The University of Chicago News Office
April 7, 2003 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

Rising numbers reflect surging interest in mathematics at University of Chicago

Interest in mathematics has been rising at the University of Chicago. Most of the nation’s top mathematics departments produce no more than 1 percent of their institution’s graduates. This year, 80 students are majoring or double-majoring in math at Chicago. They will comprise 8 percent of the graduating class. Last year that number was 6 percent, and the year before that, 5 percent.

Over the same three years, the number of women who have enrolled in the graduate program in mathematics has nearly doubled. Today, 27 of 100 graduate students in mathematics are women, even though the department has no women on the tenured faculty.

The University of Chicago Mathematics Department is perhaps better known internationally for its research prowess, but it has maintained a tradition of integrating the activities of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and senior faculty members at least since the 1970s. This is quite uncharacteristic of the nation’s other top mathematics departments.

This summer the department’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program will begin its fourth year. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program last year attracted participation from 45 University of Chicago undergraduate students. The department also recently was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to join 31 other leading programs in chemistry, education, English and mathematics to participate in a five-year research and action project aimed at improving doctoral education.

To arrange an interview with University of Chicago mathematics Professors Kevin Corlette, Peter May or Paul Sally, Jr., about mathematics education, please call Steve Koppes at (773) 702-8366.
Last modified at 12:15 PM CST on Monday, April 07, 2003.

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