The Math Mini-GSA (MathGSA) represents
the interests of the mathematics graduate students at UCR.
In particular we want to provide a forum to discuss ways
that we can work together to improve the department,
and we also aim to create a sense of community among
the math graduate students.
Meetings will be held the first Monday of each month,
3:30–5pm in Skye 268.
UCR R’Grad – The list of online Grad Division Petitions. As examples, here you can find the forms to nominate your oral exam committee, file for your Masters or PhD, request a leave of absence, or request a directed studies (Math-290) course.
Updates from the Main GSA — They're trying to get rid of the fee that international students have to pay for an English Proficiency Exam. Also, the Main GSA is circulating petitions to sign in support of the Iranian international students who can't come into the country. The Union is re-drafting our collective contracts. The Main GSA is drafting a grad student bill of right; anyone interested who has ideas about what should be included in this document can contact the Main GSA about it.
Elections Need be Held Sometime Winter Quarter — For now, Jonathan Alcaraz will be replacing Mike as the Secretary.
Welcoming Undergraduates — The graduate students can do more to make the math department feel more welcoming to undergraduates. Like, the infrastructure of this department, just the space, is gross. The undergrads have no hub amongst mathematicians.
Space Issues on Campus — Here's a link to the webpage of the University Space Committee — They have a website and a contact, and they're evil.
File Storage for all Grad Students — James Alcala is going to make this, and we're all going to upload
TA Scheduling and Instructor Listing — The Math Office is still being evil because (1) they are telling graduate students when they TA very last minute, and it's making our lives hard, and (2) the instructors for math classes are not listed on Banner (see this). This sucks. What can we do to in response to this nonsense!? We're just going to keep complaining about it to Margarita, Jim, Melissa, Randy, and Yat Sun.
Updates from the Main GSA — The Main GSA wants input on how the graduate student lounge should be used/changed/updated/etc. We suggested that there by coffee in that lounge at all times, regardless of the feasibility of the idea.
We Should Talk to the Undergrads More — We're going to start inviting undergraduates to Graduate Student Seminar. But we should also make sure they're all aware of Math Club. Like we should (regularly) talk to graduate students who are TAing upper division classes to advertise these things.
Math Community Center & TA Offices — Next year, James, Randy, and Margarita will oversee the whole process. They will even release a plan for how it will work ahead of time, so that we know how they're going to make it all happen on time.
Messy Start to the Quarter — The department is not required to give us time to trade, and that other departments don't necessarily do that. She said the people switching after the quarter started were isolated incidents. It's not clear what has caused the assignments to get later, but we would need to go to Kelliher/Randy to figure that out.
List of Past Qualifying Exams — Margarita and the student assistants will be working to compile and upload the exams since 2015. More generally though, we should just start our own file server for the graduate students to access? Mike could start that. Like a Dropbox or something.
Weekly Hiking/Sporting Meetup — The general consensus is that we do enough events, but it would nice for graduate students to host their own events and invite people. Like everyone usually just keeps to themselves often.
They're Removing the Math Web Server —
So all of our websites if we have one,
and I suppose the MathGSA website,
and the Grad Student Seminar website,
and UCR Math Wiki and Math GradWiki too.
But like, there's nothing we can do,
and no hard plans are in place anyways. :c
Rocky Start to this Quarter? —
Like, we're getting our TA schedules later than ever,
and the course instructors are never listed.
This is unfair to the undergraduates,
since they can't choose which instructor they take a class from.
We'll email Margarita about it.
Math Community Center? —
Evidently here's going to be a Math Community Center
in a tiny room that some grad students used to call their office.
We'll email Margarita about it.
List of Past Quals —
Who's in charge of updating the list of past quals
on the department website?
And is there any update on whether or not
they'll allow annotated versions?
We'll email Margarita about it.
Halloween Party Somewhere? —
At Mike's and Ethan's and Derek's place.
is in charge of the details.
Main Goals – We need to advocate for space. Complain to the GSA about it. Where do we even hold office hours? There was some consultant that was hired years ago to reassess the space on campus, and that's why things suck.
Department Camping Trip – James will take care of it over the summer. He'll decide a place, and talk to Outdoor Excursions about getting equipment and if they have a place available.
Department Co-Op – We really need to just get stuff from the outgoing grad students to give to the incoming grad students.
Slack – We'll take care of it and send out an announcement email.
Undergraduate Community – The department is setting up a listserv that the undergrads can (should) subscribe to. And, though there is no solution to this, a major barrier to the sense of community among the undergrads is that the math classes aren't inside of the math department building.
Sustainability – Christian is going to ask the GSA for spork money.
Calendar – All the graduate students were officially added and invited to the calendar. It’s only R’Mail public. A warning though, changes you make are visible and apply to all users, so, like, people shouldn’t delete stuff. And we’ll start putting deadlines for GSA funding.
