March 29, 2000
The Department of Mathematics serves as a world center for learning, instruction, and research in the Mathematical Sciences. The mission of the Department of Mathematics through all its degree programs is to prepare students for careers in teaching and research, as well as for a variety of technical and administrative positions in industry and government in Kansas, the United States, and abroad. The Ph.D. program is also an integral and inseparable part of the research activities of our faculty; these research activities are a key component in the mission of the University. The Department also plays a fundamental role in the University's mission via the delivery of a variety of service courses which are an integral part of virtually every degree program on campus.
The Department of Mathematics offers four emphases for undergraduate majors: an applied mathematics emphasis for students who intend to seek employment in business, government, or industry; a pre-graduate emphasis for students who intend to enter graduate school and work toward an advanced degree in mathematics; a mathematics education emphasis for students who intend to become secondary school mathematics teachers; an actuarial mathematics emphasis for students who intend to become actuaries or work in the financial sector. The program is supported by endowment funds for scholarships; grader positions and employment in help sessions; an Undergraduate Lecture Series; a team of faculty Putnam Coaches; a branch library; and the Math/Physics Computer Classroom and Laboratory. The program maintains a ``very selective'' ranking in Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges (2000). In 1996, our undergraduate team placed 12th in North America and first among public universities in the annual Putnam Examination. Over the last five years the Department has produced a Rhodes Scholar and nine Goldwater scholars. Undergraduate students are engaged in research programs at Argonne and Oakridge National Laboratories, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and at many universities, both in the United States and abroad. Recent Kansas State mathematics graduates have been accepted to advanced degree programs at the most prestigious universities in the world, such as Princeton and Oxford University.
The Department has scholarly programs in pure and applied mathematics. The graduate program in mathematics is based upon the Subdisciplinary Model, i.e., the clustering of graduate students, postdoctoral associates and faculty working on related research topics. The academic support structure of the graduate program includes: regular core course offerings; frequent topics courses and seminars; small classes; a first-rate colloquium and lecture series funded through departmental endowments; and on-campus conferences supported by the National Science Foundation and departmental endowments. Based upon the National Research Council's report completed in 1995, the American Mathematical Society rates the Ph.D. program as a Group II program; all other doctoral programs in the State are classified as Group III programs. Over the course of the past ten years, the Department of Mathematics at K-State has been recognized by the American Mathematical Society as a regional leader in conferring graduate degrees in mathematics, especially the Ph.D. degree. The Department has also been cited as a national leader in the production of women Ph.D.'s.
All faculty possess the terminal degree and teach both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the last five years, faculty have produced more than 280 articles in refereed journals, and 14 faculty have received research grants supported chiefly by the National Science Foundation. These research grants have brought in one-and-a-quarter million dollars to the University over the last five years. Two of our faculty are distinguished professors and one of our faculty is a recipient of the outstanding graduate faculty award. Students come from all over the world to study in the Department and take M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Over the last five years our faculty have won numerous teaching awards and our Graduate Teaching Assistants have been the recipients of both the William L. Stamey Graduate Teaching Award (1998) and the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence for Graduate Teaching Assistants (1996). Almost every degree program on campus has a mathematics requirement; in particular, the Department carries the highest student credit hour load of any department in the University, and serves, almost without exception, every University constituency: general education, teacher education, client departments, as well as future mathematicians. The majority of the student credit hours generated by the Department arise from service courses such as College Algebra, Trigonometry, and the Calculus sequence. The Department also offers eight sections each year of a general education course designed to enhance student understanding and appreciation of mathematical topics.