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The Galois Group 2010- 2011

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting May 2011

President: David Renfrew

VP/Treasurer: Owen Lewis

GPC Rep: Mihaela Ifrim

GGAM Rep: Greg Shinault

UPC Rep: Yvonne Kemper

GSA Reps: Eric Brattain-Morrin, Andrew Herrmann, David Stein, and Tim Wertz

CC Rep: Jason Barnett

  1. Welcoming the new officers.

GSA offices running UPC meeint tuesday the 31st.

  1. Galois Service Award- Voting will happen soon
  2. Staff Appreciation Potluck- June 1
  3. Tutoring Fundraiser- June 3
  4. Dual Pairs- Eric will run this
  5. MUGS! have been purchased
  6. Game Night- David will run this
  7. Thesis Paper
  8. New stuff
  9. Research Conference - Matt Stamps will run this
  10. Fall -find an advisor, qual preps in winter, spring find a job/dissertation submission
  11. Need a webmaster, prospective student welcome.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting 3/29/11

Galois Group Meeting 3/29/11 Minutes

Officer reports

Joe (UPC), Miheala (GPC), Greg (GAMM) have nothing to report

David (VP) - Fundraiser was held last quarter, we will donate 200 dollars to the Davis food closet.

Matt (Pres) - Proposes spending spending extra 100 dollars on mugs to sell to older students. Motion passes.

Mark- GSA reports, nothing new that is not in Celia's emails. DASH puzzle hunt is being paid for by GSA. Andrew Hermann has volunteered to replace Katie as GSA rep.

Celia's retirement- We want to give us a gift. Rohit is talking to other office staff about what she would like. We are spending up to 200 dollars.

Owen- Discuss prospective's welcome, getting last volunteers. 60 dollars approved for breakfast friday morning.

Books- Decided to buy Princeton Companion to Mathematics

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting 1/25/11

Galois Group Meeting 1/25/11 Meeting Minutes

President, Matt Stamps Welcome gifts We're getting Mugs soon, most people are in favor of ceramic mugs, if you we get travel mugs people would like handles and metal ones. We are going to do a more generic design.

GPC Rep, Mihaela The language for the Qual requirements has been changed. You don't need to give a talk or talk on research. The GPC wants to have a Thesis Defense.

GGAM, Greg Shinault The committee just discussed hiring post-docs.

GPC, Joe Grimm Not here, but told us to discuss changes to 22 and 67. Pat Dragon said 22a is most important undergrad class Mo (who has TAed) said putting the 22a material in 67 would help. Emi said 25 has a misleading name and number, especially considering 108.

GSA, Katie O'Reily 10 minute general talks at Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium Money is available for winners

Voting on how to spend money. Student Seminars (bringing guest) 60 dollars per seminar. Passed. First Aid Kits. 50 Passed Milk, Tea, Coffee, 250 (50 a month), passed Books for Alder Room Toaster oven, will look into New Water Kettle- 50 dollars passed Amazon Prime Account, free for students Cleaning Supplies, Swiffer, 35 passed Kuereg one cup, 20 dollars

Items for Donation IGPS Conference 200 dollars, for working of conference. SIAM Conference 300 dollars, lunches food Davis Math Conference 300 dollars, lunches food Explore Math, Will be discussed later Campus Food Closet, Winter Tutoring Fundraising

The Galois Group 2009-2010 Budget (approved at the October 20, 2009 meeting).

Galois Group Meeting November 25, 2008 11 AM. Attendees: Approximately 11

---- Agenda: Officer Reports Budget Election Announcements

------- 0. Commencement of meeting.

----- 1. Officer reports

Tyler GPC/GGAM report.

-Change prelim from Fall/Winter to Fall/Spring. -Rework Mathstats 235 since not many people enroll in 235C -Add an emphasis in applied math to include CSE -GGAM Webpage to be reworked -Applied people will have to do a thesis defense.

Eddie, UPC

-Trying to schedule a meeting. On the agenda: -PRISM grant proposal -Online homeworking/webwork -Reworking syllabi for 118 series -Discussing grade distribution sheet (UPC to create a how to use analysis). -Discuss changing book in discrete math course.

Anything else bring up to Eddie.

Tyler-suggestions for books for reworking undergrad courses are welcome.

Matt, GSA

-Game night on Wednesday, Nov. 12. -Why doesn't the GG -Email-can sign up at the GSA listserv. -Promoting Davis Humanities Institute, Contact them if you're interested in working with someone in humanities. -CBDD still going on despite complaints. If there are issues contact Matt to find who to contact. -GSA has been working on maternity issues for grad students. Can get reimbursement $300/quarter for child care. -Have increased dental/vision coverage ans will try to increase mental health and pharmacy coverage. Contact GSA if you have any other requests. -James Hodgson is serving Chancellor search committee. Contact him if you have comments. -Dropped California lobbying school, now a member of NAGPS. Matt has information about their national lobbying platform. -Working on budget for next year. -Grad student transportation. Ideas include bike sharing program, attempting to support Bike Church and considering how the GSA could support the Bike Church. Bus service for grad students, not many people in favor due to cost. -Trying to get full fee remission (rather than $213 per quarter). -Complaints about getting 2nd year residency. Let GSA know if there are issues. -Student organizations can use the GSA to advertise and possibly partially fund grad student events. -Year-round ARC memberships for grad students. -GSA looking to help departments without unlimited printing. Also copying priviledges at the library. -Suggestions for the GSA website. -GSA has a lot of money for special/interdisciplinary projects.

Ritesh, Computer committee

-Everything going well.

Tom, Union

-Two paid union people (grad students) step down, new leadership coming in. Membership meeting coming up (more info) ------ 2. Budget

Still have social fund money. Don't forget about the money,

Prelim snacks for winter. Voted to amend budget for $20 for Winter prelim snacks.


  1. Election

Computer rep Ritesh is graduating, need new computer rep. Nominations will be open for the next week; will vote next week.

-------------- 4. Announcements

-Pierre has volunteered to organize the Winter quarter party. -Tutoring fundraiser happening Monday, sign up if you're willing to volunteer. Comments talk to Robert. -Tyler: next week, SIAM club is hosting speaker from Genentech coming to talk about her work. Same time as the Applied math seminar (Next Thursday at 1147) -SAGE demonstration and install-fest, Next Thursday

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting May 19th, 2008
Posted May 19th, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting May 19, 2008

Attendance: 13 students.


Professor Biello on quals limbo

Officer reports

Galois Group Service Award

Staff Appreciation Potluck

Galois Group mugs/Nalgene bottles

Tutoring fundraiser

Constitutional amendments

Prof. Joe Biello: (See attached)

Officer reports:

President (Rohit):

Introducing new officers.:

-Vice President - Gabe Amos

-GGAM Rep - Tami Schlicter

-GPC Rep - Deanna Needell

-UPC Rep - Eddie Kim

-Computer Committee Rep - Ritesh Sood

-GSA Reps - Mo Omar, Matt Stamps, Matt Rodrigues, Efrem Rensi

-UPC (Alice): No Report.

-Union (Tom): No Report.

-GSA (Julie): No Report.

-GGAM (Eli): GGAM meeting finalizing plans for revamping the applied program. MS Thesis-talk about alternate masters for applied for those who leave program early. Tyler asked if it will water down the program; apparently not (?)

-GPC (Matt): No Report.

Service award:

-Rohit will send an email for nominations.

Staff potluck:

-The potluck will be on June 2nd, info to come by email. Request grad students bring side dish or donate towards main course. Looking for suggestions for main course.

GG Mugs/bottles: Organized by Roberto, need to ask him for status.

Tutoring Fundraiser: Looking for someone to organize and logistics.

Constitutional amends: Amendments for absentee voting and Union Rep officer position both passed, added to the constitution.

Other matters:

-Corrine: request for money for soccer goal for department games.

-Tyler: question regarding tutoring fundraiser. Which classes do we tutor? Including 21D?

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting April 21st, 2008
Posted April 28, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting April 21st, 2008

Attendance: 18 students.


