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Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Center for Women in Mathematics

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will there be enough classes for me to take?
A: Yes! In addition to the several upper-level classes offered each semester at Smith, there are graduate classes offered at the nearby University of Massachusetts, Amherst and topics courses offered at nearby Amherst College, Hampshire College, and Mt. Holyoke College. (The Five Colleges are connected by a free bus system.)

Q: How much of a pain is it to take classes on the other campuses?
A: Not a pain at all. The buses run every half-hour or so, and both registration and grade-reporting happen through Smith's registrar.

Q: I think that I'm underprepared...
A: That's more of a misgiving than a question, but our response is the same---That's okay. If you're interested in mathematics, and possibly interested in a career or graduate school in a mathematical science, then our programs are designed for you. And what better way to become well-prepared than a semester or year of intensive mathematical study?

Q: What will the research opportunities be like?
A: Every year, two or three faculty members run small research groups. The topics vary with the year and with the faculty members, but participants are expected to meet at least weekly and to devote at least 6 hours/week to their projects.

Q: Does everyone take the same courses?
A: No. And yes. All Center participants take a seminar in career and graduate-school preparation and the research class. The other classes that fill out student schedules vary, though algebra, analysis, topology, and advanced topic seminars are common.

Q: Will I be able to get into the classes I want to take?
A: Yes. Smith does not place caps on the number of students able to register for upper-level courses. We will always have room for you.

Q: How much interaction is there with Smith regular undergraduate students?
A: Center students are considered regular Smith students during their stay at the college, and so there is lots of interaction with Smith undergraduates. In fact, there is essentially complete integration for the purposes of classes, seminars, colloquia, and the like.

Q: What do visiting students do for housing?
A: There is on-campus housing available as well as off-campus housing that's close to campus. Some visiting students live on campus, and others live off campus.