News and updates for the Department of Mathematics faculty and staff
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[ Faculty + Staff E-News | October 2020 ]
Altgeld Chimes Centennial Celebration

The Altgeld Chimes are turning 100, and we're celebrating! During the week of Oct. 25, chimes players will hold daily concerts, including a special concert featuring the Marching Illini on Friday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. CDT, the approximate time of the Chimes dedication 100 years earlier. 
Watch a live stream of the concert on Oct. 30 →

To kick off the celebration, the Altgeld Chime Tower ringers are hosting their inaugural Chimes Composition Contest. The first and second place compositions in each of this year's contest categories will be performed on Saturday, Oct. 31, during a "Concert for the Future of the Chimes" as part of the centennial celebrations. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 18. Winners will be selected by a vote held Oct. 19-21. 
Learn more →

New NSF-supported program to provide internship opportunities

The Internship Network in the Mathematical Sciences (Inmas) is a new program supported by the National Science Foundation for a three-year period, with possibility of extension for a further two years. The principal investigator, Richard Laugesen, says that Inmas will “create internship opportunities by working directly with employers in industry and government to identify problems that can be tackled with high-level techniques from mathematics and statistics.” The Network, based in the Illinois Department of Mathematics and initially spanning a three-state region in the Midwest, will expand the range of employers who hire mathematical scientists, change the culture in graduate programs, and develop a robust network of relationships between industry and mathematical sciences departments. A companion mid-Atlantic network will be based at Johns Hopkins University, led by Fadil Santosa. Training activities kick off in spring 2021 for graduate students from the participating departments, with summer internships to follow.

Undergraduate Friday Seminar: Openings still available

The Undergraduate Friday Seminar still has speaker opportunties for this year’s seminar season. If you or any of your students would like to give a talk during one of this year’s upcoming meetings, please email Also, please share continue to share this great engagement opportunity with your students as well.
Learn more → 

Graduate awards nominations

The Math Prizes Committee seeks your help in identifying outstanding graduate students that may be candidates for this year's prizes. Deadline for nominations is Oct. 26. There are five prizes to be awarded:

Questions? Please contact the 2020-21 Math Prize Committee at
Learn where to send your nominations →

Summary of Departmental Expectations for Instructors for Fall 2020

Reminder: A copy of the Summary of Departmental Expectations for Instructors for Fall 2020 can be found online under “Faculty & Staff Updates & Resources” on the department's COVID-19 website. This summary provides a variety of guidance, including the department policy on disability accommodations.

COVID-19 testing sites

On Monday, outdoor COVID-19 testing locations moved indoors for the winter.
See the updated list of testing locations →

With gratitude

Thanks to all instructors this semester for their hard work and dedication. We know that this is a particularly difficult term. Students have told us that they appreciate being able to re-watch video lectures; they value the interactions of live office hours; and they appreciate frequent assignments both to tell them how the class is going and to keep them motivated to do work.

This is a tough semester, for them, too. Thanks to those who have referred students to us when the students go missing or stop submitting homework. Please give students as much grace as possible, within reasonable limits.

Undergraduate reminders
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, is now a campus holiday.
  • Requests for Spring 2021 on-campus teaching should be made by the morning of Monday, Oct. 19.
  • Campus asks those teaching on-campus to provide no incentive for a sick student to attend class, including giving exams in an online format.
  • Classes with specific class/lecture meeting times now have final exam information posted on the Class Schedule at, when looking up individual classes.
Undergraduate survey of math majors

The Undergraduate Office recently surveyed all math majors (approximately 650) to learn about their plans for spring semester. Of the 162 students who responded, about half plan to have an all-online schedule in spring semester, and 22% of the overall group expect to live in a time zone far from the U.S. Fifty percent hope to take some on-campus classes. Due to travel restrictions faced by many of our students, online offerings will continue to be a priority for many classes.

Graduate Papers & Publications webpage

A new web page has been created to showcase and celebrate graduate student papers, publications, and research. Traditionally, we have posted these on the bulletin board next to the mailroom; however, given the limitations brought by the pandemic, we decided to move to a more evergreen medium that our external audiences can enjoy as well.

Graduate students are invited to submit a request to have their publications addedjournal pubs, conferences, ArXiveverything is welcome!  
Submit a request →

“A Great Conversation” with alumnus Dr. Freeman Hrabowski

On Monday, alumnus Dr. Freeman Hrabowski (MA, ’71, mathematics; PhD, ’75, education), president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), joined Chancellor Robert Jones for the first installment of the “A Great Conversation” series.
Watch the recording →

“Advocating for Students of Color: There's More You Can Do”

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) is currently running a series of webinars on Fridays from 2-3:30 p.m. CDT called “Advocating for Students of Color: There's More You Can Do.”
Learn more →

Call for comments: Proposed new immigration rule

In September, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule, Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media, that would likely have a significant implications to our students and department.

The window for public comments is now open. Written comments and related material must be submitted on or before Monday, Oct. 26, at (Docket ID: ICEB-2019-0006).
Learn more →

Department Town Hall Meeting

Our next department town hall meeting will be held Friday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m. CDT virtually via Zoom. The recordings of all our town hall meetings are available on the department’s channel on Illinois Media Space at

COV-Course: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Pandemic

COV-Course, a free, multidisciplinary course taught by Illinois experts. Classes will be held online from 8-9 p.m. every Sunday evening during the fall semester.
Learn more →

Campus Charitable Fund Drive

Now through Nov. 18, join the 2020 Campus Charitable Fund Drive and help our department meet our goals of raising $43,570 and increasing our employee participation rate.
Learn more →

Virtual Illinois Abroad Week

Study abroad units across campus are hosting Virtual Illinois Abroad Week, Oct. 19–23. This event is for all students who might be interested in pursuing both immediate virtual study abroad experiences and future in-person international opportunities.
Learn more →

LAS Impact 2020

A week-long virtual event starting Monday, Oct. 26, highlighting the many contributions of LAS students, alumni, and others who work to improve our world.
Learn more →

Seminar & Event Calendar

View all the upcoming seminars, colloquia, and events hosted by the department at Virtual event? View the weekly calendar of meeting coordinates.

University of Illinois Calendars

View a variety of Illinois event, academic, and programming calendars at


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