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easypeasy

TA experiences? (updated in OP)

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UPDATE: DD and I were both digging deeper into the research of the Math Ph.D. programs, and she was looking into internships or research opportunities when one fell right into her lap! A prof she had last semester (and this semester) stopped her after class and said a colleague of his was looking for two students to assist her this semester with a research project and he thought that dd might be interested! She was, and met with the other professor today and will begin the preliminary stages of the project next week! The project will involve programming, so dd will get to learn how she truly feels about that! I couldn't tell you what the project is about (although dd has explained the gist of it in minute detail... none of it makes sense to me at all!), but there are models involved, and vectors, and data crunching, and all sorts of mathy stuff I don't understand. 😄 DD is happy and Mom is pleased!

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While my oldest was home, she browsed through some options for pursuing her master's degree after she graduates in 2020 (!!!!). While browsing one university in particular, she saw the info about being a Teaching Assistant and it peaked her interest.

Have any of your kids been a TA? Were they compensated as a "job" or a complete or partial tuition waiver + stipend or.... ? Good experience? Bad one?

She's already planning one part-time job (a few hours a day, 6 days a week as a coach - pretty flexible if she has to miss time due to classes), but neither of us know much about being a TA or how time consuming such a thing would be.

She is planning to go in and ask some questions - but that won't be until she's home for the summer. Their website is very vague - basically "We only accept the very best applicants for the TA positions. It is extremely competitive to be a TA. There is typically a tuition waiver of some proportion offered, but this varies wildly from year to year. Contact the Deans for more information." (Very helpful stuff, that.)

Or, maybe she needs to email them now? There were no deadlines printed on the website... she's entering her second semester of junior year right now... (the program she's entering should be a shoo-in, so we haven't thought there was any urgency that meant she needed to do anything until summertime...)

 

 

Edited by easypeasy
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TA/RA positions with full tuition plus stipend are common offers for PhD students. I believe they are less common for master's students. My ds was a TA this past semester. Basically he taught recitation sections, held office hours, and helped with grading.

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I was a TA during my master's program and received a waiver of the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition plus a small stipend per section taught.  How much time commitment will depend on the course.  What would she be teaching?  A twice-weekly P.E. class will require much less additional time commitment than a twice-weekly history or science course or a daily foreign language course.

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It will depend on the school and department what is offered and what is expected. I was a TA while I was studying for a Masters and I got full tuition and a tiny, tiny stipend. It was great because I was out of state at first and it allowed me to attend without paying out the nose. I know bigger schools may offer more money and smaller ones may offer just partial tuition. I had different responsibilities depending on which professor I was assigned to and other students had very different jobs too. Some actually taught classes, I helped with research work and the department website one semester and did more in class support and tutoring the next. I really enjoyed it. I think more than the money or tuition you get, it's a great option if you can afford it because your child will develop closer relationships with her professors and may gain some professional experience and references. When I had DS and only went part time and was no longer a TA, I didn't feel as connected and involved with the department. I think it would have been much worse if I'd never been a TA at all. 

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I was a TA in grad school and had a full tuition waiver and a generous stipend (enough to live on in a fairly expensive city), but that was a PhD program.  I taught 3 sections of an Intro Anthro class (so 3 hrs/wk) plus held office hours (3-4 hrs/wk), attended the regular lectures (3 hrs/wk) and did all the grading for the students in my three sections (~20-24 students per section). In total, I think it was about 12-15 hrs/wk. I also held exams reviews for any students who wanted to attend, but that was not a requirement of the job. I TA'd for a year (three quarters), but found it a bit boring to be honest, so when I was offered a Research Associate position I took that rather than renew the TAship.

Do you know if the program where your DD would be applying offers a PhD as well as an MA, or just an MA? PhD students would generally have priority over MA students, and even if there is only an MA program, second-year students may have priority over incoming students. (In my program, TAships were never offered to incoming PhD students; those who were offered funded positions generally had a fellowship or research assistantship for the first year, and then could apply for a TAship for the following year.) If they do offer TAships to incoming MA students, I would ask the department what they're looking for in a TA, and then try to get some relevant experience as a senior to boost her chances. I'd also ask about the availability of Research Assistantships and any other funding opportunities for incoming students.