  • Officer reports
  • Officer nominations
  • Budget

Officer reports:

  • UPC (Alice):
    • A calculus summit was held recently for departments such as geology, physics, and engineering to discuss what they wanted students to get out of our calculus classes. If you have input on MAT 16, 17, or 21, talk to Alice.
  • Union (Tom):
    • Nothing to report.
  • GSA (Julie):
    • Nothing to report.
  • GGAM (Eli):
    • The GGAM committee is rewriting the progress checklist to made it more understandable.
    • Next year there will be a year-long applied math survey course, covering ODEs, PDEs, complex analysis, asymptotic analysis, and nondimensionalization. Eventually this will be a required course for first-year applied math students, and the material covered will be on a prelim exam; at that point MAT 119 won't be a required course.
  • GPC (Matt):
    • The language exam is no longer a requirement for math students. This applies to all students, not just incoming students.

Officer nominations:

  • The following people are nominated for elected positions:
    • President
      • Kristin Lui
      • Michael Schwemmer
    • Vice-President/Treasurer
      • Tami Schlichter
      • Michael Schwemmer
    • GSA Representative
      • Michael Schwemmer
  • Officer nominations will continue by email until next Monday, April 28.
  • Although not elected positions, the following positions need to be filled:
    • Student-Run Seminar Coordinators
      • David Sivakoff volunteers, and will find a co-coordinator.
    • Game Night Coordinator
    • Tutoring Fundraiser Coordinator
      • Blake Hunter volunteers.
    • Someone to take care of Galois Group mugs for next year
      • Adam Dobrin and Roberto Martinez volunteer.


  • A sports fund is created to pay registration fees for intramural sports teams over half of whose members are in the Galois Group. This fund will have $60 per year.
  • A motion to spend $80 on collapsible soccer goals is approved. These soccer goals will be free for use by all Galois Group members.
  • A motion to add $100 to this year's social fund is approved.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting April 2nd, 2008
Edited April 10, 2008 at 10:20 PM

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting April 2nd, 2008

Attendance: over 35 students.


  • Professors De Loera, Nachtergaele, Saito, and Strohmer speak about funding.

Funding discussion:

  • BN: Aim of meeting is to convey some understanding of grad student support in general. We make you a support offer upon admission--what does it mean? The other side of this is that often faculty (i.e., advisers) don't know what's going on with respect to funding; Professors Saito and Strohmer will work on that.
    • NS: Last year, there was confusion due to adviser/student miscommunication. Professors Strohmer and Saito are working on getting consistent information out to advisers, for example regarding things like NRT (non-resident tuition). Also, admissions decisions were very conservative this year to avoid a repeat of this year's situation.
    • TS: This year's situation was a result of both outside budget cuts and miscalculations with regard to numbers of admitted students. The number of admitted students for next year is low to correct for this. We want to focus on students here, make sure we can fund everyone we promised funding to. Also, the adviser information needs to go out to new faculty especially who may be more unfamiliar with the system.
  • Student question: Should we apply for outside fellowships? We seem to get mixed messages from administrators vs. our advisers.
    • TS: Certainly not every student should be applying for every fellowship; sometimes it is a waste of time to apply for fellowships. But if it's worth it you should apply.*
    • BN: Discuss fellowships with your adviser to find out whether they're appropriate; we will correct any faculty misconception that there's no need for students to be applying for outside fellowships.
  • Student question: Is the small size of next year's incoming class a permanent thing? That is, should we expect small class sizes in future years too?
    • TS: We foresee low numbers next year only. The average between next year, last year, and this year should be as it was in years past. We are compensating next year for this year.
  • JD: VIGRE information:
    • Decisions about academic-year fellowships are integrated with regular support decisions; you don't need to apply for them separately.
    • You do need to apply for summer decisions, on the other hand. Even those students guaranteed summer funding in their admissions letters need to apply: writing a proposal is a good experience. For everyone else, the proposal is the most important part of the application.
      • Important factors in your proposal:
        • You should be clear and organized.
        • Your prior preparation should justify the project.
        • Your project should be realistic.
        • You should talk to the adviser with whom you plan to do this research! This adviser's endorsement is an important part of your application. Note that this doesn't necessarily have to be the adviser you'll end up working with after this summer.
      • It's definitely for realistic for first- and second-year students to receive summer VIGRE fellowships, assuming they started talking to an adviser about this several weeks ago or earlier.
      • If you're applying for summer funding and you've received it in the past, you should show you did good work last time; i.e., mention any prior results. You can certainly apply every year for VIGRE summer funding.
      • It's also okay to switch problems later.
    • VIGRE travel money is tight this year: the travel budget was cut almost in half under the new grant to about $12000 this year. So your travel request should really count.
  • Student question: How much mathematical detail should go in an annual review? Should I be writing for someone who understands my research area already?
    • TS & BN: You should try to explain your work to mathematicians who aren't necessarily in the same research area as you. Think about how to present that in one page.
  • Student question: What resources do international students have for travel and summer funding since VIGRE isn't available to them?
    • TS & BN: There's some department (non-VIGRE) travel money available to international grad students. As far as summer funding, many faculty have grants to support students, and students can apply to be AIs.
  • Student question: What incentive is there to apply for outside fellowships, given that, for example, a student with external support during his third year is not guaranteed an extra year of funding from the department?
    • TS & BN: Treat an outside fellowships as an opportunity to do research and not have to TA. Such fellowships vary, but certainly there may be no monetary incentive to apply for an outside fellowship. There is definitely a prestige incentive; having an outside fellowships looks much better on your CV than does having a department-awarded fellowship.
  • Student question: Will the cuts in the department's block grant be made permanent?
    • TS: The block grant was actually not cut this year; rather, since there are more students, there's less block grant money available per student.**
  • Student question: What will happen after our VIGRE grant ends?
    • BN: The NSF has said some other program will replace VIGRE; rest assured we'll apply for something else before our VIGRE grant runs out.
  • Student question: What should students who have reached the end of their funding commitment expect from the department if they're not ready to graduate yet?
    • TS & BN: The question we ask is, is the student making good progress? If not, then probably that student won't be supported the next year if not much money is available. If we think that after 1 more year the student will probably have a Ph.D, then yes, we'll probably fund that student. Otherwise he/she will be on a wait-list.
  • Student question: Is info passed on between Program Chairs from year to year?
    • TS: The GPC and GGAM chairs don't work in isolation, they have committees, and usually the new chair comes from within that committee. For example, the GPC committee has two former GPC chairs in it now, from which the current chair can get advice and information.
  • JD & BN: Note that summer VIGRE money is independent from academic year VIGRE support. First-year students with guaranteed summer VIGRE funding must still write a research proposal. Note also that if you're supported during the academic year, you must attend an RFG (this is an NSF-imposed requirement). Even if you're supported only one quarter, you should still attend an RFG every quarter! During the quarter(s) you're supported, you should try and give a talk in the RFG; the other quarters maybe you just attend. Think of it as a full-year commitment.***
  • NS: Good writing is very important during grad school and after, whether you stay in academia or go into industry. The annual review and the summer VIGRE application are good opportunities to practice this.
  • Student question: Does the department provide any incentive to be a good (or bad) TA?
    • BN & TS: You shouldn't expect that if you're a terrible TA, you'll receive fellowships the next year. If you don't fulfill your TA obligations, there's no guarantee you'll receive any funding at all in the future. It's also unrealistic to think that you're only assigned TAships if you're "not good enough" for a fellowship. Most mathematicians teach; even if you don't want to be a good teacher, you should expect to have to teach in the future, even if you go into industry.
    • What does it mean to be a "bad" TA? We look at TA evaluations; one bad comment doesn't mean you're a bad TA. We're more concerned with things like not showing up repeatedly or not grading satisfactorily. If you want to become a better TA, there are options like the Teaching Resources Center.
  • Student question: Where do we go from here in terms of making sure this year's issues don't occur again?
    • BN: This year there was uncertainly about the amount and form of funding. In the past we were more comfortable; we strive for this comfort always, but it means when there is uncertainty it's more shaking.
  • Student question: How has VIGRE affected, for example, student retention numbers?
    • JD: People are definitely more active. We have better students now, if not more students.

Meeting adjourned.


*TS: Outside fellowships are very prestigious, therefore it is certainly good to consider applying.

**TS: Block grant clarification:

  • The block grant we got in 2007 for the current academic year was about the same as what we got the year before. BUT the year before we got an additional supplement which was quite substantial, that supplement was substantially cut for the current year (due to general budget cuts). We got information about that cut at a very short notice. Therefore, while the actual block grant was not reduced, the total amount we had for grad student support was indeed reduced from last year to the current year (not by half, but still by one fourth). So, while the answer I gave in the meeting was correct in the strict sense of the question, but I guess the student's question was more directed toward the total support.
  • For the upcoming academic year the block grant (including supplement) is a bit more than what we had for the current year. So there are no cuts there compared to the current year.

