 Brainstorm  

Author  Message 

Mohammad Descartes
Posts : 100 Join date : 20091105 Age : 34 Location : Right behind you
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:25 pm  
 Yes, that is my sad feeling, but I am trying to get back in shape and this forum and meeting on Sundays really help, thanks to you and Peyman and Ference Concordia math dept is now alive partially, I felt totally dead when I arrived but now I feel much better. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:06 am  
 Well I am very happy to hear that! I pretty much felt the same during the first year of my undergrad. Nobody seemed to care about math. I'm happy to hear that I helped change that for you. I have to thank you also for challenging me so much. So you say the department now "partially" alive... what do you think it would take for it to be completely alive? 

 
Mohammad Descartes
Posts : 100 Join date : 20091105 Age : 34 Location : Right behind you
 
 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:01 am  
 Well I can't speak about the research, but you seem to be right about workshops. There do not seem to be many talks at Concordia in the math dept, not even informal ones. I don't know why. I haven't been to other universities though so I can't really compare. What surprised me the most is that so few undergrads seem to care about science. The undergrad Math & Stat student association is essentially for actuarial students, and there is no scientificallyoriented chilling room for undergrads. It's really frustrating. How much trouble would a small room be? It's stuff like this that almost made me migrate to University of Montreal this year. On a side note, I'd love to hear about the Poincaré conjecture! 

 
peyman Euclid
Posts : 49 Join date : 20091106 Age : 94 Location : dense in the universe
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:45 pm  
 It is true that we didn't have a math club before and problem solving was not as active as it is now. But everything has to start at some point and we can all try to keep it alive for the future and make it a tradition. Bruno, if you have any requests for undergrad students in mathematics you can mention it to the mathstat undergrad representative and he can make an effort to accommodate them. In the last department meeting I was thinking to request that they pay more attention to interested and advanced undergraduate students, but I thought I shouldn't meddle in the business of the undergrad representative. About problem solving, we are trying to keep it going even after the putnam exam is over. Mohammad, you are welcome to give lectures on the poincare conjecture. We can find a room for you and advertise it. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:40 pm  
 Thanks Peyman. I agree that it's our responsibility to breathe some life into the department. I will speak to our representative but I doubt he can do much in terms of physical accommodations. Even if he were able to find us a permanent room, I doubt there would ever be anyone in there! Perhaps I can try to gather some signatures; at the same time it would help me gauge the real level of interest amongst undergrads. Or I could just try to infiltrate the grad student rooms 

 
peyman Euclid
Posts : 49 Join date : 20091106 Age : 94 Location : dense in the universe
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:19 pm  
 I think there should be more contact between advance undergraduate students and graduate students and professors. One way to achieve this is to have a program for advanced undergrad students and give them some benefits, for example an office in the math department, or let them take graduate level classes for credit.
By the way, even though you can think of many improvements, I don't think the math department is dead. Most people in the dept are active in research even if they don't come out to the hallways and shout out when they get a result. Most math departments look the way ours does. But perhaps there should be more communication among undergrads, grads, and faculty. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:31 pm  
  peyman wrote:
By the way, even though you can think of many improvements, I don't think the math department is dead. Most people in the dept are active in research even if they don't come out to the hallways and shout out when they get a result. Most math departments look the way ours does. But perhaps there should be more communication among undergrads, grads, and faculty.
Of course it isn't. Mohammad said that. (points finger) I agree about undergrad / grad interaction. We are getting there, I think. As for an office, that would be cool. Though I did have an office this summer when I was doing NSERC and I only used it once because it was so silent and boring. I think a room with a blackboard where people can just drop by to discuss would be awesome. And a coffee machine too. But I've already been told that it's too much to ask for. Go figure!
Last edited by Bruno on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:33 pm; edited 3 times in total 

