Bogdan Vernescu (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Considered one of the most important innovations in graduate science education in recent years, and the MBA of the 21st century, the Professional Science Master's (PSM) programs are a positive example of alignment of the higher education STEM production with the workforce demands. The fast growing number of PSM programs (331 PSM programs in 157 institutions in the United States) proves that the need to redesign the Master’s degree, to provide students with the skills needed to make them successful in jobs outside academia, responds to market needs for specialists with strong quantitative, modeling and scientific skills and that universities across the US have understood how to develop and deliver these programs.The PSM programs in the mathematical sciences have deeper roots in the applied mathematics and statistics MS programs and can be integrated well with the undergraduate and Ph.D. programs. There is evidence that shows that the programs meet the workforce needs and that graduates from these programs are successfully employed in corporations and in government.The talk will address several topics related to the development and administration of PSM programs in the mathematical sciences, such as:
- Curriculum issues: courses offered, how content is related to businesses' needs, special pedagogical issues related to teaching in a PSM, etc.
- Internship and research components in the PSMs.
- Building effective partnerships between math PSMs and industry, business and government.
- Student recruitment and retention.
- Role of the PSMs in creating leaders in innovative companies in STEM fields: case studies of working mathematicians.
- Start-up strategies and costs for new PSMs.