***JD: Participation in an RFG should be understood to be not just research/academic; you should also make some effort to participate in outreach/mentoring activities and contribute to the general well-being of the department. For example, you could help out with Explore Math, recruitment of grads and undergrads, or the Summer Mathfest (which in 2008 is on July 23rd).

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting January 28th, 2008
Posted February 5, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting January 28th, 2008

Attendance: 25 students.


  • Officer reports
  • Budget
  • Conference announcements
  • Funding
  • Social events

Officer reports:

  • UPC (Alice):
    • Nothing to report.
  • Union (Tom):
    • Nothing to report.
  • GSA (Arpy):
    • GSA is opposing Proposition 92, which deals with community college funding. - Fellowship applications are due in February.
    • Interested in helping out with an arts and crafts project? Contact the GSA Secretary.
  • GGAM (Eli):
    • GGAM committee is discussing changes to course requirements and the prelim exam. - GGAM committee encourages students (especially first-years) to apply for fellowships.
  • GPC (Matt):
    • Quals prep workshop will be held in February. Contact Matt or Eli if you have input regarding dates, times, or specific things you'd like to see discussed.
    • GPC committee is dicussing 250ABC syllabus, and removing 240C in favor of 239.


  • We made $220.05 at last month's fundraiser.
    • A small part will be given to a deserving charity, possibly one contributing to local education.
    • Some may be donated to the Department Tea Fund.
    • If necessary we'll vote to increase the social fund.
    • Interested in volunteering to organize a similar fundraiser this quarter? Contact Marion or Rohit.

Conference announcements:

  • The SIAM club will host a student research conference on May 13.
    • Conference will feature 20 minute talks from those interested in applied math.
    • Talks will cover computer science, engineering, math bio.
    • See siam.math.ucdavis.edu or contact Tyler or Eli for more details.
  • UC Davis will host the Graduate Student Combinatorics Conference on April 12-13.
    • Conference will feature 20 minute grad student talks, as well as two keynote speakers.
    • Contact Chris, Sonya, Eddie, or Steve if interested in helping out or attending.


  • Concerns about lack of communication and mixed messages throughout last summer's funding issues.
  • Seek clarification from department about next year and future years.

Social events:

  • Arpy volunteers to organize the Galois Group Winter Quarter Party.
  • David and Pat volunteer to organize the Dual Pair Pie and Ice Cream Social.
  • Alex wants input regarding ways to get better attendance at Game Nights.
  • There will be special Game Night events in the future, possibly including Twister Nights, Scrabble Nights, and Chess Nights.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting November 20th, 2007
Posted November 20, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Attendance: 19 students.


  • Officer reports
  • TA expectations
  • GPC issues
  • Budget

Officer reports:

  • UPC (Alice):
    • UPC is planning a campus-wide "calculus summit," to obtain feedback about how well our calculus courses are serving other departments.
    • UPC has discussed waivers and passing scores to skip lower-division courses.
    • UPC has discussed making the website less discouraging to undergrads thinking of taking grad courses.
    • UPC is planning to rename the linear algebra series (22A, 67, 167).
  • GPC (Matt):
    • GPC is planning a revision to the 201 syllabus, including covering more material in 201A and using a different book for 201BC.
    • GPC is planning to rewrite the 205 syllabus.
  • GGAM (Eli):
    • A GGAM survey already went out to all members of GGAM.
    • Minutes from the last GGAM meeting were sent to all GGAM members.
  • Union (Tom):
    • New contract is in effect; TAs and AIs will see a pay hike starting with their December paychecks.
  • GSA (Tom):
    • Nothing to report.

TA expectations:

  • Students are interested in more transparency with respect to TA expectations, accountability, and assignments. What can the department do to reward good TAs and hold accountable those who aren't performing adequately? If this is already being done, we would like more transparency. Also, more transparency in the TA/AI assignment process.

GPC issues:

  • Some students in first-year courses report feeling overworked; however, very few were in attendance.
  • GPC wants to know how it can help with "post-quals doldrums." What do you wish you'd been told after quals? Matt will send out a survey.


  • Corrine is setting up a fundraiser to raise money for the Galois Group, to occur on the first day of finals week. See your email for further information.
  • Galois Group budget amended; $60 previously in social fund now set aside for Game Nights ($20 per quarter).

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting October 2nd, 2007
Posted November 19, 2007 at 3:53 PM


  • VIGRE info
  • Budget
  • Announcements

VIGRE info:

  • Anyone funded by VIGRE who writes a paper should mention this to Professor De Loera.
  • Anyone funded by VIGRE must participate in an RFG; everyone else is highly encouraged to do so.
  • New this year, VIGRE minigrants. A group of grad students can write a proposal for, say, travel funding for an external speaker to give a minicourse. Proposals should be around 2 pages long, and include cost and expected outcome.
  • Travel funds are smaller this year than in previous years. Recipients are expected to write a 1 page report afterwards.
  • Prelim preparation workshops could be institutionalized in the future. If you have ideas, contact Professor De Loera or your Galois Group officers.
  • How can faculty help students after prelims, with, for example, finding jobs or starting research? Contact Professor De Loera or your Galois Group officers with ideas.
  • Contact Professor De Loera if you have any questions about VIGRE.


  • 2007-2008 Galois Group budget approved.
  • Dual pair money available ($10 per first-year student)
  • Social fund applications now limited to once per person per quarter ($20 each).


  • Webmaster needs helpers! Contact Eddie if you're interested.
  • Welcome picnic will be held on October 13.
  • Game night will be held on October 10.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting April 6th, 2007
Posted April 12, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Attendance: 14 Students


  • T-shirts
  • Announcements
  • Galois Group elections
  • Welcome
  • Etc


  • The T-shirt committee decided on 4 final designs. Ballots were given to those who attended the meeting. Check email for voting information if you were not able to attend.


  • Explore Math: Applications are due April 12 (CHECK EMAIL- THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED SINCE THE GG MEETING)
  • SHARE (Students Helping in Aftermath Relief and Education): This organization on campus aims to raise awareness for victims after natural disasters, especially after the stories have faded from the media. This year they will be holding an event on May 18 to raise funds for New Orleans. The Galois Group has voted to donate $150 to the cause.
  • GPC: Several motions have been passed by the GPC concerning courses and requirements for the Math Ph.D. program. These changes are not yet in effect, but they have been agreed upon by the GPC.
    • Courses and Syllabi: An official syllabus has been created for 202 and 390. The name of 390 has been changed to Teaching Assistantship Training. They are currently revamping the syllabus for 205 including the prerequisite of 185A. The course 229AB will be replaced with a new course 226ABC. The first quarter will cover the fundamentals, the second will over large-scale mathrix computations, and the third will cover ordinary differential equations.
    • Prelims: 201C will no longer be covered on the Math prelim. The algebra and analysis exams will be combined into one prelim. The exam will be offered in fall and spring. Students will be required to pass by the end of their second year or by their third try (no more unlimited tries). There will no longer be an assessment exam and the foreign language exam will no longer be required.
    • Requirements: Students completing a Math Ph.D. program will be required to take 201AB and 201AB. In addition they will be required to take two of the following: 201C, 202, 205, and 250C.

Galois Group elections:

  • Elections for Galois Group positions will be held after the new student welcome. Check your emails regarding nominations and elections. The following positions are available (Note that the GPC Rep and the GGAM rep must pass their quals before taking office):
    • President
    • Vice President/Treasurer
    • GSA Reps (5 positions available)
    • GPC Rep
    • GGAM Rep
    • Computer Committee Rep
    • UPC Rep


  • The welcome for the new graduate students will be held April 12 and 13. Check you email for information and free food opportunities. The Welcome Party will be held on April 13 at 8pm. Check flyers for more details.


  • In the spirit of the upcoming elections, the Galois Group voted to ammend the constitution by adding the official position of Head GSA Rep (current held by Rohit Thomas).
  • Nomination for the GSA service award are due in late April.
  • Department is looking for volunteers to table at Picnic Day.
  • On April 22 Google is holding a math event (affiliated with MSRI).
  • Reminder about the housing exchange list. If you are looking for housing or have a room for rent, check out the listings on the GG website.
  • Look for information regarding the upcoming professional development event.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting January 26th, 2007
Posted January 26, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Attendance: 21 Students


  • Explore Math
  • Announcements
  • Math Party
  • Dual Pair Social
  • T-shirts

Explore Math:

  • The Explore Math program includes: Math Modeling Experience (Fall), Math Circle (Winter) and ARML (Spring). There will be an informational meeting about on March 28 and applications will also be due in March. Keep an eye out for more details.


