More on the New AMS Membership Categories

by Kareem Carr

Ellen Maycock has been kind enough to supply us with some more information on graduate student categories in two comments made in response to my last article.  I will just reproduce her comments here.

Frank Morgan suggested that I write to you about the new membership categories.  I’m a former college mathematics professor who has been on the AMS staff for the past 5 years.  One of my responsibilities is to oversee the membership activities of the AMS.  The Society is very interested in expanding our programs for early career mathematicians and improving what we can do for graduate students is a top priority.  As Diana wrote above, a Working Group looked at the Nominee Program last year, and came up with a number of recommendations.  We at AMS Headquarters are excited about moving forward to implement the proposals.

Our first step was to get new membership categories and a mission statement for the Graduate Student Program approved by the AMS Council, which was done on January 5.  I’ll post the mission statement in a separate comment.  The new membership categories should be in place for the 2012 membership year.  We’ve always felt that the “Nominee” category was confusing to you and it hasn’t been easy for us to be in touch with you. We worry about graduate students whose memberships have been dropped because their institutions are no longer institutional members.   And there are folks other than graduate students who are in this category.  So, we’ve taken all the members who have been in either the Nominee category (named by their institution) or Student category (paid dues) and divided them up into three categories.  We think that we will be better able to address the concerns of each group with these new categories.

Graduate Student:  all graduate students who are named by their institutions or who have paid dues

Student:  all undergraduate students who have been named by their institutions or who have paid dues

Nominee:  other individuals (usually faculty) who have been named by their institutions.

Our president-elect, Eric Friedlander, is very interested in supporting early career mathematicians.  We expect to expand the Graduate Student Program significantly over the next few years.  Very soon, we will be announcing several new funding opportunities for you–so stay tuned!

She also wrote concerning graduate student program:

Mission Statement for the Graduate Student Program

The Graduate Student Program of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) is a key aspect of the Society’s broad mission of furthering the interests of mathematical research and scholarship. The program encourages graduate students through:

• Incorporating young mathematicians into the mathematical community;

• Communicating news about current events and information about the culture of mathematics through the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, the AMS Member Newsletter, the AMS web site and other publications and forums;

• Welcoming graduate students to conferences at the forefront of current research and assisting them in attending conferences;

• Fostering communities including graduate students by disseminating information about graduate student events, opportunities and accomplishments and by facilitating and encouraging communication among them;

• Providing job related services and professional development opportunities to aid the transition upon receipt of an advanced degree; and

• Encouraging students to be active life-long members of the AMS.

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