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New Faculty and Instructor Orientation

Welcome to the MIT Mathematics Department!

This page is specific to the Mathematics Department and provides information that we think you will find helpful. Information about the Institute, benefits, and helpful websites will be provided separately.

Department Headquarters (HQ)

Located in the Simons Building (Building 2), Room 106, Department Headquarters is the administrative center of the Department. HQ is the place to get help navigating MIT financial and administrative policies and procedures. Staff members in HQ can help with purchasing, supplies, facilities problems and office space.

Math Academic Services (MAS)

Math Academic Services handles organizational matters for graduate and undergraduate classes. They can answer questions regarding MIT and departmental policies concerning education and students.

The Department is responsible for teaching a number of large service subjects. MAS provides support for these subjects by organizing the recitation assignments, collection and grading of homework, exam proctoring, recording homework and examination grades.

MAS also maintains online copies of syllabi, lecture notes, exams, and handouts from prior years and can tell you which faculty are in charge of teaching assignments for various subjects.

Computer Assistance

The department has its own computer network and staff. We provide and support Linux desktop computers for all faculty and instructors. Other types of computers (laptops, Windows PCs, Macs) are tolerated on our wireless network but are not supported, although we will help you connect to the network. Please visit the computer help section of this website for information on our printers, scanners, login servers, software, ways to get more help, etc.

Administrative Assistance

Every faculty member is assigned an assistant who can help with typing, photocopying, keeping track of editorial correspondence, making travel arrangements, arranging for visitors, among other things. Assignments are made by our HR coordinator.

Teaching

Faculty generally teach a mixture of undergraduate and graduate subjects, and occasional recitations. Instructors mostly teach recitations in their first year here, and a mix of recitations and undergraduate subjects thereafter. In teaching load calculations, a recitation counts as 1.5 hours, a regular subject as 3 hours, and leading a large lecture subject counts as 4.5 hours. Teaching assignments and other useful information is posted on the internal portion of this website. You may refer students to MAS for general help, undergraduate research opportunities, registering for the Putnam competition, etc.

Security

Items occasionally "disappear" from offices, especially laptops, wallets, bicycles, and other small items. Office doors should be locked when you leave (even for a minute) and valuables left overnight should be kept within a locked compartment like a desk drawer.

Social Events

The Department hosts afternoon tea and cookies for all Department members on days that classes are held from 3:30-4:30 in room 2-290. There is no tea served over IAP or over the summer.

Funding Opportunities

Faculty and instructors who wish to apply for federal or non-federal funding should review the funding opportunities listing and then make an appointment to see the financial administrator. He or she can discuss funding options, help you create a budget, and assist you with moving the proposal through the MIT approval process. It is best to see them early in the process; preferably as soon as you consider applying. Completed proposals must be turned in for processing 2 weeks before the sponsor deadline.

The Math Department allows instructors to apply for federal grants as principal investigators. Postdoctoral associates who wish to apply should be listed as co-investigator or key personnel on an MIT faculty member's grant.

Funds for Traveling

The Department provides all instructors with a $1,000 annual allowance for travel/research expenses. Instructors who apply for and receive external funding should use that first before this allocation. (Note: Federally funded travel must be booked with an American carrier.) New faculty should use their discretionary funds for travel. Students may be eligible for travel funds to attend conferences to deliver talks. The student travel policy can be found in the internal portion of this website.

Funds for Seminars

The Department provides selected seminars with an annual budget to subsidize speaker travel and after-talk dinners. Please confirm the budgetary guidelines with seminar organizers before inviting speakers to dinner.

Department Administration and Faculty Committees

Please visit the people section of this website for more information on departmental administration and our faculty committees.