  • There are leftover professional development packets with useful information. If you would like a copy see Brandy Weigers.
  • GGAM conference at the end of March.
  • There will be a monthly Games Night held at MSB by our Games Night coordinators.
  • In the new GG budget (see News and Minutes for November 2006) we have provided $200 for a social events fund ($20 per event). This money can be used for any social or study gathering of UCD Math grad students (sorry but it cannot be used to cover any alcoholic purchases). The money is available on first come, first serve basis. If you would like to know whether money is still available, please contact the treasurer (Emi Arima).
  • Rohit has the following announcements from GSA:
    • The GSA will be hosting an upcoming hiking trip.
    • There are GSA travel awards available to all graduate students. If you are looking for funding to go to conferences, you should consider applying.
    • The GSA will be holding an interdisciplinary symposium.
  • UPC: If you have any feedback on working/teaching with mymathlab contact Hillel Raz
  • For anyone considering attending the Joint Math conference next year (2008) it will be held in San Diego. There is a first timers guide to the Joint Math Meeting available and also those who attended this year are more than glad to share their experiences.

Math Party:

  • A motion to spend $150 on a Math Party was passed. Sonny Mohammadzadeh and Blake Hunter have agreed to coordinate this event.

Dual Pair Social:

  • GG will hold a Dual Pair Social on Friday, February 16, 2007 from 12:30-1:30pm. David Sivakoff and Rohit Thomas have agreed to coordinate this event. Come and eat pie! Look for confirmation of time and place closer to the date.


  • We are currently out of the GG mugs that we have been giving as a gift the the incoming first years. It has been suggested that we consider ordering department T-shirts in place of the mugs. An early (and rough) estimate for the cost of a t-shirt is $5-10. We will hold a contest to decide on a design and more specific information shirts and prices will be presented at the February GG meeting. Blake Hunter, Tyler Skorczewski and Michelle Stutey have volunteered to coordinate the effort. Look for an email from Blake about design requests.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting November 30th, 2006
Posted November 30, 2006 at 6:37 PM

Attendance: 7 Students


  • GGAM announcements
  • Galois Group Budget
  • Ammending the GG Constitution
  • Math 205

GGAM announcements:

  • If you have any comments regarding GGAM issues contact Eva Strawbridge. Applied Math Seminar will not be held during winter quarter. Look for emails regarding a time change for the spring quarter.

Galois Group Budget:

  • The following is the proposed annual budget for the Galois Group, based on a projected income of $1000 (GSA) + $900 (current accounts):
    • $200 Graduate Student Study/Social Events ($20 per event)
    • $180 Monthly Galois Group meetings ($20/meeting)
    • $100 Galois Group sponsored party
    • $50 Orientation funds (Galois Group contribution)
    • $100 Dual Pair support
    • $60 Galois Group Annual Dept. Service Award
    • $90 Contribution to student run seminar ($30 per quarter)
    • $45 Quals Prep Seminar ($15 per quarter)
    • $350 Dual Pair Support ($10 per first year)

Ammending the GG Constitution:

-Tami will send out an email concerning the proposed changes to the constitution. Voting to approve these changes will be done via email.

Math 205:

  • The department has suggested offering Math 205 (Graduate Complex Analysis) in the spring quarter for the 2007-2008 school year.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting Oct 13th, 2006
Posted October 13, 2006 at 6:37 PM

Attendance: 40 Students


  • Introduction to New Officers
  • Jesus de Loera on VIGRE
  • Officer Reports
  • Prelims
  • Misc

Introduction to New Officers:

  • The new GSA reps are Blake Hunter and Corrine Kirkbride.

Jesus de Loera on VIGRE:

-Davis has been been selected for a visit concerning the renewal of our VIGRE grant. NSF representatives will be making this visit on Monday, November 6 and students are strongly encouraged to attend. Any comments or suggestions with regards to advising, mentoring, teaching/communication skillls, bredth of education, prelim workshops, etc should be sent to Jesus at dloera@math.

-Some facts about VIGRE: - 20 departments currently have VIGRE - 5 grants will be awarded this round and eventually the program will be discontinued

Officer Reports:

-GGAM: Eva wants comments on the GGAM brochure/progess report. There is talk of changing the time of the Applied Math Seminar.

-GPC: Please come to Motohico's picnic on October 21.

-GSA: The GSA is sponsoring a pizza night every 3rd Thursday of the month and Woodstocks. The GSA is starting monthly charity poker night. Please contact the GSA reps if you have any comments on Judicial Affairs.


-Comments on the Prelim Workshops. The value of the workshops is dependent on who runs them, and students would like to see more structure in the workshops and a more standardized syllabus to material covered.


-Andre Bazos has volunteered to help Blake Hunter in coordinating Department Tea.

-Brian Wissman has suggested changing the structure of the Student Run Seminar. The new seminar would integrate student talks with introductory talks given by faculty. This type of outreach allows professors to present interesting problems to 1st and 2nd year students and suggest related courses.

-Brandy Wiegers announced a Professional Development workshop. This will include peer review of your CV, research statements and teaching statements. The November meeting will review research statements.

-Alex Sheynis and Adam Dobrin have volunteered as the new Games Night coordinators

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting May 16th, 2006
Posted April 10, 2006 at 6:37 PM

Attendance: 25 Students


  • Introduction to New Officers
  • Officer Reports
  • Staff Appreciation
  • Volunteers for Orientation
  • Offices
  • Galois Group Service Award

Introduction to New Officers:

  • The new Galois Group officers have been posted on Galois Group website. Feel free to contact them with any questions/concerns relating to their office.

Officer Reports:

-VP/Treasurer Emi Arima and President Tamara Schlichter are transferred authority to sign checks and administer the finances of the Galois Group. The calendar will be updated on a regular basis to include important dates for graduate students in the department.

-Announcement: Professor Kapovich will be on sabbatical to Bonn this coming fall. Professor Roland Freund will take over as Vice Chair for Graduate Matters for one year starting this June.

-GSA Reps: Rohit Thomas (Lead Rep), Gabe Amos, David Sivakoff, and Sunny Zhangare are the new GSA reps. The officers will update the GG calendar with upcoming GSA events.

-UPC: Hillel Raz is the new UPC rep.

-GGAM Rep: Eva Strawbridge is the new representative of the Applied Math Students. Please contact her with any feedback or suggestions for Applied Math courses you would like to see offered in the future.

-GG Computer Rep: Matt Herman is our representative and liaison with the tech staff.

-GPC Rep: Andrew Hodge is the new GPC rep.

-Game Night Coordinator: Roy Wright

Staff Appreciation:

-The Galois Group will be holding a Staff Appreciation Potluck on Friday, June 2, 2006 from 12-1pm in the Alder Room. The Galois Group will provide the main entree (meat and veggie lasagna). Please sign up to volunteer to bring a dish by emailing Tami at tamijoy@math.ucdavis.edu . There is a running list on what is being provided at http://galois.math.ucdavis.edu/AboutUs/GaloisGroupOverview/ .


-Dual Pairs: We have enough volunteers for the incoming 1st year students. Lists will be posted online in the near future.

-Orientation: Eddie Kim and Blake Hunter have volunteered to organize gifts for the incoming students. Andreas Bazos and Corrine Kirkbride have volunteered to coordinate the welcome picnic that will be held in the fall. If anyone would like to volunteer to help Andreas and Corrine with the picnic please respond to tamijoy@math.ucdavis.edu or earima@math.ucdavis.edu.


-Offices will be assigned according to emailed preferences and vacancies. The assignments will be announced towards the end of the quarter. Check your email for further details.

Galois Group Service Award:

-Voting for the Galois Group Service Award will be done by email. All graduate students should have received and email regarding the nominees and the voting process. Voting will go until FRIDAY, MAY 19 AT 5:00pm.

Important Dates:

-June 8, 2006: Support letters for the 2006-2007 school year will be announced.

-September 26, 2006: Prelims. Times will be announced at a later date.

Other Announcements:

-A motion was approved to allocate $50 to provide food on September 26th for students taking the prelims.

