Our graduate program is unique from the other top mathematics institutions in the U.S. in that it emphasizes, from the start, independent research. Each year, we have extremely motivated and talented students among our new Ph.D. candidates who, we are proud to say, will become the next generation of leading researchers in their fields. While we urge independent work and research, there exists a real sense of camaraderie among our graduate students. As a result, the atmosphere created is one of excitement and stimulation as well as of mentoring and support. Furthermore, there exists a strong scholarly relationship between the Math Department and the Institute for Advanced Study, located just a short distance from campus, where students can make contact with members there as well as attend the IAS seminar series.
Our program has minimal requirements and maximal research and educational opportunities. We offer a broad variety of advanced research topics courses as well as more introductory level courses in algebra, analysis, and geometry, which help first-year students strengthen their mathematical background and get involved with faculty through basic course work. In addition to the courses, there are several informal seminars specifically geared toward graduate students: (1) Colloquium Lunch Talk, where experts who have been invited to present at the Department Colloquium give introductory talks, which allows graduate students to understand the afternoon colloquium more easily; (2) Graduate Student Seminar (GSS), which is organized and presented by graduate students for graduate students, creating a vibrant mathematical interaction among them; and, (3) What’s Happening in Fine Hall (WHIFH) seminar where faculty give talks in their own research areas specifically geared towards graduate students. Working or reading seminars in various research fields are also organized by graduate students each semester.
First-year students are set on the fast track of research by choosing two advanced topics of research, beyond having a strong knowledge of three more general subjects: algebra, and real and complex analysis, as part of the required General Examination. It is the hope that one, or both, of the advanced topics will lead to the further discovery of a thesis problem. Students are expected to write a thesis in four years but will be provided an additional year to complete their work if deemed necessary.
Most of our Ph.D.'s are successfully launched into academic positions at premier mathematical institutions as well as in industry.