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I worked in the college of business help desk my junior year and got hired as a TA to teach the fundamentals class my senior year, and had a research assistanceship/TA ship (basically, I was assigned to one senior professor to help with his research and also did his grading and help sessions) as a grad student at a different school.  In both cases, it wasn’t my work in my major that was helpful, but my other skills-that I was used to breaking things down and teaching them step by step (I had a lot of experience teaching and working with kids, so could break things down into small steps and had a lot of patience) and that I had excellent computer skills (this was at a time when a decent number of students got to college never having used a computer that you didn’t have to feed quarters to. I suspect such classes no longer even need to be taught!).  In both cases, it was tuition/fees plus stipend, so the first year when I had a full scholarship, it ended up being just the stipend, although per hour it still paid better than workstudy. As a grad student, it was included in my financial package. 

The definition of TA varies widely. At some schools, you are actually teaching classes, running sessions, grading, etc (but not picking textbooks, and usually there are departmental exams). At others, you are literally assisting a faculty member, and doing grading, breakout sessions, and in some cases getting coffee and making copies. The latter is more common for masters students, the former is not unknown, though.  Some departments will use a lot more TA’s than others-I wouldn’t have been able to get a TAship in mine as a masters level student were it not for those other skills, because they just plain didn’t need them-they had enough doctoral and post docs who needed funding to cover the classes. In DH’s department, pretty much every masters student had a TA or RA ship unless they had an outside fellowship that covered the full cost of education. 

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I'm currently a TA while studying for my master's. It's going to vary by school and department, but TA positions are competitive. I'm a first year master's student and I'm the only first year TA. There are only really 5 of us because of budget and the way they utilize TAs. I lead two sections of an American history course - I don't teach the content, that is done in lecture, but I lead primary source discussions. It's kind of like a lab to a history course. I am responsible for all grading of the course, except online quizzes that are automatically graded. Last semester I had 70 students total. I hold office hours and I am the first line of contact for my section students. Supposedly the job is slotted for 20 hours a week. Overall I spent more than that on some weeks because of the admin work and it being my first semester. 

In exchange I receive a 9 credit hour tution waiver (9 is full time for grad students) and a stipend. The stipend is not enough to live on alone and so I have a small amount of loans. My situation is a bit different as I have a house with my mom and son in one city and rent an apartment where I go to school - it's just far enough that commuting is not worth it. 

One reason I was offered a TA ship as I served in a position like a group tutor in my undergraduate. I did that for 5 semesters for the same class, where I did similar activities except for I did no grading. I also had stellar letters of recommendations and could not have attended full time without funding. 

Some people serve as graders  - not sure what the pay or tuition remission is on that. Only PhD students can serve as instructor of record. 

Being a TA is a lot of work. History graduate programs have intense writing and reading requirements, so I have little down time.  I do try to take at least one day mostly off, but grad school itself is exhausting. The school caps how many hours grad students can work, but since I'm paid monthly there is no "hourly wage" - I work until the work it done. I do enjoy it and I'm hoping to serve as a TA next year as well. 

Biggest suggestions: Ask around about TA ships for first year students. Have something on her CV that would make her competitive and watch deadlines! I had to apply by Feb 1 for the following fall. So grad school applications were being done at the same time as the TA application. 

 

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I don’t think there would be any need to contact them now, if she won’t be starting until the fall of 2020. I’ve never heard of TAs being hired that far in advance. Teaching assistantships are exteremely common for PhD programs, especially in the early years. They usually cover full tuition plus a living stipend and are not usually competitive. And lately I’ve heard of some places including benefits like health insurance.

Master’s programs, however, are going to have much more variation in terms of funding students, so it’s not surprising that the website would say that the positions are competitive and the compensation is variable. Different departments would likely have different budgets and different needs. And the experience is going to very greatly, it can be great or terrible or anything in between. I can’t imagine any issues with waiting until the summer to get more information. 

Edited by Frances
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12 hours ago, elegantlion said:


One reason I was offered a TA ship as I served in a position like a group tutor in my undergraduate. I did that for 5 semesters for the same class, where I did similar activities except for I did no grading. I also had stellar letters of recommendations and could not have attended full time without funding.


Biggest suggestions: Ask around about TA ships for first year students. Have something on her CV that would make her competitive and watch deadlines! I had to apply by Feb 1 for the following fall. So grad school applications were being done at the same time as the TA application. 

 

 

Thank you all so much for the great info!! She would be TA'ing for the math department, if that makes any difference to anything!

Elegant Lion: Thank you for mentioning that 9 hours is full-time for grad students. We were wondering about that...