-It is the responsibility of the graduate students to keep up with the refrigerator. Please be respectful and clean up after yourself.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting March 10th, 2006
Posted April 10, 2006 at 6:37 PM

Attendance: 21 Students


  • Welcome week preparations
  • Explore Math Program
  • Dedication Ceremony for MSB
  • Info on post-docs at April meeting
  • Elections coming soon!

Welcome week preparations:

  • Welcome Week for prospective students is coming up. Mark your calendars for April 6th and 7th. Our party is on the 7th so try to come!

Explore Math Program:

  • We have a new opportunity for next year for people who are interested in working with high school students. There are three parts to it and grad students will receive TA funding to be involved. For more info go to the information meeting on April 5th, right after the Student Run Seminar info meeting in the same room.

Dedication Ceremony for MSB:

  • The ceremony for the new building is the first Wednesday of spring classes from 3-5PM. Expect to see a ton of people in the building! Everyone is invited; expect an e-mail from a staff member soon.

Info on post-docs at April meeting:

  • At our April meeting we will have someone on our department's job committee come talk to us about what they are looking for in a candidate, both for post-docs and faculty.

Elections coming soon!:

  • It's almost elections time! Nominations will open in April (after welcome week) and will close around April 21st. Elections will be done by the end of April. Here's a list of offices which you should think about running for:
    • President
    • Vice-President/Treasurer
    • GSA rep. (we need 4)
    • UPC rep.
    • GGAM rep.
    • GPC rep.
  • For more info about what people in these positions do, check out the Galois Group website and talk to the people who are currently in these positions. Since Spiros and I are not running for positions for next year we will be handling the elections.
  • We have extra money right now in our budget so if you have any ideas where you think we should spend it please let me know. One idea is to get a couple books for the Alder Room library. If you can think of any books which many students would use as a source that we should consider getting, let me know.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting January 13th, 2006
Posted January 15, 2006 at 3:37 PM

Attendance: 23 Students


  • Officer Reports
  • Quals Info
  • Update on MSB Issues
  • Welcome Party for Prospective Students

Officer Reports:

  • VP/Treasurer: Orientation refunds have been issued. Department fund checks have been deposited.
  • Game Master: Join us for Game Night this Friday evening!
  • Tea Coordinator: Emi Arima and Eddie Kim have generously volunteered to set up the weekly tea for the first hour.

Quals Info (Guest star: Prof. Bruno Nachtergaele):

  • Purpose of Quals: Show the committee that you have the background and maturity to work independently on an original research project.
  • There are certain general steps to preparing for the Quals:
    • Talk to your advisor about possible research ideas/topics. This will probably lead to recommendations on relevant research papers you may want to read.
    • Find a research project that interests you and, if necessary, acquire enough of the background knowledge to be able to read and comprehend papers written in that research area. At that point, taking courses directly related to your research area will help fulfill your course requirements before you take the Quals (a necessary condition).
    • Quals Proposal: Once you (and your advisor) have decided on a topic and a specific question you may want to address, the time to write your Qual Proposal is near. There are 2 parts to a quals proposal:
      • Quals Syllabus: List the relevant topics of background knowledge for work in your proposed research area. Students in Pure Math should take extra care to review these topics before the exam (especially if one of the committee members was the instructor in one of the courses whose topics you have listed in your proposal). The Syllabus will need to be approved by the GPC/GGAM for Pure/Applied students respectively.
      • Project description: A 1-3 page description of your proposed research project. Give some background information to motivate and clarify some of the concepts and notations used in your research area. Discuss some of the work already done in that area and how you propose to extend it. Give references of relevant papers you read.
    • Quals Committee: Decide who will be on your committee (ask your advisor for help!) Give your committee members a range of dates on which you are willing to take your quals. Once they all agree on one or more dates, e-mail rooms@math.ucdavis.edu to reserve the room and date that works for everyone. This step should be planned at least 6 weeks in advance of your exam date. Note that Applied Math students need a member from outside the Applied Math program. It is still unclear if the same is necessary for Pure Math students.
    • Graduate Studies: At this time it is good to submit your Quals Proposal to the members of your committee and get feedback from them (it is not uncommon to ask them what topics they consider important). After possible revisions to your Quals Proposal, it is submitted to Student Services -- currently Perry is the correct staff person -- 6 weeks before the exam date.
    • Quals Talk: About two months before the exam start thinking about the format and content of your presentation during the exam. The talk carries a lot of weight and this is where you can show the committee that you are ready for independent research. Convey the purpose and goals of your project. Show the committee that you have thought deeply about the problem you propose to work on. Partial results are very helpful but no necessary.
    • Day of the Exam: Relax! The committee will ask you to step out of the room for a minute or so, while they get to discuss dinner plans (or whatever they talk about). When you get back in, thank everyone for showing up to listen to your talk. Start the talk... They will interrupt with questions (unless you ask them to wait till the end of your talk). Don't worry about stumbling on questions. They are important but the talk is key. Moreover, if you don't know the answer to a question, it is OK to say you don't know. If you can't answer the question they ask you, see if you can answer a related question or work out an illustrative example. The committee will help you through if they see you are on the right track. After your presentation and the questions are over, they will ask you to step out while they finalize their dinner plans and decide your future. They will then ask you to go back in and hear their decision. Most likely it will be: "Congratulations, you passed." The other possibility (though distant) is that you will need to review some specific topic and answer questions at some later date.
  • It is time to go party (or study). The whole process is demanding but it can be good preparation for writing your thesis. Doing well during the Quals is a memorable event and you can count on letters of recommendation from the committee members. They will also be the most likely members of your thesis committee.

Update on MSB Issues:

  • Cellular reception in the building may be boosted with the aid of an in-building antenna. Tracy is looking into it with the help of UC Davis Communication Resources.
  • An extra land line could be provided for students on the 2nd floor. A phone already exists in the Graduate lab.
  • Paying for coffee: Get a machine that makes change or allow student IDs/credit cards to be used for payment.
  • More bike racks out front since side doors are locked.
  • Complaints about the irregularity of custodial services.

Welcome Party for Prospective Students:

  • The dates are set for Arpil 6th and 7th. Mark your calendars!
  • Looking for a place to host the party. Brandy's place was brought up since it worked nicely last year. Other suggestions are welcome.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting December 5th, 2005
Posted December 5, 2005 at 2:37 PM

Attendance: 14 Students


  • Officer Reports
  • General Comments/Suggestions

Officer Reports:

  • VP/Treasurer: Waiting for GSA to issue orientation and department fund checks.
  • GSA reps:
    • Food drive: We have to act quickly to donate food. The Galois Group could donate $50 for food from Costco.
    • GSA money: Find out when we are getting GSA funding and orientation reimbursement.
  • GPC: In order to better serve the graduate student body, a classification of graduate courses into those needed for the prelims, then the orals and finally research oriented/special topics courses has begun. Their availability will depend on the breadth of their demand.
  • Game Master: We will hopefully have a game night this week, so look for signs!
  • GGAM:
    • Reconsider the order in which material is presented in the ODE/PDE series.
    • A basic course on programming in Matlab/Mathematica/Maple for first years.
    • What to do about requirement for Applied Math students to have someone outside the department in their Orals committee. It was mentioned that the few Math professors who are not members of the GGAM would qualify.

General comments/suggestions:

  • Students from 250A asked that the book used for the class (Vinberg) be changed in later quarters. It was suggested that Prof. Schwartz would be teaching from a different source for 250B/C.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting October 7th, 2005
Posted October 7, 2005 at 03:37 PM

Attendance: 28 Students


  • Officer reports
  • Orientation Group Report
  • Preliminary exam result statistics
  • VIGRE/Departmental travel awards
  • Moving to new building
  • Qualifying exam fee waiver
  • Other Concerns or Questions

Introduction of new officers

  • The new officers are listed on the Galois Group website. You may contact them with any questions/concerns relating to their office.

