Mathematics Graduate Life

Graduate Student Groups

Math Graduate Student Association (MGSA) Berkeley

We represent the grad students in the department, and have regular social and mentoring events. We maintain a wiki for grad students, assist with the annual open house for prospective students, and run each year's office draw. We also sell Berkeley Math T-shirts and mugs. The MGSA is led by a group of elected officers, serving for terms of one year.

The Noetherian Ring (Nring)(link is external)

Named in honor of Emmy Noether and founded in 1991, the Noetherian Ring (Nring) is an organization of graduate students, postdocs, and professors in the department who happen to be women or identify similarly. The goal of this group is to indicate the presence of women in the department and provide information for students potentially interested in pursuing mathematics. Additionally, the group aims to provide a network for women in the UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics and facilitate Nring activities. Some past events were a paint day, dinner for Nring members at the start of the year, brunch during the open house for prospective women graduate students, and discussions with women from the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute(link is external)(link is external) (MSRI) and invited female speakers.

Unbounded Representation (URep) (website TBD)

Unbounded Representation (URep) is a graduate student group within the UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics that promotes dialogue about the different kinds of diversity in the math community. One of our goals is to assess the diversity-related climate of the Math graduate student program. We are also working to develop programs that support Math graduate students who come from traditionally underrepresented groups, as well as the wider community of Math graduate students.

Gender Equity in Mathematical StudiesGender Equity in Mathematical Studies (GEMS) (website TBD)

Founded by current graduate students Madeline Brandt and Maddie Weinstein, Gender Equity in Mathematical Studies (GEMS) is aimed at unifying the graduate and undergraduate mathematics communities and creating a better environment for gender minorities in STEM. All graduate and undergraduate students identifying with underrepresented genders in STEM are encouraged to participate. Activities include reading groups, graduate school preparation, opportunities at Willard Middle School, social events, and more.

Directed Reading Program (DRP)

The Directed Reading Program (DRP) provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to work closely with graduate students on an independent reading project. The aim of the program is to equip students with the tools necessary to delve into sophisticated mathematics, foster relationships between undergraduate and graduate students, and provide students with a valuable opportunity to practice presenting mathematical ideas, both in conversation and public presentations.

Latinx Association of Graduate Students in Engineering and Science at UC Berkeley (LAGSES)

LAGSES is an inclusive multicultural organization that strives to increase diversity on campus by recruiting, retaining, and graduating underrepresented advanced degree students in STEM. We aim to provide a support network for minority graduate students by organizing outreach, networking, and community service activities throughout the year. We also organize social events to create a cohesive group of members that extends beyond the academic setting and include other on-campus organizations and nearby universities to amplify our reach.

Berkeley Mathematics Affiliates

SLMath (formerly MSRI)

Founded in 1982 by Calvin Moore, Shiing-Shen Chern, and I. M. Singer, SLMath (formerly MSRI) is dedicated 

  • to the advancement and communication of fundamental knowledge in mathematics and the mathematical sciences,
  • to the development of human capital for the growth and use of such knowledge, and
  • to the cultivation in the larger society of awareness and appreciation of the beauty, power and importance of mathematical ideas and ways of understanding the world.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)

Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today. Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff.

Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing

The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing is the world's leading venue for collaborative research in theoretical computer science. The Institute is housed in Calvin Lab, a dedicated building on the UC Berkeley campus. It aims to bring together the world's leading researchers in theoretical computer science and related fields, as well as the next generation of outstanding young scholars, to explore deep unsolved problems about the nature and limits of computation.

Berkeley Math in the Community

Below is a list of volunteer opportunities our graduate students have participated in in recent years:

Community Resources for Science - Be a Scientist Program

Be a Scientist volunteers coach middle school students through the steps of designing, conducting, and communicating about their own science investigations. Once per week over the course of a six-week session, BAS volunteers go into Berkeley middle school classrooms to provide individual support to students. Volunteers are trained to work with middle schoolers and teach the scientific method.

Prison University Project

The mission of the Prison University Project is to provide excellent higher education to people at San Quentin State Prison, support increased access to higher education for incarcerated people, and stimulate public awareness about higher education access and criminal justice.

The Prison University Project uses a student-centered, culturally-responsive model of teaching. Volunteer faculty are placed as instructors and tutors during our spring, summer, and fall terms and commit to 5-10 hours per week to their class for the duration of the semester. All volunteers should be comfortable with extensive communication with co-instructors and staff and should be open to exploring new teaching techniques.


UPchieve is a nonprofit that connects low-income students with live tutors any time they need it. They believe getting help when students need it should be simple for all, regardless of their socioeconomic status. By giving students 24/7 access to high-quality academic support, UPchieve improves students’ grades and academic motivation. Their ultimate goal is to help more low-income students 1) get to college, and 2) succeed once they’re there.

Volunteer opportunities are highly flexible. Volunteers are able to choose tutoring topics, set their own schedules, and receive text notifications when a student requests help. 

The Berkeley Math Circle

The purpose of the Berkeley Math Circle and the Bay Area Mathematics Olympiad is to increase the quality and quantity of students who become mathematics educators and researchers, or who simply love and use mathematics in their studies, work, and daily activities.

SMART Mentoring

Student Mentoring and Research Teams (SMART) is a program that enables doctoral students to create mentored research opportunities for undergraduate students at UC Berkeley. The program provides summer funding for both graduate and undergraduate participants and opportunities to share research results on campus and at national conferences.