Two of her math professors have asked her to tutor and both tried to pull strings to make it happen... but her school has held firm that since she's a scholarship-NCAA athlete, that they want to keep the tutoring jobs open for other students and wouldn't let her work. Then, they tried to get her a spot as an... S.I. I think? It's the student who coordinates separate study sessions for certain classes, but none of the classes she's taken there have S.I. options (they only offer them for the lower math classes but she didn't take basic College Mathematics or College Algebra there... and since she didn't take the actual class there, she can't S.I. for it).

So, she was TRYING to do that, but it doesn't look like she's going to be able to make it happen. So, instead, she's math tutor for most of her team, lol. She should have excellent letters of recommendation from the above two professors (and, hopefully others that she meets next semester and senior year).

She is planning to tutor while at home over the summer and is now looking into tutoring at the nearby middle/high school next year (her senior year) since she can't tutor at the college level.

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Is there a reason she is thinking about a Master’s in math as opposed to a PhD? Many people start out aiming for a PhD, but stop with a Master’s degree. But most PhD programs in math would be fully funded. In fact, I would never recommend one that isn’t. 

Edited by Frances
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11 hours ago, Frances said:

Is there a reason she is thinking about a Master’s in math as opposed to a PhD? Many people start out aiming for a PhD, but stop with a Master’s degree. But most PhD programs in math would be fully funded. In fact, I would never recommend one that isn’t. My M.S. is in Statistics, but since it was a PhD program, it was fully funded with all tuition paid plus a generous stipend. Most people in my program stopped after the Master’s degree. Now the university offers a separate professional M.S. in applied statistics with zero funding. Many of my current colleagues have MS degrees in Economics, but all were in PhD programs, so paid nothing for their degrees. But I have heard that some Master’s programs in applied economics are full pay with only limited opportunities for funding.

I believe universities today look down on students who enter into a PhD program as a way to get funded, then leave with a Masters. It’s a bit unethical, imo, without clearing it with the university first.

DS had to be a TA for one semester, then began receiving funding through their research project.

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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On 1/7/2019 at 9:33 AM, Dotwithaperiod said:

I believe universities today look down on students who enter into a PhD program as a way to get funded, then leave with a Masters. It’s a bit unethical, imo, without clearing it with the university first.

DS had to be a TA for one semester, then began receiving funding through their research project.

None of the people I know, including myself, did that, and I wasn’t suggesting it, although I can see how it might have come across that way. We were all planning to get a PhD, but for a variety of reasons decided to stop at a Master’s.

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In our department, all grad students were required to TA one of 2 genetics classes during their grad school years, no matter what your funding source.  Otherwise, being a TA was one of the ways that you could be funded.  TA responsibilities varied a lot - some TAs taught lower-level classes, some ran labs (in math, the equivalent would probably be recitation/practice sessions), and others were mostly graders for faculty.  In all of them, you held office hours and possible did review sessions before tests.  On one hand, it was a big time drain so most of us preferred funding that didn't involve teaching so that we could get our lab work done, but it was a great way to figure out if you liked teaching, and, for those of us who loved it, it was a 'fun' job. 

In our department, you didn't apply for TA jobs - the department allocated funding from various sources, and being a TA was one of those sources.  In other departments, faculty ask students directly, or may have students apply.  TA jobs are rarely assigned far in advance - I know that I didn't find out what I would be TAing until I was on campus for orientation.  

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Ds25 is a TA and a first year grad student in biology.  It is part of his compensation package - all tuition is covered and he has a stipend.  If he had received this certain NSF grant for grad students in his field, then he wouldn't have had to TA.  He is the lab TA for two lab sections and covers a shift in the tutoring center.  He is also a test proctor.  He really likes it.  His department gives him lots of support (like, all first year TAs take sections later in the week so they can watch a section taught by a more experienced TA, and they have weekly meetings.)  He is a shy kid, but he is really good at teaching.  We've always called him the walking encyclopedia.  This gives him a captive audience 🤣.  And it gives him a reason to interact with people other than those in his classes and labs. 

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2 hours ago, ClemsonDana said:

In our department, you didn't apply for TA jobs - the department allocated funding from various sources, and being a TA was one of those sources.  In other departments, faculty ask students directly, or may have students apply.  TA jobs are rarely assigned far in advance - I know that I didn't find out what I would be TAing until I was on campus for orientation.  

This was also ds' experience.  