Officer Reports

  • VP/Treasurer: The following is the proposed annual budget for the Galois Group, based on a projected income of $900:
    • $200 Graduate Student Social Events ($20 per event)
    • $180 Monthly Galois Group meetings ($20/meeting)
    • $100 Galois Group sponsored party
    • $100 Orientation funds (Galois Group contribution)
    • $100 Dual Pair support
    • $60 Galois Group Annual Dept. Service Award
    • $50 Contribution to student run seminar (Tom brought up the fact that in the past they have needed this much per quarter, but he will look for other sources before we allocate that money to them)
    • $30 Department Tea hot beverages
  • GSA Reps: The GSA is preparing many exciting events for graduate students. Tami, one of our reps, will be talking to the GSA about the status of MAT students as part of our department, instead of the current listing as part of the School of Education. They will also start posting event locations and times on the GSA bulletin board on the 4th floor (near the elevator.)
  • GG Computer Rep: Isaiah will be graduating this year and Tami has agreed to be our new computer-person-extraordinaire. THANK YOU Isaiah for your hard work and a great Galois Group website!
  • GPC Rep: On the meeting of the 11th (coming up soon) the future of the MAT program will be discussed. Give your input to Yvonne! Also, students pointed out that since many core classes are offered only during the Fall quarter, graduate students have unbalanced schedules during the year.
  • Member at Large: If you are interested in community service and how to increase graduate student awareness on the subject, talk to Brandy about a new committee put together for that very purpose.
  • Game Night Coordinator: Please come to today's Game Night! Starting at 7 pm in the Alder Room (5th floor). The new game nights will be called "Game Theory Seminars" for PC/PR reasons...

Orientation Group report

  • A conflict for topology students was noted, since there is a popular topology conference during the weekend of the Picnic. Rescheduling may be difficult, according to the organizers, but they are going to try. Food will be provided by the steakhouse "Buckhorn". The picnic is currently scheduled for October 15th at Slide Hill Park from 1-5PM.
  • First years recommended that next year we organize a get together for all first years before classes start so that they can get to know each other earlier.

Preliminary exam result statistics (Misha Kapovich)

  • Algebra: 15 students took the exam and 11 passed
  • Analysis: 10 students took the exam and 7 passed
  • Language - 9 took the exam and 7 passed
  • Applied - All passed!!!

VIGRE/Departmental travel awards (Bruno, Misha)

  • Good news! More money has been allocated to fund travel to conferences either through the VIGRE or the Departmental funds (up to $500 total per year per student.) There will be a least $12,000 available through VIGRE this year. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident you should apply for the VIGRE funds, otherwise apply for department funds, but you can't apply for both. The earlier you apply the better since the demand is very high and we could be out of travel money by the end of the year.
  • The applications for eligibility will be online very soon! Please talk to your advisor about your plans to travel before applying. It would increase your chances of approval since your advisor will be getting an e-mail they will have to reply to about your travel funds application.
  • All students who have VIGRE support need to participate in a VIGRE class or seminar during the term they have the support. They should also acknowledge VIGRE support in any papers they publish.

Moving to new building

  • Both faculty and graduate students will be able to choose the time of their move to the new building. Expect to hear more from Tracy and the staff. The first move will be around November 17th or 18th and it is starting to look like most people want to move at this time. The second move will be after finals week. Celia is moving during the first move.....

Qualifying exam fee award

  • The procedure for deciding eligibility for the award is under review, due to the sensitive nature of need-based support. Please send your comments/opinions to Leslie and Spiros. One suggestion was to loan out the money if someone was really in need, but we would need to think about how to ensure the money would be paid back.


  • The department welcome potluck will be October 19th at Motohico's house. Look for more info soon!

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting May 20th, 2005
Posted May 20, 2005 at 01:47 PM

Attendance: 26 Students


  • Introduction of new officers
  • Officer reports
  • Galois Group Service Award
  • Volunteers for Dual Pairs/Orientation/GG History
  • New Building/Offices
  • Important Dates

Introduction of new officers

  • The new officers are listed on the Galois Group website. You may contact them with any questions/concerns relating to their office.

Officer Reports

  • VP/Treasurer: Spyridon Michalakis and Leslie Anna Young are transferred the authority to sign checks and administer the finances of the Galois Group. The Calendar of the Galois Group will be updated on a regular basis to include important dates for graduate students in the department.
  • GSA Reps: Tamijoy Schlichter, David Haws, Miranda Antonelli and Matt Rathbun are the new GSA reps. Inquiry about GSA website delay was requested. The new officers will update GG Calendar with upcoming GSA events.
  • UPC: Sarah Williams will continue as our UPC representative.
  • GGAM Rep: Miranda Antonelli is the new representative of the Applied Math students. Please contact her with any feedback or suggestions for Applied Math courses you would like to see offered in the future.
  • GG Computer Rep: Isaiah Lankham will continue as our representative and liaison with the tech staff. We can expect 2 high-end Macintosh computers for multimedia applications, as well as 10 high-end servers for the graduate computer lab. Each office of 4 is expected to have 2 computers (1 computer/3 students). Isaiah will be updating the website during the summer. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
  • GPC Rep: Yvonne Lai is the new GPC representative. Prof. Andrew Waldron will create a database of Algebra problems to help students prepare for the Pure Math Prelims. A strong recommendation has been made for a pilot course in differential geometry/topology. Courses 229 and 240 will be offered every year. Prof. Misha Kapovich will prepare an outline/template for proposed Qualifying Syllabus. Furthermore, Prof. Kapovich will clarify and state the prerequisites for all courses in the department. Finally, Yvonne, as the outgoing president, distributed small tokens of her appreciation to both the incoming and outgoing officers. Thank you Yvonne!
  • Member at Large: Brandy Wiegers will continue in this position as an experienced consultant to the Galois Group. After a successful vote, a motion to have the Davis Girl Scouts prepare our staff appreciation gifts, passed. The GG decided to donate $25 to the Girl Scouts for their upcoming science retreat.
  • Game Night Coordinator: Please come to today's Game Night! Starting at 6:30pm in the Alder Room (5th floor).

Galois Group Service Award

  • The Awards Ceremony will take place on June 8th at 4:10pm in room 693. The Galois Group will present (secret) with a $60 gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.


  • Dual Pairs: Yvonne, Spiros, Isaiah, Philip, Matt, Miranda, Jesse, Shawn, Shinpei, Karl and Leslie have volunteered to act as mentors to incoming 1st year students.
  • Orientation: Two volunteers needed for this position. Please contact Brandy, Philip, Isaiah, or Tom to find out more about how you can help.
  • History of Galois Group: Interested volunteers can talk to Leslie about the position. Prof. Angela Cheers was recommended as a good resource for historical information on the galois group.


  • Offices will be assigned according to emailed preferences. The President will meet with the VP next week (05/23) to assign offices. New offices will be slightly larger than current offices of same occupancy. The new building will be equipped with all new chalkboards.

Important Dates

  • June 10th: Graduate student funding will be announced.
  • September 27th: Departmental Exam day. All exams (pure & applied) will be given that day.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting March 14th, 2005
Posted Mar. 14, 2005 at 07:47 PM

Attendance: 16 Students


  • Department Tea Coordinator(s) Volunteers Needed
  • Combined Pure/Applied Math Seminar Funding.
  • Elections Info.
  • Job Hunting Tips by Angela Gallegos and Chris Dugaw

Department Tea

  • One or two graduate students are needed to organize the department tea held every Tuesday in the Alder Room. Responsibilities include finding volunteers to bring treats, set up 20min before the start at 2:00 and clean up after 4:00. Spiros Michalakis volunteered to be the next Department Tea Coordinator.


  • Sarah Williams is looking for a replacement to help organize the American Regional Math League High School math competition. This is an outreach program and is coordinated through Prof. Tom Sallee. Spiros Michalakis and Brad Ballinger will be coaching the team under Prof. Sallee's supervision.

Game Night Coordinator

  • We are seeking a new Galois Group game night coordinator for next year. The position consists of choosing dates for game nights, advertising (posters) and e-mailing students of upcoming events. Contact Isaiah Lankham if you are interested or have questions.


  • A request of $40 of Galois Group funds by Isaiah Lankham to purchase beverages for the Combined Pure/Applied student run seminar. This is an increase in $10 of previous quarter requests to make sure everyone who wanted a drink may have a better chance of getting one. Passed.

GSA News

  • GSA Movie Night this Thursday. Showing of "Quiet Man"
  • Traveling Doughnut Day: At the Gay and Lesbian Resource Center from 9:00-11:00 this Friday.
  • The GSA board is taking nominations to fill positions, contact Brandy or the GSA if you have questions about the positions.

