Mathematics Coursework

The AIM Student Seminar course is a three-semester sequence taken by all AIM Ph.D. students (AIM M.S. students will join the course for the first two semesters of study). It is specifically designed to assist with many of the unique challenges confronting AIM graduate students. For Ph.D. students, one of these challenges is the choice of a dissertation committee that includes two different co-advisors, one from mathematics and one from another partner discipline. Another challenge common to the interests of both M.S. and Ph.D. students is the development of a sound understanding of the way that mathematics plays a role in diverse application areas.

Math 501 is a course only for AIM graduate students. It is coordinated with the departmental Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics Research Seminar, and students are required to participate in the research seminar on a weekly basis as a course requirement. Students will therefore meet once each week during the regular course time and again during the time of the research seminar. Currently these two meetings are scheduled for 12-1 PM and 3-4 PM respectively on Fridays. Attendance of the AIM research seminar as part of Math 501 is vital to sound interdisciplinary training. In this way, students will be exposed to a wide range of research topics.

The specific content of the Math 501 course as delivered during the regular course meetings is highly variable, but the purpose of the course is clear: to address specific issues related to the process of successfully completing a graduate degree in the AIM program and becoming an active member of the research community. The weekly meetings of the class are generally partitioned among three types of sessions:

  1. “Focus on. . ." presentations: These are short presentations on various subjects pertinent to the pursuit of an AIM degree as well as other aspects of professional development. In prior semesters some of the presentations have been:
    • Focus on . . . how to find your advisor and co-advisor
    • Focus on . . . how to use the library at the University of Michigan
    • Focus on . . . applying for summer research programs
    • Focus on . . . using LATEX for scholarly writing
  2. AIM Faculty Portraits: These are short presentations by faculty members from mathematics and other departments, providing a direct channel for students to discover what research is being done in various application areas, and to see what kind of preparation is required for participating in such research. Any faculty member giving an AIM Faculty Portrait is a potential thesis co-advisor for AIM Ph.D. students.

  3. AIM Research Seminar “Warm-up talks": These are presentations by particularly dynamic speakers slated to speak in the AIM Research Seminar (or surrogates thereof) as a way to provide background material with the goal of making the AIM Research Seminar lecture more valuable for the AIM students. The warm-up talks will (i) present the background to the research to be discussed at a more advanced level in the subsequent Research Seminar talk, (ii) put the work in context and discuss the importance of the results, and (iii) generally provide an introduction to topic of the Research Seminar. This enables students to derive greater benefit from the AIM Research Seminar series and to gain meaningful exposure to a broad range of problems.

Mathematics (MATH) Courses

MATH Course Information

The following mathematics courses are highly recommended for students who want to pursue teaching.

  • MATH 3320: Introduction to Number Theory
  • MATH 4510: Euclidean and Spherical Geometry
  • MATH 4030: History of Mathematics
  • a statistics course
  • a computer programming course

Education (EDUC) Courses

EDUC Course Information

EDUC 2400: The Art of Teaching

For students wanting to see what teaching is about, EDUC 2400 is a good introductory course that includes guided observations in schools. However, it is very crowded, and it has been hard for students in the Arts & Sciences College to register. If you already know you want to teach mathematics, then you should take other courses.

EDUC 4040: Learning and Teaching I
EDUC 4050: Learning and Teaching in Agriculture, Mathematics and Science

These are the courses where you will learn the basics of teaching. Over the course of the year, there are 80 hours of observation in schools. You will discuss basic theory and practice of learning and teaching. Students keep journals and teach some lessons.

EDUC 3110: Educational Psychology

This course is a standard requirement for teaching certification in almost any state. You will need such a course at some time if you plan to teach. No field experience.

EDUC 4200: Field Experience

Students may engage in planned, semiprofessional, or professional practice in an educational enterprise. Each student prepares a plan of action including rationale, purposes, and procedures and arranges with a faculty member to supervise and evaluate their field experience.


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