• results from independent studies, and in geographic information systems for spatial analysis)?
  • How can the mathematical sciences community encourage entrepreneurs?
  • How can the mathematical sciences community set in place mechanisms for lecture series, reports, symposia, and committees to explore ways to further increase research opportunities?
  • How can the community be made aware of promising opportunities?
  • How can more of the community be positioned to take advantage of those opportunities?
  • What are appropriate modes of support?
4. Evaluating Performance (both educational and interdisciplinary)

Group Leader: Robert MacPherson (Institute for Advanced Study)

Traditional evaluation in most departments is based first on research, then on education and on interdisciplinary work. Since such a criterion does not encourage faculty who wish to contribute more in the way of teaching innovations, interfacing with other departments, and engaging in extra-university activities, questions naturally arise. While change is needed with regard to what is rewarded and what the culture values (JPBM, 1994), it has to come from the grassroots.

Possible questions to be addressed:

  • How to develop a more appropriate evaluation process?
  • What are the impediments to effecting such a process?
  • How can departments overcome such impediments?
  • What role should NSF play here?
  • What ways of evaluating teaching, or interdisciplinary research are working?
  • How can the value of interdisciplinary work be better conveyed?
  • What are some specific actions that can be taken concerning this?


Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM). 1994. Recognition and Rewards in the Mathematical Sciences. Committee on Professional Recognition and Rewards. Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society.

National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine (NAS/NAE/IOM). 1995. Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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