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Tulane University: Department of Mathematics

Tulane is a privately endowed university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. At present it has an enrollment of about 10,000 students from almost every state and from 60 foreign countries.

Tulane's mathematical tradition can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, when Florian Cajori, later an expert in the history of mathematical notation, and the most famous translator of Isaac Newton's Principia, was the recipient of the first doctorate in mathematics from Tulane University (1894). Four undergraduates from the period up to the end of World War II (as well as Cajori) later became presidents of the Mathematical Association of America (Duren, McShane, Moise, Young); one (McShane) was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In the 1950's Tulane became a major center in mathematical research. From 1970 to 2000, 123 Ph.D.'s were awarded.

The mathematics life at Tulane is enlivened by the distinguished mathematicians who visit each year for long or short periods, and by the international symposia which are held here from time to time. The department holds the annual Clifford Lectures, a week-long series of talks by a distinguished mathematician. A mini-conference supported by the National Science Foundation is held in conjunction with each of the Clifford lecture series. The first Clifford lecturer, in 1984, was Fields Medal recipient Charles Fefferman of Princeton University. In 1985 and 1986, the Clifford lecturers were Fields Medal winners, S. T. Yau of UC San Diego and William Thurston of Princeton University. The Clifford lecturers from 1987 through 1990 were Saharon Shelah of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Clifford Taubes of Harvard University, Charles Peskin of Courant Institute and Haim Brezis of Université de Paris and Rutgers. From 1991 to 1996 they were Sylvain Cappell of Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Nigel Hitchin of the University of Warwick and Persi Diaconis of Harvard University, Peter Sarnak of Princeton University and Dan Voiculescu of UC Berkeley. In 1994, a special conference on semigroups was held in honor of Alfred H. Clifford. In 1997 the Clifford lecturers were Paul Fife of University of Utah (Spring) and Peter Kronheimer of Harvard University (Fall). The speakers from 1998 to the present were Peter Bickel and Alexander Chorin of UC Berkeley, Robert Friedman of Columbia University, Sergei N. Artemov of City University of New York, T. J. Pedley of Cambridge University and Yakov Eliashberg of Stanford University.

The mission of the Department of Mathematics is to teach and do research in the mathematical sciences. We aim to be a department which is both intensely research-active and student-centered. This is to be done in an environment that fosters close working relationships among undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.

Faculty in the Mathematics Department have active research in areas of Algebra, Domain Theory and Theoretical Computer Science, Geometry and Topology, Symbolic Analysis, Applied Mathematics and Partial Differential Equations, Computational Mathematics, Mathematical Biology, Probability and Statistics.

The Mathematics Department is housed in the upper floors of Gibson Hall, a stone structure built in 1894. Here are located faculty, graduate students, and staff offices, as well as classrooms, seminar rooms and computers linked to Tulane's main computing system. The department also contains the A. H. Clifford Mathematics Research Library, housing some 28,000 bound volumes and subscribing to 243 journals devoted to all areas of mathematics.


Programs offered

Ph.D. in Mathematics

The Ph.D. Program prepares the students for a career in research at a university, a government agency or in industry. Our faculty members are actively engaged in research and mentoring so that doctoral students can choose a faculty advisor according to the students’ interests.

M.S. in Mathematics

This program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of core areas of mathematics. The course work is designed to provide both breadth of knowledge and depth in an area of interest to the student. This experience will prepare the student for further studies leading to a Ph.D. degree in mathematics.

M.S. in Applied Mathematics

This program emphasizes mathematics for science and engineering and examines applications through seminars and case studies. This will prepare you for either a Ph.D. degree or employment in industry or government.

M.S. in Statistics

The Master of Science degree in Statistics combines theory and application. Our program emphasizes rigorous coursework in probability and mathematical statistics in addition to training in data analysis and computational methods. Graduates from the M.S. program may either directly enter the workforce as junior level statisticians or continue their studies in pursuit of a more advanced degree.

Student body profile

During the 2012-2013 academic year, we had 38 students enrolled in the PhD program and 7 enrolled in terminal MS programs. 9 of our PhD students are US citizens and the remaining are international. The majority (62%) of our international students are Chinese nationals, with the remaining students joining us from a variety of countries including Cyprus, Germany, India, Iran, Poland, Russia, and Turkey. 11 (29%) of our PhD students and 3 (43%) of are MS students are women.

Funding opportunities

About 30% of our Ph.D. students are supported by Fellowships or Research Assistantships, which carry stipends varying from $18,625 to $22,500 per year, plus a tuition waiver. The rest of our Ph.D. students hold Teaching Assistantships, which currently carry a stipend of $18,625, plus a tuition waiver. Teaching assistants teach three 75-minute labs per week. More advanced students teach one course instead of three labs.

More information

Our website

Contact for more information: Michelle Lacey