GGAM Newsletter for GGAM members

Fall 2008

Today's Editor: Naoki Saito

Today's Topics:

1. A Message from GGAM chair
2. GGAM related seminars

3. GGAM Mini-Conference is scheduled on January 10 (Sat), 2009

4. Apply Nationally Competitive Graduate Fellowships

5. Sample study list/courses by GGAM faculty members

6. MAT 280's by GGAM faculty

7. Free SIAM student membership and the UC Davis SIAM Club

8. A list of good books for publications and career planning for students

9. Conference participation

10. Summer schools at NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes

1. A message from GGAM chair

Dear GGAM members,

GGAM keeps growing! We welcomed 11 new graduate students this academic year. These are a distinguished group of students, including a recipient of a prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (Juliette Zerick), and the UCD Graduate Scholar Fellowship (Owen Lewis). GGAM now consists of 60 students and 80 faculty members. Since July 2007, GGAM welcomed 12 new faculty members:
Matt Bishop (CS); James Bremer (Math); Mark Goldman (Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior);Robert Guy (Math); Francois Gygi (Applied Science); Thomas Harter (Land, Air, and Water Resources); Matthias Koeppe (Math); John Lagier (Bodega Marine Laboratory); Katherine Pollard (Statistics; currently UCSF); James Sanchirico (Environmental Science and Policy); Sebastian Schreiber (Evolution and Ecology); and Becca Thomases (Math) .

I would like to thank Alan Hastings for two years of his service as a member of the GGAM Executive committee. His knowledge and experience were invaluable for the discussions at the committee meetings. Also I would like to thank Eli Goldwyn, a student representative, for providing the student's perspectives. Alan and Eli were replaced by Sebastian Schreiber (Env. Sci. & Policy), and Tami Joy Schlichter, respectively. Other GGAM Executive Committee members are: Joseph Biello (Math);Tim Lewis (Math); Naoki Saito (Math); Michael Zhang (CEE). I thank the committee members for their willingness to serve!

I am very interested in hearing what ideas you have for GGAM!

Naoki Saito

2. GGAM-related Seminars

Applied Mathematics at UC Davis is nationally and internationally recognized. I would like to keep our vigorous activities and help you achieve your goals. Your active participation in one or more of the projects listed below is what will keep GGAM strong.

Fall (11am, Thu): Qinglan Xia <>

Winter & Spring (TBD): Joseph Biello <>
Student Organizers: Gabriel Amos <>
David Cherney <>
David Sivakoff <>
Overseeing Faculty:
Fall: Naoki Saito <>
Winter & Spring: Thomas Strohmer <>

Of course, there are many other relevant seminars. Please check the seminar page: .
Also, there is a list of seminars offered by the other departments and nearby schools. Please take a look at: .

3. GGAM Mini-Conference

The fourth Annual GGAM Mini-Conference is scheduled on January 10, 2009. The conference manifests what GGAM is all about: a coming together of our students with faculty from across campus in order to facilitate fruitful collaborations.

The third Annual GGAM Mini-Conference held on January 12, 2008, was quite successful. In an informal day-long forum, 10 faculty members described their research interests, giving our students an opportunity to experience the broad directions available to them in applied mathematics. The departments represented at the conference included Agricultural and Resource Economics, Applied Science, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Mathematics, Neurobiology, and
Physiology and Behavior. A record number of guests (59) attended the dinner at the Walter A Buehler Alumni Center, which was another opportunity for faculty and students to get to know each other.

Let's get together for the GGAM Mini-Conference and dinner after that! More details will be sent later.

4. Apply Nationally Competitive Graduate Fellowships

Please consider applying for national graduate fellowships. Although they are very competitive, it helps you and GGAM tremendously. Even an application process itself including writing an essay will be useful for your future career. Here is a very convenient list of such fellowships organized in terms of deadline gathered by North Carolina State Univ.:

A more extensive list with alphabetical order can be found at:

5. Sample study list/courses by GGAM faculty members

We asked our GGAM faculty members to supply "sample study plans" to assist GGAM students in planning their study and to facilitate interactions with the GGAM faculty (e.g., what preparation faculty expects you to work with them, etc.) Thanks to Joseph Biello, Tim Lewis, and Marianne Waage, you can now take a look at such information in the following page: and then check the column "Related Courses" of each faculty member.

