The 2011 Field of Dreams Conference was held on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona from October 14-16th. Over 150 Alliance Scholars (as well as over 25 graduate students from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Purdue University) and 72 Alliance Mentors and Faculty attended the 3 day event.
On Friday, a welcome event entitled "Institute Day" was held at the Old Main building from 3- 5 in the afternoon, and a reception followed in the evening. Institute Day consisted of 4 different presentations from representatives of the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes: Dr. Cheri Shakiban representing the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA), Dr. Deena Schmidt representing Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI), Dr. Roselyn Williams representing the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), and Dr. David Auckly representing the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). Following Institute Day and its presentations, guests also enjoyed a graduate student poster session, a new addition to the conference.
The main component of the conference got under way on Saturday with panels including "Fields of Success: Alliance PhD Graduates tell their story," "Fields of Opportunities: Graduate opportunities for math majors in quantitative scientific disciplines," "How to select a graduate program in the math sciences and NSF Fellowship Opportunities," a "Graduate Student Panel," "Tips for Post-docs and New Faculty," "Fields of Summer Programs Panel," and "Tracks to the Doctorate Panel: Alliance-affiliated Master's programs and Post-Baccalaureate Programs."
Furthermore, the special luncheon guest speaker was Dr. Alberto Ríos, an acclaimed poet and Regents' Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Arizona State University. At the conclusion of Saturday's panels came the Graduate Department/Career/Summer Programs Fair, held in the Old Main building. The Fair provided the students a chance to discover new graduate departments, research and career opportunities, and to network with other students and Alliance mentors. Following the fair came the banquet, which was held in the Memorial Union. Special banquet guest speaker was Dr. Richard Tapia, University Professor and Maxfield-Oshman Professor of Engineering, Rice University; Recipient of the 2011 National Medal of Science, awarded by President Obama to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Download the full schedule of the 2011 event (PDF).