As the current chair of the department, I join with my colleagues in welcoming you to the department. Located in Herman Brown Hall, the department comprises about 15 permanent faculty, 10 visiting faculty holding postdoctoral or instructorship positions and 30 graduate students. Mathematics was one of the original departments dating from the Rice Institute's first academic year in 1912 (read more here), and the department continues to play a key role in the research, teaching and outreach missions of the university.
Faculty have been honored by many national and international awards including Sloan Fellowships, NSF CAREER grants and Presidential Young Investigators awards, elected as Fellows of The American Mathematical Society, and invited speakers at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Moreover, the dedication to the teaching mission routinely leads to faculty recognition through many teaching awards; e.g. the George R. Brown Superior Teaching Fellowships awarded by the university.
Both our undergraduate and graduate programs continue to thrive. Our undergraduate students can select from a diverse collection of mathematics courses reflecting both traditional courses in the discipline, but also the growing realization of “mathematics everywhere”. Mathematics continues to be a popular major, as of Fall 2018 we have 60 math majors declared. Beyond the classroom experience, undergraduates have several opportunities to participate in mathematical research and directed reading under the guidance of graduate students and faculty, as well as training for the famous Putnam Mathematical Competition. In addition there is a thriving undergraduate math club that regularly holds colloquia geared directly towards an undergraduate audience, and a chapter of the American Women in Mathematics. Some indication of the success of our graduate program is given by recent placements (e.g. CalTech, Chicago, Yale) and awards of NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships.
The department also takes seriously its mission to improve both awareness of mathematics and mathematics training in the Houston community. For example, the last few summers has seen the department run a summer program, Patterns, Math, & You for students entering 8th or 9th grade. The department has also been at the forefront of efforts at Rice to prepare incoming students for the challenges that lie ahead in their STEM classes at Rice. Since 2012, the Rice Emerging Scholars Program has been acquainting first-year students with the challenging pace, depth and rigor of math, science and engineering courses at Rice. This six-week residential academic program, part of a comprehensive suite of activities and mentoring, includes classroom instruction from Math faculty members (as well as those from Chemistry and Physics Biosciences, and Engineering).
This is a small snapshot of what is going on in the department, and I invite you to learn more about what is happening in the department.
Alan W. Reid
Edgar Odell Lovett Professor
Chair, Department of Mathematics.
Our primary missions include:
creating original mathematical theorems and scholarship;
teaching fundamental mathematics to students in all fields;
training majors in a flexible program, attractive to undergraduates seeking to apply mathematics in a wide range of fields/industries as well as those considering careers as mathematicians;
developing graduate students for careers in mathematical research, teaching, industry, and government;
mentoring postdoctoral instructors for careers in academic mathematics;
reaching out to the community, through programs for high school students and teachers