In March, 2012 I was privileged to give a talk at the Southeast Mathematical Association of America meeting. Dr. Janine Haugh and I co-chaired a special session on advanced undergraduate mathematical modeling. Dr. Stacey Ernstberger and Dr. Tessa Weinstein hosted a tandem session on lower-level mathematical modeling.
In my session, Dr. Haugh and I decided that conversations on conducting the undergraduate mathematical modeling research might be useful. I volunteered, with hopes of enabling strong conversation, to present some of what I was seeing as a definable process.
Advising Undergraduate Research
My talk was entitled “Reflections on the Initiation of a Modeling-Focused Undergraduate Research Program”. The presentation was all about how I had learned/was learning/am learning the hard way about advising undergraduate research projects.
My talk is presented below:
Looking back, there is humor in me giving that talk when there were other, well-seasoned veterans in the session. Yet, it wasn’t a “how-to” but rather a “here’s what” and was therefore not so arrogant.
Years later, I continue to look at the presentation and to think through my process for conducting and advising undergraduate research projects. Can I do a better job? Absolutely. Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. Will I continue to improve? I think so.
What are my goals? To help students become stronger and more independent as researchers; to help students ascertain precision in their work; to grow, to help students grow, and to help enrich the world with their efforts. I guess, in many respects, these are the same as they have always been.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments.