Published November 16, 2015
The National Science Foundation has awarded the University at Buffalo mathematics department a three-year, $600,000 grant to support the new program “Experiential Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE@UB).” Led by mathematics professor and director of graduate studies William Menasco, the initiative is a collaboration with industry and academic partners including IBM’s Buffalo Innovation Center, M&T Bank, Moog Inc., Secure RF Corporation and the UB School of Management.
Co-principal investigators on the project are four other mathematics faculty including department chair David Hemmer, undergraduate director Bernard Badzioch, Joseph Hundley and John Ringland.
Mathematics doctoral students in EDGE@UB participate in a yearlong training program culminating in a summer internship working onsite with the partners. The grant funds the training, release time from teaching assistant duties for the students, and the internship itself.
The award is part of the NSF program “EDT: Enriched Doctoral Training in the Mathematical Sciences.” UB is only the fourth institution to be funded through this initiative; the others are Princeton, Minnesota and the University of Texas at Dallas. The first cohort of students will be selected in Fall 2016
The NSF’s goal for EDT is to “strengthen the nation's scientific competitiveness by increasing the number of well-prepared U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and in other professions in which expertise in the mathematical sciences plays an increasingly important role.”
EDT will support “efforts to enrich research training in the mathematical sciences at the doctoral level by preparing Ph.D. students to recognize and find solutions to mathematical challenges arising in other fields and in areas outside today's academic setting.
The grant is expected to fund half a dozen students each year in two cohorts. Each industry partner has a specific proposed problem suitable for EDGE@UB students to work on. The tentative problems are: