Duke Math PhD Alumni

The majority of Duke PhD's go to postdoctoral positions at research universities or teaching positions at small colleges. A sizable minority elect to pursue careers in industry or at governmental agencies.  (Many students explore careers beyond academic through summer internships.)  See the table below for the "first jobs after graduation" for our recent graduates.  Additional information can be found in the Graduate School's database; to access the information for the mathematics graduates, select "Physical Sciences" (Academic Divison) and "Mathematics" (Program), clicking "Apply" after each selection. 

A complete list of Duke Mathematics PhD theses (1931-present) can be found at ProQuest/Dissertations (Search Dissertations with "sch(duke university) AND mainsubject(mathematics)")



PhD Student
First job after graduation Thesis
Chen An
Lillian Pierce
JP Morgan Zero Density Estimates for Families of L-Functions, with Applications to Effective Chebotarev Density Theorems and l-Torsion in Class Groups
Yishu Gong
Alexander Kiselev
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Transport in Biology, from Theory to Application

Ruby Kim
Mike Reed
Postdoc at University of Michigan Modeling the Interactions Between the Circadian Clock, Dopamine, and Metabolism
Chung-Ru Lee
Jayce Getz
Postdoc at National University of Singapore Relative Endoscopy and Orbital Integrals on U$_3$
Stephen McKean
Kirsten Wickelgren
NSF Postdoc at Harvard University Local Contributions in A^1-Enumerative Geometry

Seppo Niemi-Colvin
Adam Levine

Postdoc at Indiana University

Invariance of Knot Lattice Homology and Homotopy

2020 - 2021

PhD Student
First Job after Graduation
Orsola Capovilla-Searle
Lenny Ng
NSF Postdoc at UC Davis Exact Lagrangian fillings of Legendrian Links and Weinstein 4-manifolds
Ziyu Chen
Ingrid Daubechies
Assistant Research Professor at Duke Two New Methods to Improve Adaptive Time-Frequency Localization
Gabe Earle
Jonathan Mattingly
Postdoc at UMass Amherst Stratified MCMC Sampling for Non-Reversible Dynamics
Dena Ho
Leslie Saper
Ernst & Young Realizing Hecke Actions on Modular Forms Via Cohomology of Dessins d'Enfants
Download Dena Ho Thesis (pdf - 841.96 KB)
Eric Hopper
Richard Hain
Postdoc at University of Rochester Cyclotomic and Elliptic Polylogarithms and Motivic Extensions of Q by Q(m)
Xiangying (Zoe) Huang
Rick Durrett
Postdoc at UBC Contact Process on Random Graphs and Trees
Oliver Kelsey Tough
Jim Nolen
Postdoc at Université de Neuchâtel Asymptotic Behaviour of the Fleming-Viot Process
Didong Li
David Dunson
Postdocs and Princeton and UCLA Learning and Exploiting Low-Dimensional Structure in High-Dimensional Data
Download Didong Li Thesis (pdf - 10.91 MB)
Panchali Nag
Ingrid Daubechies,
Colleen Robles
Postdoc at Duke Differential Geometry Tools for Data Analysis
Chao Shen
Hau-tieng Wu
Amazon Applied Scientist Robust and scalable unsupervised learning via landmark diffusion, from theory to medical application
Kevin Stubbs
Jianfeng Lu
Postdoc at UCLA Exponentially Localized Wannier Functions in Non-Periodic Insulators
Lihan Wang
Jianfeng Lu
Postdoc at Carnegie Mellon Quantitative Analysis in Stochastic Homogenization and Hypocoercive PDEs in Sampling
Xin Xiong
Dick Hain
  Hodge theory and string topology
Dong Yao
Rick Durrett
Assistant Professor at Jiangsu Normal University Epidemics on Evolving Graphs
Download Dong Yao Thesis (pdf - 407.99 KB)
Yiyue Zhang
Hubert Bray
Postdoc at UC Irvine The Hyperbolic Positive Mass Theorem and Volume Comparison Involving Scalar Curvature  
Postdoc at UC Irvine

2019 - 2020

PhD Student
First job after graduation Thesis
Matthew Beckett
Mark Stern
  Equivariant Nahm Transforms and Minimal Yang-Mills Connections
Michael Bell
Robert Bryant
  Second Order Families of Minimal Lagrangians in CP³
Yu Cao
Jianfeng Lu
Instructor at the Courant Institute NYU Analytical and Numerical Study of Lindblad Equations
Joshua Cruz
Leslie Saper