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Thank you, thank you, thank you all!

Her longterm plan is actually TO get a Ph.D., but we didn't realize this was a thing she could find a program for now and enter into before gaining her master's degree.

(She's first-gen, oldest-kid college student. We are learning alongside her on this journey... everything is new!)

Her current university's math department is *tiny.* She changed her major at the very end of sophomore year (was originally on a pre-med sort of track... and that school is EXCELLENT for that... but... she switched to math...). So, while her professors really like her, we're unsure how much help or knowledgeable advice they will be able to give her for guidance.

So, we're trying to do the grunt work ourselves and I sure do appreciate the assistance here! We just can't know to "look for a thing" until we know it's a "thing that can be looked for!" 😄

Her current plan is to teach. So, she was looking at some sort of Applied Math: Teaching master's that would incorporate the teaching classes into the master's degree.

However, in our state, she can be approved for emergency provisions as a math teacher right out of the gates (but, considering that, other than college, she hasn't set foot in a kids' classroom since Kingergarten... I think she needs some "how to handle kids in a classroom" classes!).

If she had her preference, she'd continue with strictly math (or psychology, but that's a whole 'other rabbit trail I'm not entertaining mentally right yet) toward a Ph.D. What she'll DO with it (other than teach), she is currently unsure.

Right now, she's just a math kid who likes math, is good at math, and has decided to major in math, but really isn't sure what she can DO with the math, if that makes sense.

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Then she might want to pursue a phd program directly. There is no need to pursue a master's first. Most math phd programs will be fully funded. Our ds receives full tuition and health insurance plus enough to cover all of his living expenses. (He is living well enough that he is getting married in May.) 

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Strong math skills can open up lots of career paths. Depending on the chosen area of specialty, psychology PhD programs can be quite math heavy. 

 

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Does she know for sure at what level she wants to teach math? In general, the path to teaching math at a college versus a high school is quite different, especially if she is interested in tenure track faculty positions at a university or LAC, as opposed to say being an adjunct instructor at a community college. As a first generation college student, I still remember being surprised when I learned that most college profs don’t do any of the education related classes or experiences that high school teachers do. It makes perfect sense now, but it was news to me at the time.

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If it’s related to her current major or any current or previous classes, she may do best to ask a teacher in the same major, or a TA at her school in the same major.  

I wouldn’t limit to that, but they may know a lot about her major.  They may know what wording tends to mean for this major.  

My son had tutoring done by students who would use it as a major, major resume builder towards getting a TA position for their masters degree (in speech therapy).  

It seemed that students found out about this option by hearing from other students, but that would be more for Juniors or Seniors.

Younger students would find out by joining a speech therapy club.  

Asking Juniors and Seniors can be something to do.  Joining a professional club.

I think that for Juniors, they would see what the Seniors had done who got certain admittances or TA positions.  

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If there is any possibility that she may want to pursue a PhD, I strongly suggest that she start talking to her professors.  Thy are in the best position to know what her strengths are, what a good match for her might be, and structure of programs that might best meet her needs (or will know who to get her in touch with).  

In many fields, a masters created for students who think that they will stop at a masters degree is structured differently (more applied) than a masters program which is really more academic for people who plan to pursue a PhD (more research and theoretical).  Some larger programs will have both types of masters students.  I went directly from my undergraduate degree to a PhD program.  The school I chose had a very small masters program and it was almost impossible to get funding as a masters student.  If a student wanted a masters degree and then to work in industry, the school suggested other programs were better suited for that type of training.  For students who started the PhD program and decided it wasn't for them, they were able to take masters oral and written exams after about 15-18 months in the program and receive a master degree.  For most of us, getting a masters would have been paying a graduation fee and a hassle of a bunch of paperwork on our part and the department chair, so most of us who were going to continue in the program never filed to receive a masters degree along the way.  Other programs are structured differently.  

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It's a good way to get a partial glimpse into what academia is like. Definitely worth checking out for a student who might want to go that route.

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She's going to meet with her favorite professor next week sometime (she doesn't have classes with this professor this semester... but has had two classes with her already, so this is the prof who would know dd the best) and ask some specific questions to get some perspective and input and ask about what other opportunities the school might have to present to an interested student. She says she'll also make an appointment to talk with the head of the department (who she has met with in the past, but she was just switching majors and very unsure 'what she wanted to do" at that point, so he told her to come back when she was ready).

