What Distinguishes the Duke Math PhD Program? 

Our Environment 

  • The department is warm and collegial. This is reflected both within the various research groups, and in a strong interdisciplinary streak. Many faculty and students interact with multiple research groups (both within the math department and beyond, including the school of medicine, computer science, engineering, physics, et cetera). This is both wonderfully stimulating and very important. Mathematics is a deeply interconnected subject, and the strongest mathematicians leverage these connections.

Our Curriculum

  • Every semester, the department runs a few mini-courses. These are great courses that supplement the standard graduate catalog with a range of material running the gamut from established theory (eg harmonic analysis) through recent developments/questions in mathematics (eg classical algebra and quantum computing). They are sometimes the launch pad for working/reading groups. They run about 4.5 weeks (a third of the term), and are often attended by students, post-docs and faculty.

Our Professional Development Program

  • The department's Professional Development Program covers a range of topics, including: teaching (which begins with Math 771: Teaching College Mathematics, a course taken by all incoming graduate students), writing (e.g. research statements and grant proposals), speaking (e.g. seminar talks and job talks), internships, the job search and interview process.  The department is a member of The Erdos Institute, which helps math phds explore and prepare for careers beyond academia.  Additional guidance on careers in business, industry and government is available though the BIG Math Network.

These are some of the representative indicators of the engaging, expansive and stimulating nature of the mathematics community here, making the department a wonderful place to work, learn and begin developing your research program and mathematical career.