Prospective Students

Letter from the DGS

We are delighted that you are considering Duke Math for your graduate work.  Prospective students often ask me "what distinguishes Duke Math?"  Two things immediately come to mind:

  1. There is a strong interdisciplinary streak in the department.  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.
  2. Every semester, the department runs a few mini-courses.  These are really great.  They 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.

To me these are 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 reserach program.


There are roughly 60 Ph.D. students in the Duke mathematics graduate program.  Approximately half are international, a third are women.  The department welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and life-experiences.  We are one of nine participating departments in the Sloan Foundation funded University Center for Excellence in Mentoring devoted to recruiting and training students from traditionally under-represented communities.


Students admitted to the mathematics graduate study program are guaranteed five years of support, as long as they are making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. During the first two years TA duties are light and summer funding is guaranteed. After that, students are usually supported through a combination of teaching assistantships and research grants.

The program

The Duke Mathematics Department admits students working towards a Ph.D. in research mathematics.  Please note that the department has neither a Masters program, nor a separate track for students primarily interested in teaching.

What our students do after the degree

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.  (The department is in the process of developing an summer internship program so that students can explore opportunities beyond academia.)  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.

Graduating Doctoral Student Advisor(s) First Job After Graduation

2018 - 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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 Nolan Credit Model Validation Analyst, U.S. Bancorp.
Hangjun Xu Hugh Bray Oracle, Senior Software Engineer, Santa Clara, CA

2012 - 2013

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

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

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   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

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

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

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

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