Penn State mathematics places high in national rankings

November 05, 2010

Penn State's Department of Mathematics is one of the most productive in the United States, according to a multi-year study released by the National Research Council.

The Data Based Assessment of Graduate Programs, produced by the NRC for a consortium of universities, used a broad range of measurements to rank the performance of thousands of graduate programs across hundreds of U.S. universities — its first such rankings in 15 years. "The Department of Mathematics has risen dramatically in the NRC rankings since they last were published more than a decade ago," said Department Head John Roe. "In a rather conservative analysis that gave equal weighting to each of the NRC's two types of ranking methods, our department rose from 37th place in 1995 to 8th place today," Roe said. "The NRC rankings are impressive but there is another important indicator of the Penn State math department's status and influence: The presidents of all three of the major professional societies for mathematics are current or former Penn State faculty members."

Former Penn State faculty member David Bressoud, who is the DeWitt Wallace professor of mathematics at Macalester College and the president of the Mathematical Association of America said, "I'm pleased to see how well Penn State's math department did in the NRC rankings, but I'm not surprised. It's a strong program that I am proud to have been a part of."

Former Penn State faculty member Douglas Arnold, who is the University of Minnesota's McKnight presidential professor of mathematics and the president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics said, "Penn State worked hard to build its faculty and research environment. It's great to see the department getting this recognition."

Penn State's Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics George E. Andrews is the president of the American Mathematical Society. "As someone who has been at Penn State since 1964, it is gratifying to see this recognition of the excellence of our mathematics department," Andrews said. "The building of the department has taken place over decades. Our success is due to the dedication and hard work of our faculty along with strong support from the administration."

Last Updated November 08, 2010