Students who have graduated from our program have taken jobs in a variety of areas. Some now have faculty positions in colleges or universities, teaching and doing research. Others have taken positions in industry or research labs, in such areas as bioinformatics, robotics, mathematical finance, and computer science. There are currently about sixty graduate students in the Penn Math Department, with a faculty of thirty-nine (plus visiting faculty). Areas of concentration include algebra (number theory, algebraic geometry, ring theory), analysis (classical analysis, operator algebras), geometry-topology (differential geometry, symplectic geometry, topology of manifolds), logic (including mathematical foundations of computer science), combinatorics, and applications such as mathematical physics, medical imaging and mathematical finance.
The Penn Math Graduate Program is structured so as to guide each student, year by year, in the transition from having been an undergraduate to becoming a professional mathematician. During the first year in the graduate program at Penn, students typically take courses in algebra, analysis, and geometry-topology. In the second year, students begin to take more specialized courses and to concentrate on their area of interest. Students typically begin work in the area of their thesis in the third year (though masters students often complete their thesis in the second year). In addition to taking courses, students attend seminars, which are offered in a broad spectrum of topics and levels. Every Friday, there is a Pizza Seminar, open only to students, at which a grad student will present a topic that he or she has found interesting; the Math Department provides pizza and drinks during the talk. Other seminars, open both to students and faculty, include the Grad Student Colloquium and the Department Colloquium (which alternate weeks), graduate student seminars in algebra and in geometry-topology, and advanced seminars specializing in areas such as Mathematical Physics, Geometry-Topology, Analysis, Logic and Computation, and Galois theory, among others.
Students at the Penn Math Department interact quite a bit with each other and with faculty. Students regularly work with each other on assignments, on seminar talks, and on research, and talk quite a bit with faculty about mathematics. Interactions take place in seminars, after class, in offices (grad students share offices with one to three other students), in the hallways, and at the daily teas in the Departmental Lounge -- as well as at seminar dinners, at graduate student social events, and at the weekly Math Department soccer or volleyball game. This helps create a lively atmosphere, in which much of the learning takes place outside of formal lectures (though there are also plenty of those).
Financial support is available for Ph.D. students. Most Ph.D. students serve as teaching assistants or receive fellowships. In connection with the assistantship or fellowship, they ordinarily receive a full tuition scholarship and a stipend. Many grad students also choose to teach over the summer, for which they receive an additional stipend. In conjunction with their support, Ph.D. students also receive university-provided health coverage.
The Penn Math Department is located in David Rittenhouse Laboratory (DRL), which it shares with the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Facilities include the Mathematics Reading Room (with a non-circulating mathematical book collection, computers, and pleasant surroundings including lounge chairs and stained glass windows), the Math-Physics-Astronomy library (a circulating library of books and journals), and computer labs (in addition to computers in each office). Adjacent to DRL are tennis courts, an athletic center, the Palestra basketball arena, and the university stadium. DRL is at the eastern end of the University of Pennsylvania campus, a few blocks from downtown Philadelphia.
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Location information and a virtual tour.
Penn Grad Math Home Page.
Penn Math Department home page.