I previously listed some goals/guiding principles for my career. Here they are:
- I want to continue to improve my teaching.
- I want to do research in finite group theory.
- I want to help K-12 teachers improve their teaching. This is mostly done by teaching pre-service courses, but this could be met in other ways.
- I want to help close the gender gap in mathematics.
I have two bits of news related to these:
First, I think that I can now provide more detail for the second goal. Part of the goal will be to focus on undergraduate research. By the end of the week, I will have been to four thesis defenses in ten days (I was an advisor for two of them and a reader for the other two). I thoroughly enjoy this process, and it is something that benefits the college and the students. I think that “undergraduate research” might be the focus of my upcoming sabbatical.
Second, these goals are working. I previously wrote, “This means that my default answer should be ‘no’ to any other requests of my time” (aside from these goals), and I used this list to figure out that I should say “no” to a request. I was given the opportunity to volunteer for a service job last week. There are several reasons why I wanted to volunteer for the job, but it did not meet the criteria on this list (and I already had enough other service jobs to fulfill the requirements for my job). So I said “no” (in the sense that I did not volunteer).
I am pleased that I will be able to spend more time next year on my career goals.