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Information can be found at UC Davis Math Dept's Seminar Page

Student-run Seminar Description

In Spring 2017, the co-organizers of the student-run math/applied math seminar are Jamie Haddock ( and Ben Schiffman (

The student run seminar is an excellent opportunity to give a talk (which just needs to be long enough to clearly convey your subject matter, up to 50 minutes) as well as see what other students and professors are working on. The talks are interesting and useful (knowing what your fellow students and faculty find interesting is a very important thing when planning and performing your own research). Free pizza and soda provided for your convenience.

If you'd like to give a talk, please email the organizer with the following information:

  • Dates you can speak
  • Tentative Title (you're welcome to change this later, or say TBA)

After working out an exact date for your talk, you will then be contacted several weeks before your talk for a final title and abstract.

It's very good experience; it's fun; and you'll earn admiration and respect among your peers. It's a service to the department, and your fellow graduate students in particular. You'll have to give a lot of talks in your professional career: quals, job talks, research seminars, etc., so why not practice amongst your friends? You don't need to have any experience — just willingness to find an interesting, germane topic (i.e., something your fellow grad students probably aren't completely familiar with but that can still be reasonably conveyed in 50 minutes or less). If you would like to speak but can't decide on a topic, then you're more than welcome to ask the Seminar Organizers for a suggested topic.

Priority is to be given to those who are just now finishing their first year, but all are welcome to give a talk.

Research talks are especially welcome as long as their subject material can be reasonably conveyed to a group of non-experts in 50 minutes. (The Seminar Organizers will again be happy to comment on appropriateness or even help you find a suitable angle for your research if you're not sure.) However, less technical “fun” survey talks are also encouraged as long as you believe that your fellow grad students will find the subject material interesting.

Seminar Tenets

The main goal of the student seminar is two-fold: to stimulate research and to give students a chance to practice speaking.

Stimulating research

New faculty are especially given an opportunity to give talks in the seminar so that they can “advertise” themselves to the grad students.

There is an effort made to schedule “fun talks” that are aimed at introducing grad students to new and interesting ideas not typically seen in their coursework. These can either be by beginning grad students expressing awe for something they find exciting, by senior grad students wishing to summarize an area related to their research, or by faculty willing and able to give a good introductory talk.

Effort is made to include talks from many different disciplines each quarter, with faculty asked to “fill in” under-represented disciplines by invitation to give “fun talks”.

Every effort is made to balance “accessibility to 1st years” against “research talk opportunities by nth years”, esp. when the latter are aimed at their peers.

Practicing Speaking

Students should feel encouraged to give practice quals talks in the seminar.

Faculty are asked to give talks only when necessary so that students practicing speaking remains a priority.

Priority is given to first/second years wishing to speak. However, senior students should also feel encouraged to use the seminar for job talk practice (assuming the topic is appropriate for the Seminar).

Seminar Organizers' Responsibilties

Below are the main responsibilities of the Seminar organizers. Please feel free to contact any of the current organizers if you would like to volunteer some time and help us with them!


This involves:

  • Recruiting speakers (typically by direct invitation, occasionally by volunteers)
  • Creating a speaker schedule
  • Keeping the schedule up-to-date and making necessary corrections due to cancellations, etc. The schedule should be confirmed weekly if possible.
  • Soliciting titles and abstracts for each talk at least two weeks in advance.
  • Reminding speakers that they're scheduled to speak about one week in advance.


This involves:

  • Putting talks (including speaker info, title, and abstract) in the Dept Seminar Database by the Thursday before the week of the talk.
  • Emailing reminders to grads@math at the beginning of the week before each talk.
  • Introducing the Speaker at each seminar.


This involves:

  • Ordering pizza and soda so that it arrives at least 10 minutes before each seminar begins.
  • Creating and distributing a sign-in sheet each week in order to record attendance.
  • Submitting copies of the sign-in sheet and food receipts for reimbursement.
srsem.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/19 15:50 by dsweber