The VCU Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics has 36 full time faculty members, approximately 20 graduate students and about 175 undergraduate math majors.
Our department’s members are committed teachers as well as active and productive mathematical researchers, publishing in peer review journals, publishing books, speaking at conference and seminars regionally, nationally, and internationally, reviewing journal articles, organizing conferences and sessions, and collaborating broadly within the mathematical and scientific communities.
The mission of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics is to foster excellence in mathematical research; to offer a strong undergraduate and graduate education that will prepare our students for stimulating and rewarding employment, career, and life-long learning opportunities; and to encourage service to the profession. In addition, we strive to help all VCU students achieve a level of quantitative literacy and analytical skills enabling them to deal effectively with the quantitative issues that they will encounter throughout their lives.
The department offers full-time undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science. Students may choose to concentrate in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, biomathematics, or teach preparation. The teacher preparation concentration offers, in partnership with the School of Education, a five-year program leading to both an undergraduate major in mathematics and a Master’s degree in Education.
In addition, we offer service courses for departments throughout the University, and courses which enable students to fulfil their mathematical General Education requirements. We teach virtually every student enrolled in a STEM major.
Our graduate courses are small in size and personal in nature.
The department offers full and part-time graduate programs leading to the Master of Mathematical Science. In partnership with the Department of Statistical Science and Operations Research, we offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Modeling and Analysis, which focuses on the development of the mathematical and computational skills used to model and analyze real-world systems. The doctoral curriculum enables students to expand the frontiers of knowledge through original, relevant research involving quantitative and qualitative complex systems derived from real, contemporary problems facing our world.
The department is committed to excellence in both research and teaching.
We have particularly strong groups interested in discrete mathematics, biomathematics and mathematics education. Our 22 tenured/tenure-eligible faculty’s active research currently includes combinatorics, graph theory, linear algebra, optimal control theory, biomathematics, logic and set theory, string theory, and mathematics education.
We have made significant changes in a number of our lower level courses in recent years, improving student success rates. We have also added a number of undergraduate and graduate level courses in teacher preparation and applied and biomathematics.
Seminars and the Math Colloquium
There are weekly seminars in Biomathematics, Discrete Mathematics, and Analysis, Logic, and Physics. Presentations are made by our faculty, visiting mathematicians, and our students. In addition, several times a year we bring distinguished speakers to campus to give presentations that are broadly accessible to our own students as well as those outside of the math department.
Other Student Activities
The number of our majors is relatively small, encouraging frequent, friendly, and informal contact among faculty and students. We have a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national math honor society, as well as a Math Club and a Women in Math chapter. Our students interact with the community as well, serving as tutors to local public school students and holding programs allowing local students to spend time in our department and learn about the opportunities in math and at VCU.