Examples of the Local L^2-cohomology of Algebraic Varieties

William Duncan
Mike Reed
Postdoc at Montana State University Homeostasis-Bifurcation Singularities and Identifiability of Feedforward Networks
Shalla Hanson
Mike Reed
Mathematical Modeler at Immunetrics, Inc. Mathematical Modelling of Immuno-Oncology and Related Immunology
Jeffrey LaComb
Jianfeng Lu
Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel University Asymptotic Analysis and Rare Event Simulation for Failure Probabilities in Discrete Random Media
Jessica Leete
Anita Layton
  Sex-specific Computational Models of Blood Pressure Regulation
John Malik
Hau-tieng Wu
Research Fellow in Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School A Geometric Approach to Biomedical Time Series Analysis
Erika Ordog
Ezra Miller
Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Minimal Resolutions of Monomial Ideals
Sarah Patterson
Anita Layton
Assistant professor at the Virginia Military Institute Extensions of the Immersed Interface Method to Open Tube Interfaces and Hemodynamic Models
Shan Shan
Ingrid Daubechies
Assistant Professor at Mount Holyoke College Probabilistic Model on Fibre Bundle
Kyle Thicke
Jianfeng Lu
Postdoc researcher at Technical University of Munich Accelerating the Computation of Density Functional Theory’s Correlation Energy Under Random Phase Approximations
Do Tran
Ezra Miller
Research Postdoc at the Institute for Mathematical Stochastics, Goettingen University Sampling from Stratified Spaces
Thomas Tran
Jayce Getz
Postdoc in Mathematics at the University of Kentucky Secondary Terms in Asymptotics for the Number of Zeros of Quadratic Forms

2018 - 2019

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Gavin Ball Robert Bryant Postdoc at U Quebec
Erin Beckman James Nolen Postdoc at McGill
Michael Casey Sayan Mukherjee  
Ryan Gunderson Robert Bryant Quantative Researcher at Susquehana International Group
Ran Huo Rick Durrett Postdoc at U Melbourne
Chester Lian Lenhard Ng Software Engineer at Google
Weifan Liu Tom Witelski Postdoc at Syracuse U
Rubio Ma Rick Durrett Postdoc at Peking U
Dmitry Vagner Ezra Miller Simulation Scientist at Imbellus AI Research
Jieren Xu Ingrid Daubechies Postdoc at Duke U

2017 - 2018

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Hamza Ghadyali John Harer  
Yuhao Hu Robert Bryant Colorado U, Boulder
Ma Luo Richard Hain Postdoc at Oxford U
Robert Ravier Ingrid Daubechies Postdoc at Duke iin ECE and Math
Jieren Xu Ingrid Daubechies Postdoc at Duke in ECE
Zhiyong Zhao Robert Bryant Bloomberg

2016 - 2017

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Brian Fitzpatrick Paul Aspinwall Instructor, Duke University
Lizzy Huang Mark Stern Quantitative Analytics, Freddie Mac, Washington, DC
Hangie Ji Tom Witelski Assistant Professor, Program in Computing at UCLA.
Aki Nishimura David Dunson Postdoc, UCLA
Yu Pan Lenhard Ng Moore Instructorship, MIT
Henry Roesch Hugh Bray NSF Postdoc, UC Irvine
Chao Xu Jianfeng Lu Start-up, San Francisco area
Rachel Yin Ingrid Daubechies Google, Cambridge MA

2015 - 2016

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Philip Andreae Mark Stern Assistant Professor, Meredith College
Humberto Diaz Chad Schoen Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California at Riverside
Caitlin Leverson Lenhard Ng Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ezgi Temogullari Michael C. Reed Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas, Southwestern, Cell Biology
Harrison Potter Thomas P. Witelski Assistant Professor, Marietta College
Kangkang Wang Paul S. Aspinwall Software Engineer, Google, Inc.

