Unformatted text preview: The Mathematics Department of the
University of Southern California Francis Bonahon, Professor and Acting Chair
Asher Shamam, Graduate Student USC Math at a glance
Faculty:
32 tenure track and emeriti
6 joint appointments with teaching
12 postdocs (9 teaching)
6 lecturers
9 joint appointments without teaching
7 research faculty USC Math at a glance
53 PhD students
All fully supported by TAships, RAships, Fellowships
29 master’s students (including math finance) The two PhD Programs The PhD in (pure) Mathematics The PhD in Applied Mathematics First year: Introduction to discipline and department
PhD in Mathematics Screening exam at the end of first year: Algebra OR Analysis
Typically 3 courses/semester
Graduate seminar: Introduction to dept faculty and problem solving First year: Introduction to discipline and department
PhD in Applied Mathematics
Screening exam at the end of first year: Real analysis, numerical analysis, probability, statistics
Typically 3 courses/semester
Graduate seminar: Introduction to dept faculty and problem solving Introduction to the research enterprise
After passing screening exam, student is expected to select a thesis advisor
Usually, begins to read some research articles Significant Transition
PhD in Mathematics
Qualifying Exam before the end of the second year:
Two written exams: algebra, analysis, topology/geometry, differential equations, or proba/stats.
One oral exam: the student is expected to show that he/she can understand research level mathematics Significant Transition
PhD in Applied Mathematics
Qualifying exam after significant body of research (third or fourth year)
Oral exam: the student presents the research already accomplished, and indicates plans for further research leading to the completion of the PhD Breadth requirements
Student expected to take a certain number of courses, covering a wide spectrum of mathematics
PhD in Mathematics: 3 required courses, plus 5 out of a list of 8
PhD in Applied Mathematics: 6 courses out of a list of 19 Dissertation: choosing the topic
Usually, major input from the advisor. Several models:
Advisor suggests specific problem
Advisor suggests general area, until student/advisor converge on something “doable”
Team work on the topic of a grant/contract (applied math) Dissertation: When to defend?
General rule: When the advisor says so
Often, little input from rest of dissertation committee
Limit of 5+ years of financial support implies strong incentive to finish on time (pressure on both student and advisor) Trend in the USC Math Dept
Push student to begin research as early as possible
There had been problems in the past Innovation
Revised PhD in Applied Mathematics:
Get graduate exams out of the way sooner
Qualifying exam after significant body of research Novel Idea
PhD in Mathematics, with a minor outside of mathematics
Possible minors: Biology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, ... PhD with a minor
Rationale:
Some students were already doing it, getting an master’s degree in engineering over their summers
Increase breadth, in particular in Applied Mathematics
Better employability? PhD with minor
Investigating two tracks:
PhD in Math with full fledged master’s in other department (negotiations to make it easier)
Internal route: MS in Math with specialization, requiring taking 15 units outside of math department ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course MATH 110 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '08 term at BYU.
 Winter '08
 Staff
 Math

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