Mentor FAQ


Q: What are the qualifications necessary to advise a DRP project?

A: The only real requirements are that you’re a graduate student and that you are willing to put the effort into making any DRP project you are assigned a success.


Q: What are the things I am expected to do as a DRP mentor?

A: There are essentially only three things that you are required to do as a DRP mentor, anything beyond that (while encouraged) is your prerogative.

The first thing you will need to do, is help facilitate the choosing of a topic by your assigned mentee. They will most likely have a rough idea (some more specific than others) of what they want to do, but it is your job to solidify this idea and to curb any unreasonable goals (e.g. someone who has taken only Math 54 wanting to learn $p$-adic Hodge Theory).

Once this is done, you will need to oversee the learning of this topic with your mentee. Generically, this means guiding your student through the book and/or papers that you have decided to read. This will entail helping lay out a reasonable timetable for the students to follow. It will also involve meeting with your student at least once a week, to answer any questions they may have. That said, this is a free-form process that is ultimately left up to the mentor/mentee pair. A pair may decide that the mentee should present material at the weekly meeting, or they may just treat the time as a general Q&A session. These more fine-point details are best determined by each pair.

Lastly, you will need to assist the student in preparation with their end-of-term presentation. This could entail several things, depending upon the particular mentee. Invariably, you will help them organize the general layout of their presentation: what to talk about, appropriate assumptions of background for the intended audience, etc. But, depending on the previous experience your mentee has with giving math presentations, you may have them give practice talks to you (this is highly recommended), or help them with LaTeX if they decide to do a beamer presentation.


Q: What is the expected time commitment?

A: Generally, a mentor/mentee pair will meet for at least one hour per week. Any longer than that is entirely a decision made by an individual mentor/mentee pair.

As discussed in the previous question, a mentor is expected to help their mentee prepare for their end-of-term presentation. Usually, this involves no more than three hours of work for the mentor, between brainstorming ideas with their mentee, to watching a practice presentation or two, etc.


Q: Why should I mentor a DRP project?

A: The Berkeley DRP was founded largely with one goal in mind: to encourage and facilitate the mathematical minds of tomorrow. This may take the form of helping an already interested student grasp a subject they may have otherwise not have had the chance to learn, or it may come via the introduction of a student to the field of mathematics at large.

More concretely, all of us had immense help to get where we are today. This may have been through professors, friends, or graduate students, but undeniably it was there. This is a chance to repay that debt, to be that person that helps the next generation of mathematics students get to wherever it is they want to go.


Q: How are pairings between mentors and mentees made?

A: Mentors and mentees will be paired primarily based on their desired project topics. Mentees and mentors can then decide after their initial meeting(s) whether their interests and working preferences mesh well.


Q: Will I be compensated monetarily or academically for being a DRP mentor?

A: As of Fall 2017, there is no monetary or academic compensation for participation in the DRP. In the future, however, we hope to secure course credit and/or a modest stipend for mentors.