Note that we plan to improve the presentation of this webpage.
To the GGAM faculty members who have not yet provided such sample study plan: please submit your sample study plan to .
It will help our students and you tremendously!

6. MAT 280's by GGAM faculty

There are a couple of MAT 280's (Topics in Math/Applied Math) offered by GGAM faculty. In Winter Quarter, there is one by Prof. Blake Temple. In Spring Quarter, there are two such courses, one by Prof. John Hunter and the other by Prof. Qinglan Xia. Please look for their announcements!

7. Free SIAM student membership and The UC Davis SIAM Club

Because UC Davis is an academic member of SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics as you know), all UC Davis students (not just students in the Math Department) are eligible for FREE SIAM membership. For the benefits of membership, see: .

Also, UC Davis has a local student chapter: the UC Davis SIAM Club. On May 2-3, 2008, it held its first Annual Davis SIAM Student Research Conference. More than 50 conference attendees from UC Davis and CSU Sacramento saw over 20 presentations on applied topics ranging from atmospheric science to mathematical biology to plasma physics. Keynote speakers Professor Joe Keller of
Stanford and Professor Raissa D'Souza of UC Davis (GGAM member) gave great talks on the mathematics of games and sports and graph/network theory. The conference was supported by SIAM and an NSF VIGRE mini-grant. More information including
how to join the UC Davis SIAM Club can be found at SIAM Club webpage: .

8. List of good books for publications and career planning for graduate students

Although this information was disseminated in the last year's newsletter, I'm repeating this for new students.

Over the years, I found the following books very useful for my graduate students in terms of writing their theses and papers and advising their career. So, I would like to share these with you. In fact, I myself enjoyed reading these very much and highly recommend them.

On publishing papers and making presentations:

  • Robert A. Day: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 6th Edition, Greenwood Press, 2006. ISBN: 0313330409
On general advise on your career:
  • Peter J. Feibelman: A Ph.D. Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science, Basic Books, 1993. ISBN: 0201626632
  • Richard M. Reis: Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Careers in Science and Engineering, IEEE Press, 1997. ISBN: 0780311361
On English usage, styles, and grammar:
  • William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: The Elements of Style, 4th Edition, Longman, 2000. ISBN: 020530902X
  • Robert A. Day: Scientific English: A Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals, 2nd Edition, Oryx Press, 1995. ISBN: 0897749898
More about math specific career advice or writing:
  • Steven G. Krantz: A Mathematician's Survival Guide: Graduate School and Early Career Development, AMS, 2003. ISBN: 082183455X
  • Nicholas J. Higham: Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences, 2nd Edition, SIAM, 1998. ISBN: 0898714206
  • Steven G. Krantz: A Primer of Mathematical Writing, AMS, 1997. ISBN: 0821806351
  • Ian Stewart: Letters to a Young Mathematician, Basic Books, 2007. ISBN: 0465082327

9. Conference participation

Participating in conferences may play a significant role for your future career. You must work hard to prepare your talks or posters, but it is really worth it in a multiple way. You will learn how to make your presentation materials, how to get your point across to the audience, how to interact with audience. Moreover, you can meet with all sorts of people in the conferences from preeminent scientists to your contemporaries from other universities.

We also have a small amount of student travel support if you present your talk at conferences. So, please consider to submit your paper to appropriate conferences. Also, I very much encourage you to discuss this with your advisor.

10. Summer schools at NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes

Every summer, many of the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institute, such as MSRI, IPAM, and IMA(see more for the list of such institutes) organize graduate summer schools or special summer programs.
Examples include:
- Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) at IPAM
- Mathematical Modeling in Industry Workshop for Graduate Students at IMA
You can also find many more summer schools on special topics at these institutes.
Please consider and apply for such summer schools when those institutes start soliciting the applications (usually during the winter period).