This week, the AWM met with Sherry Gong, an Assitant Adjunct Professor at UCLA.
Over sandwiches, we discussed with Sherry her educational background, from Puerto Rico to to Harvard to MIT. We learned how she competed on both the US and Puerto Rico team in the International Mathematical Olympiad, always as one of the strongest competitors, and how she went on to coach the US Women’s team for the Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad in 2010. Sherry discussed how her personal areas of research (low dimensional topology, operator theory) in math have been so largely determined by the mentors she could find. Gong explained the importance for her of picking good mentors as an undergrad and graduate student, and how to go about securing a good mentor, which opened up to a general room discussion of the most aggressive/intense moves people had made to try to secure a mentor. We rounded out the meeting by discussing the process of applying in the field, and how to pick research projects, make connections, and send emails to secure your own chance of getting your CV considered.
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By Mia Shaker