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IMA Special Workshop
Careers and Opportunities in Industry for Mathematical Scientists
April 7-9, 2014

Richard BraunUniversity of Delaware
William KolataSIAM
Lalitha VenkataramananSchlumberger-Doll Research
Bogdan VernescuWorcester Polytechnic Institute
Group Photo

General Information

The target audience for this workshop consists of faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students who are interested in exploring careers in and opportunities for collaborating with industry. By bringing together academic faculty, postdocs, and students with industrial mathematicians and human resources personnel, the workshop aims to inform academic representatives about industrial opportunities and prepare junior representatives for careers in industry.  

Industrial representatives will share their experiences with faculty about working in and with industry as well as some anecdotes from their work and careers. Postdocs and students will be informed about industry and the skills needed (beyond mathematical prowess) to make one effective in industry. The characteristics of programs that successfully place students in industry will also be discussed. 

Industrial and academic participants will all gather for two days; students and postdocs will stay for an additional day to work with human resources personnel for guidance on resume preparation, the interview process, communicating one’s results, and networking. The workshop will address the following topics:

  • How does a program successfully place students in industry?
  • What are industry scientists looking for?
  • What is the hiring process? (Human Resources representatives share their side of the hiring process—resume preparation, interviewing, hiring procedures, etc.)
  • How do you network and “work your contacts”?
  • How do recent graduates find careers in industry?
  • What does it take to create collaborations? (presented by an industry-academic panel)
  • What is a mathematical entrepreneur?
  • What are the emerging opportunities? Data science, business analytics, and more.
  • Learn How to Communicate: Explain a mathematical concept to a non-mathematician; your one-minute elevator pitch; your three-minute pitch describing your research; and conducting mock interviews.

Resume information

The Career Center in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota has helpful information about writing resumes and cover letters.  Note that at the bottom of the page, there is specific advice for graduate resumes. Use it!


A SIAM News article has appeared describing this workshop in the January 2014 issue.

A review of the workshop was posted on Iowa State University's website following the event.

Please contact the IMA at visit@ima.umn.edu with questions.


The IMA gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support of Monday's reception and Tuesday's catered lunches: anonymous, 3M Company, Baxter Healthcare, The Boeing Company, Google, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., IBM, Schlumberger-Doll Research, St. Jude Medical, Inc., Target Corporation, United Technologies Corporation Systems & Controls Engineering Group, VivaQuant, and W. L. Gore  & Associates, Inc.


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