Job Hunting Hints

  • AMS Job Listing <-- Very Useful Most Job Positions are Listed Here
  • MathJobs.org you can Electronically apply online as well as send in letters of recommendation.
  • Chronicle of Higher Education contains many Community College Positions
  • CMS-Canadian Job Listings
  • The AMS has an Academic Job Search Handbook. It contains how-to's on interviews, job talks and cover letters.
  • The book "Job Search in Academe" by Formo, Reed is a good source of information about job-hunting in general, not just in mathematics. This book is available through the UC Davis library.
  • The Princeton Review website contains college reviews which can tell you alot about the colleges you are applying to. This can tell you the student/faculty ratio, student population, ect.
  • You can get a AAUP faculty salary survey on the Chronicle's Webpage, the AMS also has average salaries for schools, not always in the math departments.
  • Several Important things to think about: Have job discussions with your advisor. Attend Conferences to make connections to other schools. Many schools have varying ideas about teaching.
  • Common Interview Questions: How are you going to balance teaching and research? Why do you want to be here? (Be Specific about this one.) Do you have questions for us? (Be ready for this one by thinking ahead.)
  • The entire interview process can be very draining, both mentally and physically. Be prepared for this and try to space things out. Try to do about 3 applications a week.
  • Questions about salary should be asked after a job offer has been given.
  • Questions about the schools tenure track process should be addressed toward the Dean. This question can be asked during the interview process before an offer has been given.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting Febuary 28th, 2005
Posted Mar. 14, 2005 at 07:05 PM

Attendance: 15 Students

Agenda - Officer Reports

  • Professor Kapovich: How to Survive Graduate School
  • Discussion on Welcome Week Party

Officer Reports

  • Elections for Galois Group Officers is coming soon, start thinking about if you would like to run for one of the open positions.
  • Computer Resources: Comments on computer support within the department.

Welcome Week Party

  • Party for prospective students visiting the department.
  • $100 of Department funds and up to $70 GG funds available for use.
  • Think about places to host the party. On campus? Contact Brandy, Brian or Yvonne if you are interested.

T.A. Responsibilities (Prof. Kapovich)

  • In the recent past there have been problems with some teaching assistants. (Most are doing a good job.) Some of most common problems stem from the lack of communication from the T.A. This includes not contacting the professor before the first day of class. E-mail should be checked daily so some of these problems can be avoided. Other problems mentioned were that T.A.'s haven't meet grading deadlines or following the instructors’ partial credit grading schemes. There have been cases where the teacher felt undermined by the T.A. and comments from students that the T.A. was unprepared for discussion.
  • In the near future, VIGRE and GAANN are up and must be reapplied for. This may bring hard times for financial support from the department. The most desirable T.A.'s may have an advantage to receive financial support.
  • A.I. Positions are very competitive; T.A.'s with the best feedback usually have much better chances of landing one of these positions. These positions are valuable for the teaching experience and look very good on job applications.
  • T.A.'s have the right to: (1) ask directions for section material and test rubrics. (2) Refuse requests for things outside the scope of normal teaching duties. (3) Refuse excessive use of T.A.'s time
  • If you have complaints or comments and you would prefer not to talk to the professor in charge of your class, contact Diana or Professor Kapovich.

Graduate School Survival (Prof. Kapovich)

  • Learning is easier in graduate school! Later on you will have less time to explore new topics. Material seen in graduate school may not always be clear, but it still is in your brain in one form and may pop up in the distant future and you will be glad you had seen it before.
  • Ask many questions during seminars and classes. (This is also a good way to stay awake!) Most professors appreciate questions and are happy to answer them, it shows you are actively participating in the lecture/seminar. On the chance the professor appears not to like questions, ask them anyway! They are there for you.
  • There will be seminars where you will be lost. When this happens feel free to discuss the class with others present afterwards. They may have examples to help clear up the topic.

Meeting Adjourned.

Minutes from Galois Group Meeting January 24th, 2005
Posted Jan. 26, 2005 at 02:13 PM

Attendance: 16 Students


  • Next GG Meetings Feb 28th, March 14th
  • Contact Isaiah Lankham with concerns/comments about pure math program and computer resources.
  • GSA UCD Lobby Day: Feb 7th Check with GSA for more information.
  • GSA Sponsered Happy Hour at the Graduate FREE FOOD! Feb 17th
  • Texas Holdem' Charity Contest Feb 26th
  • Bagel/Doughnut Day on Feb 18th is moved to North Hall

Motion to use up to $30 Galois Group funds for the purchase of Student Run Seminar Soda: Passed 15/15, 1 Abstained Vote

Winter Prelims Comments

  • Point values of questions not stated on exam, especially important because not all questions were of equal value.
  • More concrete idea of what material may be on the exam.

Meeting Adjourned.

Minutes from December 2004 Meeting
Posted Jan. 04, 2005 at 10:23 AM

Attendance: 12 Students

Congratulations of successful VIGRE site meeting, there were many faculty compliments.

GSA Announcements

  • Ski Trip on the 17th: Flyers around building
  • Fellowship Opportunities
  • Professional Development Series
  • GSA Presents "It's a Wonderful Life" on 16th
  • Food Drive

Motion to use $50 Galois Group funds for GSA Food Drive: Passed

Galois Group Web Page

  • LaTeX Tutorial with supplements for CV, papers, quals syllabus, ect.

More requests for new building

  • Thermostats in each room
  • Park Benches
  • TA Office Hour Room
  • Phones in more offices, or more available for student use
  • Updated Technology in lecture/seminar rooms, especially built in projectors.

Yearly Class Offerings

  • Why are 215 and 240 not offered each year? They soon will be, proposal files are being sent so each regularly scheduled class can be offered each year. Before this happens more faculty needs to be hired to be able to handle the new time requirements.
  • New classes in works 245-6 Combinatorics sequence and a class on Low-Dimensional Topology.
  • Student requests for a more ODE based Graduate Differential (219) Equations class. Also, a regularly scheduled algebraic geometry class.


  • What are the differences between upper and lower division class TA duties?
  • What is the cap on hours per week?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • What is (is there) the specific job criteria?
  • Rumor that new graduating students are no longer being hired as lecturers.

Meeting Adjourned.

Minutes from Meeting on November 10, 2004
Posted Nov. 15, 2004 at 10:44 AM

November 10, 2004 Galois Group Meeting Notes

Attendance: 31 Students

Today's Agenda

  • President's Community Fund
  • Officer Announcements
  • News from the Department
  • Collective Chat and Survey


Space Planning (Professor Mulase)

  • Talk to Officer about seeing the new building layout.
  • Old Building, 16,000sq/ft New Building 24,000sq/ft
  • Offices in new building are 10% bigger.
  • 6 "Henry Alder" type rooms
  • 2 Seminar rooms (like 593, 693)
  • Separate Grad and Undergrad Computer Labs
  • 50% Larger
  • Increase Grad Student enrollment
  • Allows the university to hire more faculty.
  • New TA position, help organize large classes with a faculty professor.
  • More AI positions available.
  • 1st floor: SE corner, Staff; NE Corner Joint Seminar Room
  • 2nd 3rd floor: Almost all Math
  • Bathrooms on every floor.
  • Food Preparation Area: None at the moment.
  • Opinions on furniture in new building should be directed to Galois Group President.
  • Move in Date: Tentatively November 2005.

Professor Thompson, Professor Kapovich

  • Visit to determine whether the VIGRE program will be continued for another two years.
  • It's has happened in the past, for example at Berkeley.
  • The main goal of VIGRE is to improve Student/Faculty relationships and enhance interaction.
  • Student input is needed to show that the money has been used well, Research Focus Groups, Fall Review Sessions, ect. - $600,000/year about half goes to student fellowships.
  • Fellowship support is much better over the past few years, many students do not realize that in the past most students will only have 1-2 quarters of fellowship their entire time at Davis.
  • 3 NSF visitors will be here be here all day, talk with Post-docs, Graduate Students, and Undergrads. The meeting is November 17th from 2-3 693Kerr. Everyone is encouraged to come!
  • E-mail Prof. Thompson with comments. Thompson@math.ucdavis.edu

President's Community Fund

  • Up to $100 of Galois Group funds per Quarter for graduate student social events dispersed in $20 increments. Unanimously passed.

Collective Chat

Advice For Students from Faculty

  • Knock on doors of professors to chat about math, planning.
  • After you have chosen your thesis advisor, it isn't rude to talk to them about what funding they can provide you with.


How is your relationship with your advisor? How often do you meet with them? How do you find TA/AI support? (Monetary and procedural) Please e-mail, or come by.

