006, with funding from the National Security Agency (NSA), the AMS organized the conference, "Promoting Undergraduate Research in Mathematics" (PURM). PURM continued the work of the 1999 conference (see below) by bringing together a diverse group of people who are actively involving undergraduates in research programs of all types, in order that they might share their experiences and explore ways of creating more such opportunities, with the goal of bringing the most talented students into research-level mathematics.
    • Proceedings of the Conference on Summer Undergraduate Mathematics Research Programs, edited by Joseph A. Gallian.
      A publication resulting from an AMS conference in 1999 for mathematicians involved in summer research programs for undergraduates. Conference participants discussed issues of common concern and gathered information that would be useful to others in the mathematical community interested in establishing summer undergraduate mathematics programs.
  • Teaching Tips, by Thomas Garrity and Frank Morgan (Williams College).
    Ideas about teaching, including good preparation, good boardwork, and teaching styles.
  • Teaching Mathematics in Colleges and Universities: Case Studies for Today's Classroom, by Solomon Friedberg.
    The Faculty Edition and the Graduate Student Edition include 14 case studies. The faculty edition includes a section on developing effective teaching assistants and explanations about the cases. These volumes are published by the AMS in cooperation with the Mathematical Association of America.
  • How to Give a Good Colloquium, by John E. McCarthy.
    This article is often cited as the primary guide for mathematics colloquium speakers. More guidelines for successful colloquia are also online.
  • Headlines and Deadlines for Students
    A monthly email service and web page with news for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as upcoming deadlines for programs and grants. Members and non-members can sign up for the email service.

Discover Special Funding Opportunities

  • China Exchange Program: The Ky and Yu-Fen Fan Fund Travel Grant from the AMS
    These grants support travel of mathematical scientists at institutions in the U.S. or Canada on visits to research colleagues in China, as well as travel of (generally, less senior) mathematical scientists from China to the U.S. or Canada for visits with U.S. or Canadian research colleagues at U.S. or Canadian institutions.
  • AMS Epsilon Fund Grants for Young Scholars Programs
    The AMS Epsilon Fund awards grants of up to US$15,000 in support of summer mathematics programs for mathematically talented high school students. Support is offered to existing programs that are most successful in nourishing mathematically talented youth.

Enhance Mathematical Awareness

  • Mathematics Awareness Month
    Each year the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (made up of the AMS, American Statistical Association, MAA, and SIAM) choose a theme for the month of April. A poster is sent out to departments nationwide and essays on the theme are posted on the MAM website.
  • AMS Posters
    If you need something to brighten up the halls or departmental lounge, visit this page to find downloadable pdfs of posters (8.5 x 11" and A4-size) promoting awareness of mathematics and of programs and services. Some posters are available upon request in larger size, approximately 18 x 22", compliments of the AMS.

Build Your Faculty

Contact the AMS for help with professional services at 800-321-4267, ext. 4105 or submit an inquiry.