Graduate Student Association
The Graduate Student Association is the official governing body of graduate and professional students at UCSD. The association advocates for students’ rights at all levels through communication and cooperation with all branches of both the student body and university administration (local, state, and federal legislators as well!). In addition, the GSA sponsors many social events designed just for graduate students. Keep an eye on the mathgrad email list for updates about these events from your trusty GSA representatives.
The GSA is organized into two main parts: the Council and the Executive Committee. The Council is comprised of representatives from each graduate program (how many representatives a department gets depends on its size; the math department currently has 3 reps). The Executive Committee consists of elected council members who take on the senior leadership positions and oversee all aspects of the GSA. At a typical meeting, the Executive Committee leads the Council through a series of discussions and votes regarding wide varieties of issues affecting graduate students campuswide.
One of the most important ways that the GSA helps individual departments is by funding department events. A certain amount of money is set aside for each department just to spend on its own grad students! For instance, the Food For Thought talks are fully funded by the GSA.
Any graduate student is eligible to be a representative, so if you are interested, just check to see who the current reps are and talk to them about it. A list of current reps is always maintained at http://gsa.ucsd.edu. There you can also read as much as you care to about the constitution, by-laws, and inner workings of the GSA as a governing body.
Association for Women in Mathematics
A few years ago, some of the women math grads at UCSD organized a student chapter for the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). Their goal was to promote a greater interest in mathematics and to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in the field. Since then our chapter has been awarded a Tensor Grant from the MAA, which is being used to fund panels and activities to promote these goals.
While the grant was awarded for furthering women in mathematics, often the activities that AWM sponsors are of value to all graduate students, regardless of gender. AWM holds social activities attended by a broad mix of students, arranges seminar talks on topics of interest to all graduate students, and has actively recruited nonmembers to help with undergraduate activities.
Some events that you will see AWM host in a given year include:
- A mini-conference for Southern California undergraduate women in mathematics for the purpose of providing them a chance to learn about opportunities in mathematics, present their research, and get to know other women mathematicians in the Southern California area
- A series of guest lectures by women mathematicians
- Panel discussions for all UCSD math undergrads on topics such as applying to grad school and applying for REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates)
- Beginning- and end-of-year ice cream parties for math graduate and undergraduate students providing the students in the math department an opportunity to get to know each other better
Thanks to the Tensor Grant, AWM hopes to award modest travel stipends to interested graduate students this year. Within the restrictions of the grant, we hope to award these funds to more than just women graduate students. Check their website for more details about applying for these funds.