Welcome First-Years – We’re going to send a giant orientation email to the incoming first-year students. We’ll send them a link to the Discord, give them access to Zoom, tell them about an organized camping trip.
Main GSA Update/Money – Applications for the University Certificate Program are open again. Apparently the main GSA has a bunch of money that we should try to get.
Sustainability – We’re should get a bunch of Math Department communal mugs! And maybe try to get new coffee supplies and a coffee maker.
Mental Health – We’re talking about promoting mental health in the department by building a sense of community and adding events to the calendar.
Connect with Undergraduates – We have no way to contact them collectively. And they don’t have a place to meet. And overall there is very little connection between the undergraduates and the activities of the Mathematics Department. Like, there are like 700 math undergrads, and the grad students know so few of them. There’s a lot of things that could be addressed here, but the first thing is that we need a way to contact them, and Margarita is going to do some research into how we can open up communication.
Moving Office Logistics – Margarita is going to streamline this.
Main GSA Update – UCR is starting a Long-Range Development Program (LRDP). There’s a "Grad Students of Color" mixer on April 16th. There’s an update on the Conference Travel Grants webpage; evidently there’s a bug where a student can have only one open application at a time. Grad Bash is April 23rd in the HUB. Earth Week is coming up!
Recreational Activities & Community Building – If we do some campus things, we should ensure that they are REGULARLY scheduled, and not impromptu. And we should include VAPs and faculty. We’re going to make a Google Calendar to organize social events. James is on this, details will be posted. Once James makes it. In addition, we’re trying to build a strong sense of community amongst the first-years right off the bat to encourage them to be social and to stay in the program. We had a meeting towards the end of last quarter, and at the very least we’re going to get graduate students the means to reach out to the incoming first-years before the start of the fall quarter.
Sustainability – We’ve decide to be more proactive about enforcing more sustainable practices. Buy compostable plates/bowls, in event emails encourage grad students to bring their own, and encourage the Math Department to follow suit.
Incoming First-Year Welcome Package – We’re (someone?) is going to put together a welcome package for the incoming first-years.
GSA DIAL – The GSA Diversity and Inclusion Academic Liason works with the CARE office.
Elections – By unanimous vote, we have new GSA officers! Christian Williams is President, James Alcala is Vice President, Jonathan Dugan is Treasurer, and Mike Pierce is the Secretary.
AMP – The Advanced Mathematics Program is running for Summer Session A, and everyone should consider applying to be a primary instructor for a couple of weeks.
UCPath – Since UCPath will be shutdown for a couple of weeks in March, everyone should download their tax documents now. And if anyone sees issues and doesn’t get paid, go on the main GSA website, or talk to literally anyone because there are avenues to fix this.
MathConnections – We should definitely apply for NSF funding for this conference in the future! We’ve still gotta get a plenary speaker, and set a date.
Retention of Women – Evidently the GSA officers are meeting with faculty sometime next week.
Announcements – Lego Grad Student is speaking 31Jan2019 in HUB 302, 6-7pm. Career Pathways Meetings 8Feb2019. Grad Bash at the Getaway will be 20Feb2019.
GSA DIAL – The GSA Diversity Inclusion Academic Liason couldn’t come this meeting, but will come speak next meeting.
Elections – Elections will be held next meeting. We need to send out a mass email to solicit nominations because three of the officers are planning to graduate.
Retention of Women in the Program – We’re going to get a committee together with the AWM to gather some data on retention of women in the department (because not a lot can be done on just speculation alone).
Recycling – The UCR Office of Sustainability is getting up and running again (sorta). In the meantime, since the Math Department goes through Expo markers very quickly, we discussed plans to get bins to collect those. We’re also concerned with the waste created from plastic eating utensils at department functions where food is served, but we don’t see any solution to that issue.
MathConnections – The topic will be category theory. We need to find invited to speakers, so that we can set a date. As soon as Ethan does that, we should have another meeting specifically about MathConnections.
MathConnections – A topic needs to be chosen. Ethan is going to make a Google Doc to brainstorm and accept suggestions. We need to consider who we want to invite as the plenary speaker. There will be a specific meeting about the MathConnections Conference on November 5, probably also at 11am.
MAA Sectional Meeting – Anyone interested in carpooling should email Tim.
The Union – There will be a union meeting at the Getaway Cafe on Wednesday the 24th, 5:30–7:30pm.
UCR Math Electives – The Math Department doesn’t offer particularly many electives in applied mathematics. Someone should find out who to speak to about this.
Discord Channel – Communication among the graduate students is rather clunky, having to go through a mail server. Christian is now in charge of setting up a Discord channel for the graduate students to communicate.
Website Links – We are taking suggestions for useful links that should be posted on this site, and any documents that should be hosted here as well. Send any suggestions you have to Mike.
Halloween – Party at Mike and Ethan and Derek’s house, Friday the 26th at dusk!