She did find that one of the classes she has this semester has an SI option, so she will apply to SI next semester for this class, so that's made her very happy for the time being. 🙂

I'm fairly certain that this school doesn't offer higher degrees for this subject (hence the undergrads leading the SI classes...). She now shares a major with 18 students in the entire university. She's only met a few of them. Most of her math classes thus far have had lots of computer science majors, or students who were minoring in math.

Someone asked what level of student she wants to teach. Her current plan was to teach middle or high school. BUT that was when our plan revolved around "You'll need a job while you work through getting your master's degree and post-grad degree." She thought she started in math too late to really DO anything much with it since she's not coming from a strong program (if she'd originally planned on a math degree, she would have gone to one of her other options where they have a strong math department...) - but it looks like with good grades and good test scores and good recommendations, she might be able to make it in to a solid program and plan something entirely different. So, this just unlocked some options she'd thought were closed doors and she's starting over again as far as research and planning goes. That's why she hadn't really bothered researching math programs -  she figured she needed to get the "teaching stuff" done before she could really look at anything else.

Thanks again for the thoughtful insight!! I've made notes and passed them along to dd and we're both starting to research the new options!

I'm wondering if taking a year after her undergrad to come home to the local public uni (with a decent math program) and take some classes there while she applies to the grad schools might be a good idea? So much to think about!

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FWIW, math is one of the few fields that community colleges in my area always are looking for full-time professors for. They want college or high school math teaching experience and at least a master's degree. The math department head at the community college my kids attend was a high school department head who taught calculus and such, so she was well-qualified of course. 

My undergraduate degrees were in math and computer science, and I teach web design at the community college level. I love that type of teaching, but full-time jobs are few and far between here. I've been part-time for twenty years. It was good supplemental income for a long time, but we are barely getting by now on that and other work that I have. You really can't support yourself being an adjunct.

When I was an undergraduate, they gave me an undergrad TA job where I graded and tutored in the math department on an as-needed basis. No tuition break, but it did pay well for 10-15 hours a week. I did junior-level classes that only math and computer science majors took.

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Your daughter will want to have a deep understanding of math concepts. She might like exploring some of the online courses, like MIT's OCW, just to see what they use to teach the material and what they're looking for. Or, if she can find them, check out syllabi from other universities with a strong math program.

Researching other schools at this point is a good idea. Contacting her current profs is a terrific start. She might even want to contact some of the math departments at schools that interest her. They are often happy to answer questions and provide more information.

An interest in psychology could combine very nicely with math and lead to a number of different career paths. Some math majors also study neuroscience. Financial jobs like PhD math majors. Trading, for example. They often have to have comp sci as well but many math majors develop an interest in that, too. And, of course, there is always teaching. Working as a TA or tutor could help her decide if she wants to do that. I think your daughter could go many different ways with math. The hard part might be figuring out just which way to go!

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I'm a TA working on my master's. I teach two classes per semester in exchange for a full tuition waiver plus a stipend. For those who want to teach at the college level, it is a great opportunity to get a free education plus graduate with experience. Adding teaching to a full time load of classes is a lot of work and the pay is relatively low, so there are down sides as well. i love it and have no regrets!

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@easypeasy, I would recommend that your dd create an account on thegradcafe.com and ask questions there. They are a great resource.

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The things she's sure of:

1) She doesn't want to do anything computer-science/math related.

2) She doesn't want to do "financial" math.

Other than that - she's open to a lot of possibilities. She's got great people-skills and loves to research. She loved the psych classes she took freshman year (reading further psych textbooks for "fun" afterwards), loves the concept of pursuing neuroscience, and would love to work for NASA one day. She "sees" things in three-or-more dimensions (like her dad... I'm a straight 2-D kind of visionary, lol) and can "build" complicated structures in her head before sketching them out in perfect detail. Teaching appeals to her because she'd like to teach young kids/people math in a clear, concise way and not make it "scary," which is why she loves tutoring so much. She also looked at school counseling, but I told her she'd be a great mentor and could do that without getting a confining degree...

She's always been one of those naturally "good at most all the things," super-smart kids which has made it incredibly difficult and anxiety-inducing for her to narrow things down in her life (hence switching majors at the verylast moment possible to do so...).

I'll pass along the note for her to contact programs now and ask questions. I bet they would point her in a great direction to understand exactly what she needs to do over the next year and a half to ensure that she's properly prepared!