How many seminars are you attending not including student run seminar?

  • One Other 11
  • Two Other 13
  • Three Other 3
  • Four Other 4

How many are attending the student run seminar? 22 of 31 Present

Are you participating or have participated in an RFG? 28

How many times have you sat down with a faculty member and talked about math?

  • Never 0
  • Once or Twice 8
  • Three to Five Times 4
  • More than Once a Month 17
  • Once a Week or More 13

Thank you all for coming!

Meeting Adjourned.

Minutes from Meeting on October 8, 2004
Posted Oct. 13, 2004 at 08:11 PM

Please speak up if you have anything to say during the meeting!!

galois@math.ucdavis.edu wiegers@math.ucdavis.edu

Sheets passed out:

  • individual sheets for "Wish I had known" section of webpage.
  • who is your thesis advisor, if you have one?

Proposed Budget: $600 total (from the estimate of $$ from GSA this year).

  • $ 100 1 Galois Group sponsored party
  • $ 135 snacks for monthly Galois Group Meetings
  • $ 30 Student Run Seminar Donation
  • $ 70 GG Qual Exam Fee Need-Based Grant
  • $ 100 Orientation Funds GG Contribution
  • $ 60 GG Annual Departmental Service Award
  • $ 60 GG Dual Pair Support

Possible meeting times: M 12-1, M 1-2, W 1-2, F 1-2. Reasons for these time - seminars

  • 250A, 201A
  • 390
  • Brian (VP) and Yvonne(P)'s schedules

pound gavel.


Welcome to the first Galois Group meeting! I'm Yvonne Lai, and I am the president. You should feel free to raise your hand at anytime during this meeting for questions, clarifications, or comments.

What is the Galois group? We are your voice to the math department. We serve as an intermediary between the staff-faculty and you.

As president, I'm here to listen to anything you have to say about the department or the Galois Group.

Our Vice President-Treasurer is Brian Wissman. He's in charge of taking minutes and organizing the treasury.

Our Member-At-Large is Brandy Wiegers. She is also the Graduate Student Association Public Relations Chair. This summer, Brandy put together a handbook for graduate students, which includes an unofficial guide to becoming a California resident, how to find an advisor, and a Wish I'd Known... list. The handbook is an ongoing project; it should reflect the current students. So, at this point, I'd like to handout some blank sheets of paper. During this meeting, I'd like you to think about things you wish you had known as a first year and things that you have questions about.

At the end of the meeting, we'll collect these and type them into the handbook.

We are here to serve you. If you ever have an opinion about how things should be done, you should talk to one of us. Please, please email us or find us in person!

Galois group officers: - Graduate Student Association Representatives: Spiros Michalakis, James Parmenter.

  • Undergraduate Program Committee Rep: Sarah Williams
  • Grad group in Applied Math Rep: Jessica Kuang
  • Grad Program Committee Rep: Isaiah Lankham
  • Computer Committee Rep: Isaiah
  • Webmaster: Isaiah, who has done a great job with our website: galois.math.ucdavis.edu. In particular, he's compiled a Student-Advisor List. If you want to find out what it's like to work with a certain professor, then look this up! If you've chosen your advisor, and haven't submitted your name to the site,

News from the Department:

  • GGAM chair Blake Temple says: I am the new Chair of GGAM, and welcome talking with any of you about the program.

Some comments: (1) Incoming students should concentrate on passing the preliminary exam first. Everything starts after that. (2) After passing prelim exam, look for someone whose research interests you, and ask for some articles to read to get started. (3) Go to as many seminars as possible. Getting something out of a seminar goes way beyond understanding the details of a talk. After you get lost in the details, look for points of view the speaker implicitly expresses, and ask yourself where the interesting points of the talk occur. Think of one question you might ask at the end. You will be surprised---talks that completely confuse you when you hear them, will give meaning to future work later in your career---guaranteed.

Math grad vice-chair Misha Kapovich: prelim overview. the stats: Algebra: 9 passed/ 9 failed (max: 55/60, min: 4/60) Analysis: 10 passed/ 4 failed (max: 104/120, min: 44/120)

suggestions: try the past exams, time yourself (only give yourself 2 hours). Get someone else to look at your solution Read all of the book (it is possible that material not covered in lecture will be on the exam). Ask questions during the exam, get clarification

  • Activities: - Orientation Party (Brandy): October 16 from 1-5 at Slide Hill Park. Look for flyers in your box. - Departmental Tea (Isaiah): Every Tuesday 2-4 in the Alder Room - SIAM (Becky): Davis is starting a SIAM student chapter. Math department students can get free student membership (siam.org). Planned activities: industry speakers, trips to local labs. [- Monthly Game Nights. : Not mentioned during the meeting but still a planned activity].

    Budget: The proposed budget was passed by unanimous vote (17/17).

    Future meeting times. 2nd Wednesday of every month. 1-2 in Kerr 693.

Collective Chat.

  • Is there anything you'd like to talk about? Nothing was brought up.
  • What did people think about prelims? Look at possibility of separating Algebra and Analysis exams. Have the review then the test then review the 2nd subject and then have the 2nd test. Narrow down topics on Algebra exam The Online syllabus provides a good overview and it's existence is good but more specifics would also be good and professors need to follow the syllabus in class. There needs to be more communication between review workship runners, class professors, and the test writers. There needs to be a definite (rather then implied) distinction between what will be on the applied vs. pure Analysis exams. Think about possibility of having topic lists for specific days of the review
  • Let's talk about the Galois Group "In a perfect world" Wish list.
    • Alder Room subscription to New York Times or Wall Street Journal - an address/phone list for graduate students - an increase in number of departmental given memberships to MAA - laptop lock loans - grad computer lab or functioning computers in graduate students offices - phone on the 4th floor

Adjourn meeting!

First Fall 2004 Galois Group Meeting Announced
Posted Oct. 04, 2004 at 07:57 PM

Hi all! The first Gal(UCD) meeting is this Friday, October 8, 2-3pm, Rm 693.

We will fix future meeting times, brainstorm a list of potential student perks to submit to the dept, and talk about orientation events. We will have some snacks.

See you there.

-Yvonne. (President)

The Newly Redesigned Galois Group Website Is Made Publically Available
Posted Oct. 01, 2004 at 04:53 AM

Moreover, the site is Wiki, meaning that it's intended to be a collaberative, community website. This should hopefully make it easier to not only maintain but also to give the site greater longevity.

Change in Dept Staff Duties
Posted Sep. 8, 2004

(Excerpt of an email sent by Tracy Ligtenberg)

Dear Department Members:

I wanted to inform you of some staffing changes that occurred this summer while many of you were away. In response to our growing enrollments in the graduate and undergraduate areas, we have combined the two offices to be known as Student Services. The vision being that the staff in this office will provide all necessary services for both populations of students. New staff FTE and funding was allocated to support the change and staff have been in the process of cross-training in order to provide optimum service.


Jessica Potts' duties changed in that she will no longer handle selection/assignment of TA's, Readers and AI's. Instead, she will be providing additional staff assistance to the VIGRE grant and, on a temporary basis, she has been helping out with the COSMOS program.

The Prelims Will be Held Earlier than Last Year
Posted June 28, 2004

The prelims have been moved back from last year. They will be held September 27, 2004. Workshops run from September 1 to September 23. See the VIGRE Workshop page for more details.

Office assignments have been finalized!
Posted June 25, 2004

Office assignments have been finalized! You have until July 1, 2004, to move. Contact Richard or Jessica if you can't move by then.

Joel Hass Receives Galois Service Award at Dept Awards Ceremony
Posted Posted June 9, 2004

We awarded the Galois Service Award to Joel Hass at the Dept Awards Ceremony. Some quotes from the presentation:

"He is very low profile. All the good things he does go rather unnoticed. But surely he has been a friend of students as a chair. (He ordered pizza for the student seminar) for every talk (until the student seminar organizer) decided to take over the job... Surely such a person deserves an award."

"I agree in nominating Joel Hass for the award as he has done a lot of good things for the students.... He was a GPC chair who really wanted to know what our concerns were. He was very much interested in knowing how students were feeling and was interested in getting feedback from us. He respected and took care of some of our concerns. So, I would say he is the right person to get the award for this year."

"A few things I would thank him for are

  1. Being concerned about graduate students and wanting to improve our lot etc.
  2. Pizza for students.
  3. Copy card for students.

In general, I think his term as chair has been good for students."