2014 - 2015

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Ben Gaines Paul Aspinwall Assistant Professor, Iona College in New Rochelle, NY
Tingran Gao Ingrid Daubechies Postdoctoral position at Duke
Andrew Goetz Hugh Bray Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Kevin Kordek Richard Hain Visiting Assistant Professor, Texas A&M
Anil Venkatesh Richard Hain Assistant Professor, Ferris State University
Tatsunari Watanabe Richard Hain Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Yuan Zhang Richard Durrett Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

2013 - 2014

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Miles Crosskey Mauro Maggioni Post-doc for Maurio Maggioni, Duke University
Sean Lawley Mike Reed, Jonathan Mattingly Post-doc, University of Utah
Junchi Li Rick Durrett Quantitative Strategy Researcher, Sunrise Futures
Chris O'Neill Ezra Miller Post-doc, Texas A&M University
Ioannis Sgouralis Anita Layton NIMBioS University of Tennessee
Hwayeon Ryu Anita Layton, Jim Nolen Credit Model Validation Analyst, U.S. Bancorp.
Hangjun Xu Hugh Bray Oracle, Senior Software Engineer, Santa Clara, CA

2012 - 2013

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Hyeong-kwan Kim Bill Pardon University of North Carolina-Asheville
Yi Li Anita Layton Avanade Business Consulting
ShiShi Luo Mike Reed, Jonathan Mattingly Post-doc with Alana Perelson, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Elizabeth Munch John Harer Post-doc, Institute for Mathematics and its Application (IMA), Minneapolis, MN
Alan Parry Hugh Bray University of Connecticut

2011 - 2012

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Prakash Balachandran Mauro Maggioni Post-doc with Eric Kolazyck, Boston University
Esteban Chavez Jim Nolen Post-doc, University of California - Santa Barbara
Kevin Gonzalez David Schaeffer Assistant Professor, Shaw University
Aaron Jackson Stephanos Venakides Financial Applications Engineer, Bloomberg
Tiffany Kolba Jonathan Mattingly Tenure track position, Valparaiso University
Michael Pruitt Tom Beale Post-doc, University of Connecticut
David Rose Lenny Ng Busemann Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Sara Schott Mark Huber Assistant Professor of the Practice, Duke University

2010 - 2011

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Amir Aazami Arlie Petters Post-doc Fellow, Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, Japan
Matthew Bowen David Schaeffer Epic Systems Corporation
Graham Cox Hugh Bray Lorenz Post-doc, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Oliver Gjoneski Les Saper J.J. Sylvester Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Aubrey HB John Harer Senior Statistician at FAIR Health New York
Michael Jenista John Harer Statistician, SAS, Cary, NC
George Mau-Kwong Lam Hugh Bray Finance position in Hong Kong
Anna Little Mauro Maggioni Assistant Professor, University of Jacksonville
Alberto Teguia Arlie Petters MBA Program, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University

2009 - 2010

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Jeffrey Jauregui Hugh Bray Post-doc, University of Pennsylvania
Arya Roy Paul Aspinwall Instructor of Physics, Duke University
Rachel Thomas Jonathan Mattingly, Mike Reed Mathematical Analyst, UBER
Andrea Watkins Jonathan Mattingly National Security Agency
Jason Wilson Tom Beale Virginia Tech Mathematics

2008 - 2009

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Rann Bar-On John Harer Instructor, Duke University
Shu Dai David Schaeffer Mathematical Bioscience Institute, Ohio State University
Mihaela Froelich Tom Witelski Homemaker, Heidelberg
Jenny Wai-Jing Law Mark Huber National Security Agency
Janice McCarthy Mark Stern Instructor, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Abraham Smith Robert Bryant Post-doc, McGill University

2007 - 2008

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Sergei Belov Stephanos Venakides Rice University
Paul Bendich John Harer Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
Benjamin Cooke-Isard Scott Schmidler Academic Resource Center, Duke University
Michael Gratton Thomas Witelski Post-doc, Northwestern University
Anthony Narkawicz Richard Hain NASA Langley
Michael Nicholas Tom Beale Tulane University
Nicholas Robbins Hugh Bray St. Mary's College of Maryland
Joseph Spivey Richard Hain Wofford University
Matthew Surles Thomas Beale Wellpoint Inc., Richmond, VA
Feng Xu Robert Bryant Australian National University

2006 - 2007

PhD Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation
Ryan Haskett Thomas Witelski Highbridge Capital
William Lefew Stephanos Venakides Environmental Protection Agency
Timothy Lucas William Allard Pepperdine University
Jeffrey Streets Mark Stern Princeton University