It's exciting to have these options and ideas opening up for her! And great motivation to keep her grades tip-top! lol 😄

Thanks for helping out a Never-Before BTDT family! 🙂 I keep telling her - just THINK how much easier all this will be when YOU have kids! lol

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Given the additional information you just provided, she might not like a math PhD program. In general, they are going to get pretty theoretical pretty quickly. But talking to lots of people who have experience and really looking into the coursework and degree requirements would likely help her with that decision. I know lots of people with math majors or minors who found even economic and statistics PhD programs to be way too much theoretical math versus applied subject matter work and stopped with a Master’s degree and never even considered a math PhD for that very reason. 

She may be better off combining her strong math abilities with study in another field, either now or at the graduate level. And even though she doesn’t want anything math/computer science related, many jobs that involve strong math/analytical abilities will often include at least some programming. It may not be in a regular computer programming language, but rather one common to the field. And at least basic programming skills are very beneficial when looking for jobs, internships, etc. But these skills can be gained in coursework outside of computer science departments. Does she already have summer plans? It might not be too late to try and get involved with some summer research in one of her many areas of interest, if not at her school, then elsewhere. I don’t know what the deadlines are for various programs like RUE.

Edited to add that as someone with so many talents, she doesn’t need to worry about choosing the perfect grad program or post college path. All of the people I work with have very strong math/analytical abilities. But they come from very different backgrounds in terms of both degrees and work experience, ranging from a PhD in Physics to undergrad majors in psychology and political science. Recently, former college professors have been very common hires. But with few exceptions, primarily prestigious overseas programs, they did not pay for their graduate degrees. Given her abilities and interests, I would caution her to really look carefully at any Master’s or PhD program that is not fully funded and make sure the outcomes are worth the cost.

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LOL, the theoretical math classes she’s had so far (only a couple) have been her favorites. She has looked (earlier) through upper-level math classes and read the descriptions and was fascinated. I think those are they types of things she has to talk to math people about to gain some perspective, so I’m hoping the professors can help guide her there. She just can’t (right now) envision what she’d do with it - so she’ll start taking to more people and hopefully they’ll provide her with some good feedback and guidance. 😊👍

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8 minutes ago, easypeasy said:

LOL, the theoretical math classes she’s had so far (only a couple) have been her favorites. She has looked (earlier) through upper-level math classes and read the descriptions and was fascinated. I think those are they types of things she has to talk to math people about to gain some perspective, so I’m hoping the professors can help guide her there. She just can’t (right now) envision what she’d do with it - so she’ll start taking to more people and hopefully they’ll provide her with some good feedback and guidance. 😊👍

It would be great then if she could get involved in some math research this summer, especially at a larger university. She could then get a better idea of both the research and coursework in a math PhD program, as she would likely be working with both professors and graduate students. She should check out the National Science Foundation REU website to see if anything appeals to her. Or even an internship that really uses her math skills would be good. Hopefully her professors will be able to give her some good suggestions. 

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12 hours ago, easypeasy said:

LOL, the theoretical math classes she’s had so far (only a couple) have been her favorites. She has looked (earlier) through upper-level math classes and read the descriptions and was fascinated. I think those are they types of things she has to talk to math people about to gain some perspective, so I’m hoping the professors can help guide her there. She just can’t (right now) envision what she’d do with it - so she’ll start taking to more people and hopefully they’ll provide her with some good feedback and guidance. 😊👍

 

I loved theoretical math and computer science and focused on that in graduate school. My dissertation (never finished) was on an algorithm for a "pretty good" solution to a mathematically unsolvable problem. 

I really did NOT like sitting in my office all day programming. Teaching is my thing.

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What a great update. My son is a math major who also programs. He's been working on a research project since last summer. I don't understand half of what he says about it either. Hope she has a great time with it. 

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16 hours ago, elegantlion said:

What a great update. My son is a math major who also programs. He's been working on a research project since last summer. I don't understand half of what he says about it either. Hope she has a great time with it. 

 

It's hard, because I *try* to be interested. I really do. But none of the words she uses make any sense to me! She might as well be speaking fluent Portuguese! I do not comprehend!

She does know a couple programming languages from her robotics days... and the professor herself doesn't know the particular language they have to use for this whatever-it-is. So the prof said that they will just learn it together! lol The programming is only a part of what the project is, so I guess they'll be doing the other parts alongside.

I dunno. But, she's happy! 😄 So, yay! 🙃

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