FAQ

  1. Who is eligible to apply for SUBgroups?
  2. What do groups talk about?
  3. When does the program happen?
  4. When do we meet? What is the time commitment?
  5. How and where do we meet?
  6. How do you make groups a comfortable place to share?
  7. Who facilitates the groups?
  8. Is there a cost to participate in SUBgroups?
  9. Do I need a letter of rec/essay/transcript/etc.?
  10. How do I sign up?
  11. What if I have more questions?

Who is eligible to apply for SUBgroups?

The goal of SUBgroups is to support junior mathematicians as they begin graduate school, a specific and important transition in their academic careers. As such, we have a focused audience.

Incoming first-year students in math PhD programs are welcome to join SUBgroups; the majority of past participants have been in this category. First-year master’s and post-bacc students who are thinking about continuing on to a PhD are also welcome. Undergraduates are not eligible for SUBgroups currently, and neither are grad students in their second year or beyond.

A majority of past participants have studied pure math, but SUBgroups also includes many students who are studying applied math or statistics, as well as math education graduate students whose program includes graduate-level math classes.

While SUBgroups has a focused audience, we understand that some folks have academic paths and circumstances that are different from the typical. If you’re wondering whether or not SUBgroups is a fit for you, please send the organizers an email: gradsubgroups@gmail.com.

Most of our past participants have attended graduate schools located in North America. We have also had participants from other institutions around the world, and we do our best to accommodate these students.

What do groups talk about?

We will give some suggested topics for each meeting, but you are free to discuss what feels most relevant to you. Many groups start with a check-in about how things have been going the last few weeks.  Some topics we suggest discussing are: classes you are taking, program requirements, balancing work and life, connections you are making to other students or faculty, and plans for the future.  Since you are all sharing a common experience (starting a math graduate program) there will be lots of things to share and learn from each other.

When does the program happen?

You can apply in August or September, and your SUBgroup will meet from September or October until December. Your group can decide at that point if you would like to continue meeting into the future.

When do we meet? What is the time commitment?

Your SUBgroup will meet every two weeks for about an hour.  Groups are small, so one person’s absence is felt.  If you decide to participate, please plan the time into your schedule and try not to miss meetings.

How and where do we meet?

Groups usually meet via Zoom, though your group could decide to use Google Hangouts or another video chat platform.

How do you make groups a comfortable place to share?

A SUBgroup is small, and stays the same over the course of the semester. As a group you will get to know each other and grow to feel more comfortable sharing over time. We share some norms and suggestions for how the meetings can run well; see the Handbook.  For instance, it’s a norm that everyone will have a turn to talk about whatever recent experiences they choose.

We want all participants to find their SUBgroup to be a supportive peer group. To help make sure that happens, we ask for input from participants about the make-up of their groups. In particular, we help to connect folks who belong to groups that are underrepresented in mathematics.

If your group is struggling we are happy to help troubleshoot and try to help make it a better experience for everyone.

Who facilitates the groups?

SUBgroups are facilitated by the participants themselves. This makes a SUBgroup a supportive place to share the experiences they are having as they begin math graduate study.

Is there a cost to participate in SUBgroups?

There is no cost to participate in SUBgroups.

Do I need a letter of rec/essay/transcript/etc.?

Our application is minimal because we think all junior mathematicians need support and mentorship. You will tell us a little bit about yourself, times you are free, and why you want to participate. No need for a letter of recommendation, essay, transcript, or any other materials.

How do I sign up?

Here is the Sign Up! page. Just fill out a form and we’ll be in touch soon with all the details.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact us! We’d be happy to hear from you.