I'll get a B.S. in math this December and (hopefully) go to graduate school next fall. In the coming spring semester, I will stay around my undergraduate institution (in the U.S.), auditing classes, attending seminars, talking with faculty and so on. But since I will not be enrolled during the spring, I will lose my access to a lot of University resources. Specifically (not limited to),

  1. I will lose access to the secure University Wifi network on campus.

  2. I will not be able to borrow books for free from the University library unless I pay some money to become a member of the alumni association. But more importantly, even if I become a member of the alumni association, I will not have access to any math database (e.g. MathSciNet).

  3. I will not have access to computer labs in my college where I can print 600 pages of papers for free every semester when enrolled.

I can understand University is also a business and I hope I could get used to my situation soon after graduation. But I wonder if there are some ways to improve such an embarrassing situation. What is the best way for me to get access to math databases for instance?

  • Have you considered doing an internship at a research group? You would get access through them. Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 16:14
  • I agree with marc classen. Getting involved in research will definitely help.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 16:27
  • @MarcClaesen Thanks for this suggestion. But I'm interested in pure math, and I don't want to spend energy on applied things...
    – tqw
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 16:32
  • @ZhouFang Sometimes you need to do something you're less interested in for a while :) Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 17:30
  • 3
    Talk to a faculty member about this. The possibilities and procedures differ between universities, so there's no universal answer, but most universities have some mechanism for providing access to electronic resources for visitors. With a faculty sponsor you might be able to get the same sort of access. Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


One potential solution: I may register for a one-credit course at the University. It (hopefully) may not cost much and help me get access to standard University resources.

Update: the University library just told me I could get access to math databases through computers on campus libraries by applying for a guest account for free, though I can't get remote access.


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