Cognate Courses in Entrepreneurship

Have you thought about entrepreneurship? Many Michigan Math PhD Alums have founded companies. If you’re curious, consider taking a cognate in UM’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

There are many options for Winter 2020, from intro-level courses such as “Intro to Innovation” or “Interpersonal skills,” to seminars on venture capital, entrepreneurship, patent law, climate change innovation and more.

The best part: some are 1 or 2 credit courses. Most math graduate students already have 2 cognate credits (one each from the “ethics seminar” and teacher training) and so only need 2 more to satisfy the Rackham 4 credit requirement. See the attached  flier.

You may be surprised to learn that entrepreneurship is both a real career option for Math PhDs, as well as a hobby or source of income for graduate students! For example,  Gilad Pagi (Math PhD 2018, now at Google) founded his own consulting company while a graduate student in our department and got some lucrative side work from some industries in town, while  Stanford math topologist Gunnar Carlson is cofounder of Symphony Ayasdi, a machine intelligence company. As for careers: Brian Wyman (Math PhD 2010) founded his own data analytics company after graduation that did work primarily in the Nevada gambling industry before joining as a partner at the Innovation Group.  This year in junior colloquium you’ll get to meet two more Math PhD alumni entrepreneurs: Alex Mueller (Math PhD 2012),  founder and CEO of the data security consulting company Caprion, who will serve on this February’s Non-Academic Careers panel, and Olivia Walch (AIM PhD 2016), founder and CEO of Arcascope, a company markets an App she developed as a graduate student to help travelers deal with jet lag, will speak in January’s Invitation to Industry seminar.

Most of these opportunities are a result of the Data Revolution, which has created an incredible demand for mathematicians in government, industry and business. Indeed, February’s career panel will focus on several different kinds of jobs for PhD mathematics within just that one industry.