"For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics."
Roger Bacon, Opus Majus, c. 1267
Dear Friends of the Rice University Mathematics Department,
As one might expect from a Mathematics Department, we are the oldest department on campus: Mathematics is an ancient subject, but also an enduring one. Our students experience the same fascination with the depth, beauty and rich structure of mathematics as students have for millennia, yet today we see the same trends of mathematics influencing new fields, from physics and biology to economics and the social sciences that have been hallmarks of the subject forever.
Our faculty and graduate students and even our undergraduates are at the frontiers of the subject, creating making mathematical discoveries all the time. It is really a golden age for our department, as we add faculty members in new and important fields and invite great young minds to join us as undergraduate majors and graduate students. We increasingly interact with other subjects on campus and beyond, all the while teaching the foundations of the subject to 3/4 of the students on campus.
We are always adding new programs for our students, like our new undergraduate colloquium that invites the whole undergraduate community to share a learning experience. Some of our junior faculty began a geometry lab, for numerical and theoretical research at the frontier accessible to undergraduates. Our structured minor in Mathematics guides students majoring in other disciplines through some mathematical foundations. Our new Careers seminar displays for our students all the ways a Mathematics degree can be exploited in the contemporary workplace. And we are always looking for new ways for our students to engage in research at the earliest stages of their careers as possible.
We invite you to join us on our mathematical adventure. We host occasional public lectures -- let us know if you would like to be informed of these, or if you would just like to receive our occasional newsletter. If you want to add your story to our list of ways that alumni have used their degrees, please send me an email. If you would like to help us out financially, please see our 'Giving' tab: you can support undergraduate research, a transformative experience that opens the eyes of young people to the contributions they can personally make to mathematics. Or graduate travel, so that our youngest professional mathematicians can learn and network with the the world's best mathematicians in their field. Or support a local seminar, so that the best and brightest research mathematicians can have an extended stay at Rice, experiencing our department and city, while teaching all of us about the latest developments. We are excited by the freshness and power of Mathematics today, and we want to involve anyone who shares some of our passion for this great subject.