Guide for the final year as UO math GTF.
deadlines dissertation help job help


Read the math department's Graduate handbook as well as the rules on Gradweb.
The dates and advice given here is subjective and bound to change.

  • Look at (not the registrar or DuckWeb.)
  • "thesis = masters"
    "dissertation = PhD"
    Follow instructions on for dissertation not thesis.
  • Talk to your adviser.
  • Future grad students: please update with your experience and templates. (Last updated, July 2008).
    Also be mindful to use this information respectfully. Read it, use the templates, but then write your own words.

    dissertation deadlines

    Date Action
    year before defense register for enough dissertation credits
    7 months before defense verify your committee is correct with gradweb!
    (there is a deadline for this at 6 months)
    term before defense
  • register to graduate on gradweb.
  • notify math office
    (they setup defense room and other things)
  • 4 weeks before defense
    (this is Math department requirement,
    it is earlier than grad schools' 3 week rule.)
  • sign "no monkeys hurt" paperwork
  • submit signed abstract of your thesis to grad school
  • job deadlines

    Date Action
    July NSF post-doc applications due
    July 22, 2008
    (mid July year-to-year
    check June/July notices)
    Deadlines for 20 min. talks at AMS/MAA joint conf.
    This is not typical, but if your are has a
    special session then you can use this option.
    Sept. 16, 2008
    (mid Sept year-to-year
    check June/July notices)
    Submit abstract to talk 10 mins at AMS/MAA
    Oct/Nov? Deadline to register for AMS/MAA at cheaper rates
    consider registering earlier to get
    cheapest hotel rates.
    Nov. 1, 15,30;
    Dec. 15; Jan 1
    Jobs application deadlines

    dissertation help

    Template I
  • The files
  • This version has 10pt font and full justification.
  • Template II
  • The files
  • This version has 12pt font and left justification.
  • Which template is right for you?

    The grad school prefers the format in template II; however, both template I and template II have been accepted without comments by the grad school. Thus, in principle they both comply sufficiently well with the rules.

    Why template I? Easier to read output, less waste of space and paper.
    General problem with II over I is how math equations look. With the way latex works, II leads to line breaks sometimes in the middle of the page. It is hard to read and uses a lot of paper. The combination of smaller font and full justification allows latex to fit more in a page and line and makes it easer to read.

  • How to use the template?
      unzip the files into a folder where you want to work on your dissertation. Recommend that this be a distinct folder.
      rename the file "thesis.tex" to whatever you want to call you dissertation, or leave it alone.
      Make sure the preamble has the package you use, xy-pic, etc. Most are there by default.
      Decide if you want "showkeys" that is a helpful package which shows what \ref, \cite, \label are in the final PDF. You turn this off before printing final versions but it helps to get links correct in latex.
      To turn this on remove the comment % from the line:
      % \usepackage{showkeys}
      Rename the theorem/coro/etc commands to the names you use. For example, by default definition is "defn", you may prefer "dfn" so change \newtheorem{defn}[thm]{Definition} to \newtheorem{dfn}[thm]{Definition} If you want definition to number separately from theorm, remove the [thm] part. If you want number them with chapters instead of sections change \newcommand{\Number}{section} replacing "section" with "chapter"

      For more details ask a latex savey friend.

      Most important, read the comments in the latex file and the place holder text, carefully!

      Template I has been proof read a little more, but Template II has misspelled words and includes as place holders words like "kick ass" which could be embarrassing to let slip to the wrong committee member. So read the instructions and replace with all the correct things.

      Most place holders are marked with !!. Furthermore, be careful to put the correct capitalization in the right places. Most parts ask for you title to be in all capital letters. One exception is the approval page (not to be confused with the abstract page). The approval page uses "title case". This means that you capitalize all major words. The graduate school is picky here and they also do not have a consistent way to answer math related problems such as what do with terms like "p-local" should that be "P-local", "p-Local" or "p-local"?

      Best to ask the grad school thesis editor about what to do in your case. NOTE: that page is signed by your adviser, so if you get it wrong and your adviser is out of town it is a real pain to get fixed, so do this when your adviser can be found.

  • Table of contents!!

    Fix this at the every end, just before you turn in your thesis.

    The table of contents will have periods missing after the chapter numbers. This is silly, but required.


      compile the dissertation making sure everything is correct, references, citations, page numbers match table of contents etc.
      Open the file called "mydissertation.toc" where mydissertation is whatever you have called your main file. It should be in the same folder as your main file. If it doesn't exist, compile latex again, or ask someone who is computer savey.
      You will see lines like this:
      \contentsline {chapter}{\numberline {I}INTRODUCTION}{1}
      \contentsline {chapter}{\numberline {II}DECOMPOSING $p$-GROUPS VIA JORDAN ALGEBRAS}{2}
      \contentsline {section}{\numberline {II.1}Introduction}{2}
      \contentsline {subsection}{\numberline {II.1.1}Outline of the Proof}{4}
      \contentsline {section}{\numberline {II.2}Background}{5}
      \contentsline {subsection}{\numberline {II.2.1}Central Decompositions and Products}{5}
      Of course the words will reflect your chapter and section titles.
      Add the `.' to the chapter numbers (here in red), only the chapters!
      \contentsline {chapter}{\numberline {I.}INTRODUCTION}{1}
      \contentsline {chapter}{\numberline {II.}DECOMPOSING $p$-GROUPS VIA JORDAN ALGEBRAS}{2}
      \contentsline {section}{\numberline {II.1}Introduction}{2}
      \contentsline {subsection}{\numberline {II.1.1}Outline of the Proof}{4}
      \contentsline {section}{\numberline {II.2}Background}{5}
      \contentsline {subsection}{\numberline {II.2.1}Central Decompositions and Products}{5}
      Save the file.
      Run latex (or pdflatex) ONCE!
      Review your table of contents in the PDF. You should see the chapter numbers now have I., II., etc. If not, repeat.
      NOTE: everytime you run latex or pdflatex it rewrite the *.toc files so all your changes to that files are deleted. So if you need to make a change else where you will have to repeat this process.
      WARNING: this process is incredibly bad and can make your page numbers not agree with the table of contents if you don't do it exactly right. So check that they are correct when you are done.

    To good latex users: that has been fixed in the past. A few years ago, graduate students decided the throw-out the previous templates (why?!) and rebuild one from the physics department. The older version appears lost, but apparently did not have this bug. If you know latex, try to fix the bug or find the old template to modify. A helpful tool might be to just redefine all the table of contents commands or use minitoc.


    The following list of files are a collection of advice which is hopefully helpful. They include examples from previous GTFs as well as general advice. (Hopefully these example will be replaced/ammended with better and better examples as time goes on.)
    Teaching Statements
    Research Statements
    Cover letters
    General Comments
    How many applications? Data for 2008:
    30 39 75 80 80