Information for Prospective Candidates

The department is excited to announce that we are hiring two positions in mathematics with a start date of fall 2023.

Basic Information

To apply, please go to our job posting. Full consideration will be given to all applications received by Oct. 24, 2022.

A list of courses the department teaches.

A list of research interests of our faculty.

Additional Information

Grinnell is a highly-selective liberal arts college, ranked in the top twenty in the U.S. News and World Report analysis (#13 this year). Grinnell has a well-deserved reputation for undergraduate teaching. A recent NSF report ranks Grinnell seventh per capita among schools from which science and engineering Ph.D.’s received their bachelor’s degrees.

Grinnell has a strong commitment to social justice, revealed, in part, by our need-blind admissions process. We do not consider the ability to pay in making admissions decisions for domestic students, and we meet the full demonstrated financial need of all students we accept (including international students). 86% of first-year students receive financial aid, with an average financial aid package of over $50,000 to students demonstrating need. In an era in which student debt is a mounting problem, Grinnell students in the class of 2019 graduated with an average debt of about $20,000. Recently, Grinnell replaced all student loans with grants.

Our commitment to social justice and our admissions process lead to a diverse student body. Grinnell has approximately 1,700 students from across the U.S. and the world. The current incoming first-year class includes approximately 20% international students (from 37 different countries), 16% first-generation college students, 29% domestic students of color, and compared to our peers, far more of our students who attended U..S high school attended a public or charter school.

The typical course load is five courses per year. We try to ensure faculty teach a limited number of unique courses in a given semester to cut down on preparation time, especially in a semester when a faculty member is teaching a three-course load and we make an extra effort to ensure new faculty have a manageable teaching schedule. New tenure-track faculty teach a reduced load of four courses in their first year to allow some additional time to adjust to teaching at Grinnell.

Math faculty usually teach at all levels of our curriculum. At the 100-level we offer: Calculus I (MAT-131), or the sequence Functions and Differential Calculus (MAT-123) and Functions and Integral Calculus (MAT-124), and then Calculus II (MAT-133). Calculus I is designed for students who have mastered the fundamentals of high school algebra and trigonometry. The year-long sequence MAT-123/124 covers the same calculus material as MAT-131 but also spends time developing the prerequisites that are assumed in MAT-131. One somewhat novel feature of our curriculum is that we only offer two semesters of calculus in the standard sequence (MAT-131 and MAT-133). MAT-131 covers all of the usual material in a first course, plus some additional integration topics. We drop sequences and series entirely at this level (students see this material in Differential Equations and Foundations of Analysis). Our MAT-133 course then focuses on multivariable calculus, with a few weeks devoted to integration techniques and parametric curves.

At the 200-level we offer Linear Algebra (MAT-215), Bridges to Advanced Mathematics (MAT-218 or MAT-222), and Differential Equations (MAT-220). In Linear Algebra we try to balance computational, conceptual, and theoretic aspects of the subject in our course in order to make it appealing to students across the College, while still developing the logical reasoning and writing skills necessary to continue in the mathematics major. The purpose of Bridges to Advanced Mathematics is to prepare students for the 300-level foundations courses through building skills such as working with fundamental tools of logic to write convincing arguments, grappling deeply with difficult mathematical problems, and reading upper-level undergraduate mathematical texts.

At the 300-level we teach Foundations of Analysis (MAT-316) and Foundations of Abstract Algebra (MAT-321) which are both required for the major, as well as a number of electives: Mathematical Modeling (MAT-306), Numerical Analysis (MAT-313), and Topics in Applied Mathematics (MAT-314), Advanced Topics in Analysis (MAT-317), Advanced Topics in Algebra (MAT-322), and the Senior Seminar (MAT-444). Over the last several years, our advanced topics courses have regularly been offered as project-based and inquiry-based courses culminating in a significant research project.

All tenure-line faculty will occasionally teach a section of Tutorial as one of their five courses. Tutorial is the only required course for students at Grinnell, and all new students take it in their first semester. Tutorial can be any topic the faculty member chooses; the goal of the course is to help students develop their critical thinking and communication skills, particularly in writing, oral presentation, and discussion. The students in your tutorial section become your academic advisees until they declare a major in their fourth semester. New tenure-track faculty generally don’t teach a section of tutorial until their third year. You can read more about Tutorial and see a list of recent Tutorial topics on the College’s First-Year Tutorial page.

Students who declare a math major have a faculty advisor in the department; new tenure-track faculty generally do not take advisees, but advising will become a larger part of your responsibilities as a faculty member. You can read a bit more about Grinnell’s individually-advised curriculum on the College’s Academic Planning page. As a quick summary, students at Grinnell do not have general education requirements. Instead, they select courses in close consultation with their faculty advisor; you will play a role in helping students design a broad curriculum across the liberal arts.

Faculty at Grinnell College are expected to be productive scholars. With that expectation, the College also provides support for faculty scholarship. All faculty receive $3,000 each year to support their research and teaching. Most faculty use this money for travel to conferences, but this funding can be used to pay hourly research assistants, purchase books, and more. There is an opportunity annually to apply for additional funding.

Pre-tenure faculty are eligible for a one-semester research leave in their fourth year and can apply for a Harris Fellowship, which supports a full-year leave. Faculty are eligible for a full-year sabbatical with full pay after tenure, and after every 12 semesters of teaching after that.

The College provides funding for summer research students through Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs), as well as an associated stipend for the faculty who supervise that research. There is more demand for summer research positions than we can meet, so the department always appreciates faculty who will supervise summer research. However, this is not required.

Grinnell College has an excellent grants office to help faculty apply for government grants and other external funding programs. Faculty are not required to have grants, but this office supports faculty in preparing proposals if you have work that requires external funding.

Grinnell College is located in Grinnell, Iowa — “the Jewel of the Prairie“ — approximately one hour east of Des Moines and one hour west of Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa. With a historic downtown, welcoming independent retailers and restaurants, 70 acres of parks, and over 10 miles of recreational trails, Grinnell is a vibrant micropolitan area boasting a thriving arts and culture environment and plentiful leisure opportunities. Known for its historic architecture, especially the Louis Sullivan-designed Jewel Box Bank, Grinnell has been listed as one of the “coolest“ small cities in America. In collaboration with local partner organizations, the College has made significant investments in Grinnell in recent years in public pre-K-12 education, childcare, downtown development, housing, health and safety, arts and culture, and recreation. Students, faculty, and staff benefit from the many restaurants, cafes, and small businesses that line downtown streets, including a new boutique hotel and an independent movie theater that is co-owned by the College with other local investors. Recently, this type of public-private partnership has helped the community respond energetically to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a severe weather event that affected the community in 2020, and the social divisions prevalent across the country.

The Grinnell Office of Communications and the Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement put together this series of videos to help visitors understand what it's like living and working in Grinnell.

  • Meet Grinnell - Progressive, charming, vibrant, quirky, thriving. Hear how community members answer the question, “How would you describe Grinnell?”
  • Grinnell is Connected - The benefits of small-town living are sometimes unexpected. Listen as residents reflect on the positive ways their lives have been touched by Grinnell.
  • Grinnell is Growth - Local entrepreneurs describe Grinnell as interesting and authentic, with a rich arts and culture vibe. Find out more about recent growth in Grinnell.
  • Grinnell is Involved - Grinnell is a community always looking for the next generation of leaders to see and create change. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and the accessibility of community leadership.
  • Grinnell is Active - Get a peek at the parks, trails, restaurants, shopping, and other opportunities that make Grinnell an interesting place to live, work, and play.

Special thank you to our Computer Science Department colleagues who gave us permission to reproduce some of their webpage.

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