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Archive for November 2010

Applying for a Job at a Small Teaching-oriented Undergraduate Institution

As a newly minted PhD in mathematics, you probably enjoy doing mathematics. For many people this means traditional scholarship and publication. But another natural consequence of loving your discipline is the desire to tell others about it. For some of us, this takes the form of teaching at schools that focus on educating undergraduates. It’s appealing to share the beauty of the subject with talented students who are experiencing it for the first time, and maybe turn some of them on to mathematics.
This article is directed to recent PhDs who are looking for positions at undergraduate-focused schools; it is based on my 17 years of experience in helping select and interview candidates for faculty positions at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. One important thing I’ve observed is that the kind of application that will get you a position at a tier-one research school might not get you in the door at a school that focuses on undergraduates. In a short article, I can’t tell you everything you might need to know, but I can highlight the salient differences between jobs of this type and more research-oriented positions, and ways in which your application should reflect this.

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