"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty." - Bertrand Russell

letters of recommendation

If I have agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you, please give me a folder containing:

  • unofficial copy of your transcript,
  • copy of your personal statement (if applicable),
  • all necessary forms, and
  • addressed PSU Mathematics Department envelopes (see Dawn Boynton) without stamps.

Furthermore, at least two weeks before the first letter is due, email me your answers to the following questions (the more details the better):

  • What is your name, year, and major?
  • For what are you applying? (scholarship, graduate school, etc.)
  • List the programs to which you are applying, together with due dates.
  • How long have I known you (years/months), and what is my relationship(s) to you (instructor, advisor, etc.)? Have you graded for me? If so, for what class(es) and when?
  • For what class(es) have I had you, what final grade(s) did I assign you, and how did you distinguish yourself in my class(es)?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are some of your academic accomplishments?
  • What are some of your nonacademic accomplishments?
  • What makes me particularly qualified to write a letter for you?
  • What makes you particularly qualified for this position/honor/award?
  • What are your long term goals and will this position/honor/award help? If so, how?
  • Additional comments (REU's, summer research, interesting jobs, hobbies, etc.)?

Please send me email reminders as deadlines approach, and feel free to chat with me about other ways you can make the letter writing process go as smoothly as possible for you and your letter writers. Good luck!

Thanks to Michael Orrison of Harvey Mudd; these guidelines were adopted from Michael's recommendation's page.