next up previous contents
Next: Contents Up: gradstudy Previous: gradstudy   Contents

1 Introduction

Dianne Prost O'Leary
Last modified October 12, 2016.

This document grew out of a 1990 set of notes (``Graduate School in Your Future?") that I wrote as director of undergraduate studies in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. The goal was to offer advice to students on entering, surviving, and thriving during graduate study and beyond.

In writing the notes, I kept in mind the mind-boggling customs and taboos faced by a person who might be the first in the family to attend graduate school. Although it often seems that everyone but you knows ``the (unwritten) rules," it became clear to me that the majority of graduate students could benefit from more street smarts, so these notes try to smooth the transition from undergraduate to professional.

Since I deal with both mathematics and computer science majors, much of the advice is addressed to these two groups, but scientists, engineers and others might find some of it useful. It is also rather U.S.-specific, but students elsewhere may find a useful idea or two.

This is a work-in-progress. In particular, the resource section could use some work. The HTML is not fancy, but I hope it is readable.

Your additions to the resource section, comments on these notes, or corrections will be appreciated!

A Note on Reproduction

You are welcome to print out a copy of this document for your individual use, as long as your copy includes the information about authorship and source. You are welcome to point others to this document. All other rights, including multiple reproduction, are reserved by the author.


This work was inspired by conversations with Juan Meza and written at the University of Maryland. The resources section drew upon many sources, especially links found by Tamara Gibson Kolda.

In some sense it is a small repayment of my debt to past and current mentors (Gene Golub, in particular), to friends (particularly my husband Tim), and to agencies (such as the National Science Foundation and the Hertz Foundation) and people who helped me along the way. I'm especially grateful to my parents, Raymond and Anne Prost, for support and guidance.

Dianne O'Leary

Homepage for Dianne O'Leary

next up previous contents
Next: Contents Up: gradstudy Previous: gradstudy   Contents
Dianne O'Leary 2016-10-12