Tag Archives: graduates

Invitation: Mathematics Group Work and Asperger Syndrome

The following announcement about a meeting of our working group on ‘Group work’ on 13th March in Bath is being circulated. Please pass this message along to colleagues who may be interested.

Subject: Invitation to working group meeting, 13th March: Mathematics Group Work and Asperger Syndrome

Dear All,

This project is looking at the advantages and disadvantages of group
work used in Mathematics degree programmes especially in relation to
students with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Our aim is to build a community of academics that use group work for
assessment and developing graduates’ skills. We realise that students
with Asperger’s Syndrome may have difficulties participating in group
work thus hindering them from accessing the benefits particularly in
terms of graduate / employability skills development.

Our first meeting will be held at the University of Bath on Tuesday 13th
March from 11am – 3.30pm approx. There will an opportunity for all
involved to share their thoughts and current practices. Speakers will
include Barrie Cooper (University of Exeter) on group work in
mathematics and Daniel Aherne (National Autistic Society).

Please contact Noel-Ann Bradshaw (n.bradshaw@gre.ac.uk) and Emma Cliffe
(E.H.Cliffe@bath.ac.uk) if you would like to attend the meeting at Bath
on 13th March, are interested in attending a subsequent meeting at
Birmingham or contributing to this work in any other way.

Please pass this message along to colleagues who may be interested.

Kind regards,

Emma Cliffe and Noel-Ann Bradshaw

Interim report: ‘Views of graduates on the HE curriculum’

Matthew Inglis, Tony Croft, Janette Matthews, of the Mathematics Education Centre, Loughborough University, have submitted the following as an interim report for their project ‘Views of graduates on the HE curriculum‘.

The goal of this project is to conduct a survey of recent mathematics graduates to determine their views on the higher education curriculum, with particular reference to its utility in the job market.

We planned to conduct the study along similar lines to earlier HEA surveys which focused on physics and chemistry. The researchers who conducted these surveys used a combination of telephone and post to contact their respondents. Following various discussions with colleagues with greater experience in conducting large scale surveys, we modified our plans, and opted to use an entirely electronic method (emails and a web-based survey).

In terms of question content, we designed the survey to be broadly comparable to both the HEA physics and chemistry surveys, and the MoreMathsGrads project’s survey of incoming undergraduates. Consequently we hope to be able to compare the types of skills that incoming undergraduates expected to develop with the types of skills that they believe that they did develop. We are very grateful to the MoreMathsGrads team for sharing their raw data with us.

We contacted the Heads of Department from 68 universities (those on the UCAS list) to ask for their support in conducting the survey. 54 HoDs responded positively. We then contacted the careers centres of all 68 universities (indicating if appropriate that the survey had the support of the mathematics department). 35 careers centres agreed to assist us and disseminate our message to their graduates, 10 declined to participate, and 23 did not respond one way or the other (after reminders). After two months we contacted all 35 participating universities again asking them to send a reminder email to graduates. To date 17 have.

Currently the survey is still open (we plan to keep it open until the end of February). We currently have 434 responses, although until we analyse these data in detail it is unclear how many of these might be duplicate submissions. Nevertheless this figure compares favourably to the sample size involved in the HEA physics and chemistry surveys (139 and 196 respectively).

Data analysis and report writing is scheduled for March and April 2012.

Instant feedback: University of Greenwich Maths Careers afternoon

This project has supported Noel-Ann Bradshaw (University of Greenwich) through the mini-project Maths Careers: Greenwich Graduates where are they now? Drawing on experience from Manchester reported in our Developing Graduate Skills booklet (ed: Jeff Waldock, Sheffield Hallam), the University of Greenwich Maths Careers afternoon planned to enable current maths undergraduates to hear first-hand from recent graduates how and when to apply for jobs and what different careers entail.

The Greenwich Maths Careers afternoon took place yesterday. This morning I received the following email from Noel-Ann Bradshaw providing some quick feedback on the event. With Noel-Ann’s permission, I am sharing this here as a piece of instant feedback. A full report will follow on completion of the project.

In addition, Greenwich lecturer Tony Mann tweeted this morning: “So proud of our maths graduates who spoke yesterday about their high-flying careers. #makesitallworthwhile

From: Noel-Ann Bradshaw
Sent: 16 February 2012
To: Peter Rowlett
Subject: FW: Thank you!

Just thought you might like to see this that I sent to speakers and staff this morning.

Very grateful to HE STEM for funding this – it would not have happened otherwise!


Subject: Thank you!

Dear All,

Just to say a big thank you to you all for coming and speaking at yesterday’s event ‘Maths Graduates: where are they now’. I am very grateful to you indeed and we certainly couldn’t have done it without you!

I have had a brief look at the feedback from students and the comments are incredibly positive. This is certainly something that I think we need to consider repeating. About 60 maths students attended – the majority of these were 2nd years.

Once again thank you so much and, where appropriate, please pass on my gratitude to your companies for allowing you the time to come and speak.

Kind regards,