Math Graduate Program

Mathematics & Statistics Department

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Grad Student Group

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics is the sole graduate degree offered by our department and as such, the graduate faculty and their research projects are highly accessible to students in the program.

The two-year program is intended to provide a sound academic basis for careers in all areas of mathematics and statistics (including pure math) as well as in the natural, environmental, biomedical, and managerial science, engineering and in areas of research and development related to technology. About one half of our graduates continue their education at various PhD programs at recognized universities. While most students do their research in math and stat applications, many also concentrate on pure math research.

In collaboration with the Department of Computer Science, we also offer an opportunity to complete two MS degrees in three years. Students start their first year in either program, and then with careful planning and taking a slightly heavier course load, they can finish their first degree in two years and the second one in one more year. Interested students should talk about this option to their DGS no later than during their second semester. Successful applicants are typically receiving financial support for the first 3-4 semester from the first program, and then from the second one until graduation.

Financial aid is available for several students every academic year (tuition waiver and a paid TA position). Our total student body is typically 25-30 students and is very diverse. Recently, we have had students from the U.S.A., China, Czech Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Poland, Nepal, Cameroon, Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.

Developing Critical and Professional Thinking

Through emphasis on the place of theory within the discipline and the distinction between theory and practice, the program seeks to develop the student's critical and professional thinking, as well as intuition. Students thereby acquire a broad understanding of their field. Degree requirements are flexible and can be tailored to your interests.

Interaction is encouraged with other departments on campus, regional governmental facilities (including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Laboratory and the Minnesota Natural Resources research Institute, both of which are located in Duluth), and area industries. Numerous opportunities exist for graduate student research.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Plans

The Master of Science Degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics is offered under both thesis and non-thesis plans. In both cases, the first year of study typically includes a theoretical core in linear and abstract algebra, real analysis, and probability and statistics. Students entering with sufficiently strong backgrounds may replace these with more advanced courses.

Students also choose an area of concentration from among scientific computation, probability and statistics, applied analysis, continuous modeling and discrete mathematics/abstract algebra. An overview of modern computational issues is presented in a graduate level seminar.

Second Year Details

During the second year, a student typically enrolls in graduate-level courses both in and out of the Department. Those students not writing a thesis take a heavier course load and participate in a research project. Degree requirements include a written examination on basic coursework and oral presentations of thesis or project work.

Read more about courses and degree requirements. Students can also earn Community College Teaching Certificate in collaboration with CEHSP. The certificate program is not a regular graduate program, and is in most cases disjoint from our graduate program even though it can be completed concurrently. Some details are here.

Upper-level and graduate courses offered on a regular basis include the theoretical core courses in linear algebra, probability, abstract algebra, and real analysis, as well as courses on:

  • numerical analysis
  • numerical partial differential equations
  • scientific computation
  • linear programming
  • operational methods
  • dynamical systems
  • finite elements
  • ordinary differential equations
  • continuous mathematical modeling
  • measure theory
  • complex variables
  • analysis of variance
  • regression analysis
  • linear models
  • multivariate analysis
  • experimental design
  • statistical inference
  • stochastic processes
  • graph theory
  • applied algebra and cryptology
  • combinatorics
  • number theory

Computing plays an integral role in many upper-level mathematics and statistics courses offered by the department.

Program Assessment