Are you interested in graduate school? Math careers in academia or industry? Life in academia? Ever wanted to talk to a professor you haven't had a class with?

If so, sign up to have lunch/coffee with a professor! This program allows you to sign up for dedicated time slots to meet with professors for lunch or coffee. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get to know department faculty in an informal setting and learn about topics such as research, careers in industry, applying for graduate school, and more.


Sign ups are open to all undergraduate and graduate Mathematics students at UC Irvine.


** The sign up period for Feb 12 - Feb 16 will open on (approx.) Tuesday, Jan 30. Spots are very limited so sign up soon! The last day to sign up is Monday, Feb 5. 

How to sign up:
1. Find 1-3 students to join your lunch/coffee with a professor.
2. See who is available to meet up with for lunch/coffee below.
3. Submit your CLWP request here (Each group member must submit their own form).
4. Selected students for the Coffee/lunch with a professor program will be announced on Wednesday, Feb 7.**

** Your sign up does not guarantee your participation in this program. 
** The CWLP Committee will be selecting students for participation in this program on Wednesday, Feb 7.


What to expect: 
1. Selected students for the Coffee/lunch with a professor program will be announced on Wednesday, Feb 7.
2. Meet with your professor at the time and date indicated in front of Rowland Hall. Introduce yourselves and see below on suggestions for starter questions.
3. Coffee/lunch will be paid for by the CLWP program at Cafe Espresso (limit $5 per person for coffee and $12 per person for lunch).
3. After your lunch/coffee, you will be sent a very brief follow up survey.


Winter 2024 CLWP Faculty Members

Research Areas
Math Education: Neil Donaldson, Alessandra Pantano, Bob Pelayo
Applied and Computational Mathematics: Paul Carter, Long Chen, Patrick Guidotti, Anna Ma, Chris Miles, Danhua Wang, Ray Zhang
Algebra and Number Theory: Kenny Ascher, Nathan Kaplan, Bob Pelayo, Manny Reyes
Geometry and Topology: Kenny Ascher, Neil Donaldson, Bob Pelayo, Jesse Wolfson
Mathematical and Computational Biology: Chris Miles, Ray Zhang
Probability and Combinatorics: Roman Vershynin, Yizhe Zhu
Analysis and Partial Differential Equations: Paul Carter, Patrick Guidotti, Danhua Wang
Math Finance: Jeff Ludwig
Applied analysis: Patrick Guidotti
Smart/electrical power grid: Danhua Wang

Special Topics: faculty members are typically open to discussing any of the below topics. Listed faculty members are those who expressed a special interest in these topics.
Research in Mathematics: Kenny Ascher, Paul Carter, Long Chen, Nathan Kaplan, Anna Ma, Alessandra Pantano, Manny Reyes, Roman Vershynin, Jesse Wolfson, Ray Zhang, Yizhe Zhu
Careers in Mathematics: Kenny Ascher, Paul Carter, Neil Donaldson, Jeff Ludwig, Alessandra Pantano, Roman Vershynin, Danhua Wang, Jesse Wolfson, Ray Zhang, Yizhe Zhu
Graduate school: Kenny Ascher, Paul Carter, Neil Donaldson, Nathan Kaplan, Anna Ma, Bob Pelayo, Manny Reyes, Roman Vershynin, Danhua Wang, Ray Zhang, Yizhe Zhu
Summer internships: Danhua Wang
Imposter syndrome: Paul Carter, Neil Donaldson, Anna Ma, Chris Miles, Alessandra Pantano, Bob Pelayo, Manny Reyes
Work/life balance: Paul Carter, Neil Donaldson, Patrick Guidotti, Anna Ma, Roman Vershynin, Jesse Wolfson
Success strategies: Manny Reyes
Challenges faced by first-generation students: Chris Miles
Math Major Tracks: Alessandra Pantano, Bob Pelayo
Data Science/Machine learning: Long Chen, Jeff Ludwig, Anna Ma, Bob Pelayo, Yizhe Zhu
Math biology track: Chris Miles
Outreach opportunities on campus: Alessandra Pantano
Math and dance, fractals and Africanist musics: Jesse Wolfson

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How many people will be at each Coffee/Lunch meet up?
    • There will be anywhere between 3-5 people at each scheduled meeting (including the faculty member/professor).
  • Do I need to email my professor before I book a lunch/coffee meet up with them?
    • You do not need to email professors to confirm their availability. If you have any questions, please email us at
  • When the last day to sign up? 
    • Because there are a very limited number of spots, we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible. The last day to sign up is Monday, Feb 5.
  • Is lunch/coffee provided?
    • Coffee/lunch will be at Cafe Espresso and will be paid for by the program. 
  • Can I sign up by myself for lunch/coffee with a professor?
    • You are encouraged to sign up with classmates but may also sign up by yourself (you will be paired with others).
  • What should I do if the professor I wanted to meet with isn't listed on the form? 
  • Can I have lunch/coffee with a professor who I haven't had a class with? 
    • Absolutely! You are not limited to your current or previous course instructors.
  • I'm not a math major. Can I still participate in this program?
    • At least one member of your sign up group should be a mathematics major. 
  • How long will the meet up be?
    • Meet ups will be scheduled to be 1 hour long.
  • Should I email the professor first?
    • There is no need to email the professor first. 
  • Where will lunch/coffee take place?
    • Lunch/Coffee will take place at Cafe Espresso.


Sample questions for meet up:
What was your undergraduate experience like? What would you do over, given the chance?
If you had to pick a different career, what would you pick?
What was your first research project? How did you come about that opportunity?
What was your graduate school experience like?
What do you do outside of research and/or teaching?
What was applying for graduate school like for you? Do you have any tips?
I am looking for guidance applying for graduate school. Do you have any advice?
What is the best way to start doing research as an undergraduate?