|UW Mathematics||Autumn 2007|
Message from the Chair
Message from the Chair
As you will read in the article by Tom Duchamp, a concerted effort by the Department has transformed our graduate program during the past decade. A record number of 14 students completed the Ph.D. last academic year, and ten students finished in the previous academic year. In fact, all indications are that we have entered a period in which we will continue to average over ten doctorates a year, compared to a historical average of about 6.5. One of our goals during the past decade has been the broadening of the experience and preparation of our students. While the majority of our doctoral graduates go on to postdoctoral positions at research institutions, several choose to work in industry or to teach at two-year or four-year colleges. All have a better understanding of the scientific and educational responsibilities that mathematicians must assume.
The past decade has also seen major revisions to our undergraduate degree programs and instruction, resulting in the doubling of the number of Mathematics majors to above 300. In addition, there are over 100 students in the joint ACMS program that was introduced ten years ago. The graduates of both of our programs, Mathematics and ACMS, are prepared to pursue a wide range of careers in all areas of science, engineering, and mathematics, and in other fields.
The following pages describe some of the achievements of our students and the recognitions they continue to receive, for example two wins in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, a Deanís Medal, and two National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships during the past year. We are pleased to acknowledge the strong (and increasing) support of our alumni and friends, including a number of professorships and fellowships. This support beyond state funding and federal grants adds greatly to our effectiveness in research, education and outreach.
I would also like to acknowledge a group of colleagues who contribute to every aspect of our work: the Departmentís ten members of staff. They deserve a large share of the credit for the Departmentís successes.
Our educational activities go hand in hand with our research, each part of our mission benefiting from and strengthening the other. And everything we do rests on the efforts of the Departmentís faculty. During the past decade we have built research groups in algebraic geometry, combinatorics and number theory. In addition we have recognized the important role computation now plays in mathematics; with the appointments we made in recent years, we now have several faculty members whose interests include computation. We plan to continue to build in these areas, and at the same time maintain the Departmentís long-standing strengths in probability, optimization and several areas of analysis. More generally, we hope to build upon the advances the Department has made in undergraduate and graduate education as well as in research. Thanks to the commitment of the Departmentís faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, we are in an excellent position to do so.