 
Jim Pythagoras
Posts : 17 Join date : 20091109
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:32 pm  
 I'm glad that you told me about the mathematical Sundays Peyman. I felt the same as Mohammad when I first arrived here this semester but luckily I have the number theory seminars and my reading course so I guess I wasn't as bad off. But Concordia as well as the math department here is way less organized than my old university which I thought was already bad.
I would like for you to continue the mathematical Sundays next semester as well and when/where is the problem solving meetings anyway? I know you told me it's on Mondays and Thursdays. Bruno, you should make a sticky thread in the mathematical Sundays section with the permanent time / location of both the problem solving meetings and the Mathematical Sundays meetings that way if new people join the forum then they will know so there won't be any confusion like two weeks ago. Also, maybe you could put an advertisement for the site in the upcoming email about this Sunday's talk. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:38 pm  
  Jim wrote:
I would like for you to continue the mathematical Sundays next semester
We certainly will. Who knows, if enough people join we can even go crazy and make it biweekly!  Quote :
as well and when/where is the problem solving meetings anyway? I know you told me it's on Mondays and Thursdays. Bruno, you should make a sticky thread in the mathematical Sundays section with the permanent time / location of both the problem solving meetings and the Mathematical Sundays meetings that way if new people join the forum then they will know so there won't be any confusion like two weeks ago.
Excellent idea. I will do that.  Quote :
Also, maybe you could put an advertisement for the site in the upcoming email about this Sunday's talk.
I've been doing that already! I'll probably include the URL at the bottom of every email now. 

 
Mohammad Descartes
Posts : 100 Join date : 20091105 Age : 34 Location : Right behind you
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:40 pm  
 Where is colloquial talk in math dept ? Now tell me here is not dead. 

 
Jim Pythagoras
Posts : 17 Join date : 20091109
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:13 am  
  Bruno wrote:
 Jim wrote:
Also, maybe you could put an advertisement for the site in the upcoming email about this Sunday's talk.
I've been doing that already! I'll probably include the URL at the bottom of every email now.
Sorry I should have said to get Dr. Cohen to put an advertisement in his email because I think your email is sent to everyone on your mailing list whereas there is another email forwarded by Anne Marie every week to all the graduate students and possibly the faculty as well.  Bruno wrote:
As for an office, that would be cool. Though I did have an office this summer when I was doing NSERC and I only used it once because it was so silent and boring. I think a room with a blackboard where people can just drop by to discuss would be awesome. And a coffee machine too. What a Face But I've already been told that it's too much to ask for. Go figure!
I think this is a great idea. When I was an undergrad I didn't realize that I had it so great at Dalhousie. We had a room with a blackboard and a computer which was only for undergrad honors students and anyone in 3rd or 4th year undergrad honors could get the code to the room so it was accessible at all times. We also had a huge lounge with a TV and Nintendo, a couple couches, 10 computers and a couple blackboards. This lounge was for everyone in the Math department so it was always filled with a bunch of upper year undergrads and grad students and I got to know all the grads by hanging out in this room. We even had blackboards in the hallways so that if you could get in the building after hours you always had access to a blackboard. I guess because at Dalhousie the math department had their own building so things like this were possible. I say this because we don't have anything like this to my knowledge here and there definitely is demand for it. Last Sunday I was working in my office (which doesn't have a blackboard) and two other grad students knocked on the door and asked me if I knew where there was access to a blackboard. I didn't know of any but I think that they got security to let them into the room by the far elevator, but I mean these are grad students so I definitely don't think it is too much to ask to allow us access to a blackboard at all times. I mean how are we supposed to collaborate effectively if we don't have anything to present our work on? I think if we get enough support then we should be able to get access to a room or at least get them to put up a blackboard in the hallway. I mean it's not like they have anything else decorating the hallways of the 9th floor. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:03 pm  
 Yup. I spent the first year of my undergrad looking for that. (Just kidding  I gave up after two weeks, and spent the remaining months at the Tim Hortons in the LB building, wondering where other math students were hiding... ) A blackboard in the hallway would be nice but I don't think we'd be all that better off. A room is what we need. So what do you say we should do? 

 
peyman Euclid
Posts : 49 Join date : 20091106 Age : 94 Location : dense in the universe
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:35 pm  
  Bruno wrote:
So what do you say we should do?
There are a few options: we could ask the dept to 1 put a board in the hallway 2 give keys to one of the rooms that has a board to every graduate student and a few undergraduates 3 leave the room unlocked at all times I will bring this up next time I talk to someone in charge. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 Subject: Re: Brainstorm Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:58 pm  
 Thanks Peyman! Let us know what happens. 

 
Bruno Admin
Posts : 184 Join date : 20090915 Age : 30 Location : the infinite, frictionless plane of uniform density
 
 
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