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ACMF Signal – Sep 2020

By September 1, 2020October 7th, 2020No Comments

Welcome to ACMF’s first monthly newsletter! Thank you for joining ACMF with 100+ students, alumni, and friends. Last week’s launch was an incredible success!

And it’s not slowing down! There are opportunities to help Brigham Young University’s Applied and Computational Mathematics Emphasis (“ACME”) students now, so we’ll dive right in.

Student chats

We are starting the BYU Fall semester by arranging for every current ACME student to have a 1:1 chat with an ACME alum. Our goal is for every student to get stories, tactical advice, and encouragement from people who have successfully completed ACME. This is to help students visualize a future version of themselves and forge connections with a broader community they can reach out to for help with their goals, starting today.

Alumni, sign up here to participate in a 1:1 chat with a current ACME student! Regardless of where you are today, your experiences in ACME can provide meaningful context. To provide time for organizing matches between participants, sign ups will close on Tuesday, September 8th.

Website interviews

If you haven’t yet, check out alumni interviews on the ACMF website for deep dives into the career paths and work philosophies of alumni across many different fields. You might get some ideas for your own path, build pattern recognition for good opportunities, or get inspired to reach out and start a conversation with someone.

Here are the two highlighted articles of the month:

  1. Dano Gillam on Charting Your Path as a Data Scientist
    After founding the Data Science Club at BYU, Dano shares how he started the data science team at Bind On-Demand Insurance during his first job out of school, how he identifies interesting projects, and how he continues learning post-graduation.
  2. Maximizing Your Time in ACME to Prepare for Grad School (Part 2)
    Seven different ACME alumni in graduate programs including Rice, UCLA, Stanford, and UT Austin share how they’ve approached their research, what they wish they’d spent more time on in ACME, and what surprised them most about grad school.

Alumni, we want your stories to be told. Your experiences are highly valuable training data that can help ACME students more quickly understand what options they have and assemble a better framework for making career decisions. If you are interested in participating in an interview to share your story, please reply to this email!

Contributing to ACMF

We’ve heard many of you ask the best way to support ACMF. As you may have heard, we’ve spent the last year setting up ACMF the right way. With help from legal counsel and professional accountants focused on non-profit organization, we formed Applied and Computational Mathematics Foundation, which is a Utah non-profit corporation. We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the IRS, which makes all donations tax-deductible. You can see our IRS determination letter and other documentation on our website.

The easiest way to help us support ACME students is through our website. Here’s how to set up a monthly contribution on the ACMF website:

  • Visit the Support ACMF page
  • Enter information
  • Click Donate Now

A small way to support ACME students is to use your Amazon purchases for good. You can do this by signing up for AmazonSmile, Amazon’s non-profit program, and registering ACMF as your non-profit of choice. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchase totals to ACMF. It’s true that Amazon has repeatedly lowered the percentage they give to nonprofits, but it remains a good channel for the time being at no incremental cost to you.

Because BYU tuition is relatively inexpensive, the effect of your individual donations are compounded, and have the ability to change the trajectory of careers, lives, and the ACME program.

If you’re thinking about a better future for ACME, we’d encourage you to set up your monthly donation now. Click here to get it done:

Thanks for reading!

As we move forward, look for a monthly newsletter from ACMF to showcase community updates, spotlight ACMF members, curate internship and job opportunities for both students and alumni, and more.

Reply to this email with any suggestions, feedback, or exceptional job opportunities you think we should share with the community. We welcome your thoughts on ways we can better work together to help ACME students and alumni.

We’re excited to build ACMF with you!

– Tim, Chris, and Orson


What we’ve been reading:

GPT-3 Examples
A curated list of GPT-3 inspired creations. Come for the AI meme creator, stay for the pandas code generated from text.

Cell Biology by the Numbers
A set of mental frameworks for biological numeracy. Check out the Order-Of-Magnitude Biology Toolkit.

Why does DARPA work?
A breakdown of how DARPA repeatedly turns science fiction into reality. Read about high-curiosity/low-ego leaders, opacity as air cover for teams, and tight learning loops.