Graduate Awards

The Rudin Prize

The Rudin Prize for Outstanding PhD Dissertation is awarded annually (beginning Spring 2020). The prize is named in honor of Mary Ellen Rudin (who taught at Duke) and Walter Rudin (who received his BA and PhD from Duke).

Theses nominated for the award are evaluated by a committee of mathematics faculty. They will be judged on the originality and significance of the results and the technical challenges that were overcome to achieve them. Quality of exposition is also important. In particular, it is important that the introduction to the thesis be clearly written. It should be accessible to a reasonably broad audience (not just specialists in the thesis topic area) and should present the main results and place them in a wider context.

Rudin Prize Recipients


Captain L.P. & Barbara Smith Awards for Teaching Excellence

Great teaching is a core value for the Mathematics Department and we make it a point to recognize graduate students who demonstrate outstanding teaching skill.

These teaching awards are made possible by a generous donation from Captain L. P. Smith and Barbara Smith, who established a fund in 1981 for this purpose. Captain Smith had been Supervisor of First-year Instruction in the Mathematics Department from 1973 until his retirement in 1982. The Smiths' goal was to reward those graduate students who work hard to become fine teachers.

L.P. Smith Instructional Fellowship

Graduate students with established records of teaching success are invited to propose innovative mathematics courses, at any level.  Those selected will design and create the course, and will be funded by the L.P. Smith Fund for a semester to teach the course to Duke students.

Courses are selected for this fellowship based on the value the course will bring to our department offerings, and the strength of the teaching record of the instructor. 

Applications are invited by announcement.  Materials to be submitted with the application are those required for the Bass Instructional Fellowship (with the exception that we require only one letter of recommendation, not from the DGS). 

L.P. Smith Award for Teaching Excellence

Description of the Award

The award is presented annually to one or two (or rarely more) graduate students who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to teaching and whose teaching has reached a consistent level of excellence. This award carries with it both the recognition by the Mathematics Department of the graduate student's fine teaching and also a substantial monetary prize.

Smith Award Recipients