May 3rd, 2019. Sunny morning. A group of 8 members of our chapter met at the entrance of Monteith and headed to the parking lot. We all were excited and ready to go. On our way we’ve met our chapter’s advisor, Dr. Damir Dzhafarov, and the chair of our department, Dr. Ambar Sengupta, who warmly greeted us. We took two cars (thanks go to Waseet Kazmi and Sean Eustace for volunteering to drive us) and started our eventful trip. The weather was great, the company even better, so one-and-a-half-hour drive seemed very short (at least for passengers).
Once we reached the first destination, the AMS office in Providence, we were welcomed by the membership director, Megan E. Turcotte. She started by letting us sign in and giving us the visitor badges, it felt very official. In the foyer there we immediately saw a part of art exhibit “Concinnitas”, that for us was not just art, some of us recognized mathematical problems represented by some of the pictures. After we all signed in, the tour started, and let me tell you, we were treated like V.I.P. In every department we were greeted and told about all the work that they were responsible for, moreover, how this could help us in particular. We were encouraged to apply for grants and scholarships that the AMS is offering, advise to look at AMS Notice and blogs for advice about career development and even choosing the right career pass for us, we were introduced to different programs that AMS is running like meetings, math research communities, Mathemati-con, “Who wants to be a mathematician”, fundraising, etc. At every stop we were given some small gifts that represented the departments.
Our next stop was the print shop in Pawtucket, RI. Even though the printing was supposed to be stopped in the afternoon, our host, Don Proulx, showed us the whole process of making books and how machines are operated. Staff in the print shop was very glad to meet us and happy to see that their work is appreciated. They noticed that showing us shelves full of books is like letting “kids into a candy store”.
It started raining as our journey was close to its end, as if Providence was sad that we were about to leave it behind. We stopped for a late lunch/early dinner in the Providence Downtown area, walked a bit around the campus of Brown University, then down the hill to the river to stop by ICERM, which we decided to visit next time. Tired and content, we started heading back to Storrs.
We want to thank the AMS staff for this incredible opportunity. We learnt a lot about the structure and work done by the association. We’ll make sure to spread a good word about this cause.