WELCOME TO PROSPECTIVE DOCTORAL STUDENTS
Our Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics is unique in offering, within one department, doctoral training in computational applied mathematics, statistics, operations research, quantitative finance and computational biology. A single department for the mathematical sciences makes it easy for students to switch fields, say from statistics to computational biology, without having to re-start their graduate studies (in fact, students who pass the PhD Qualifying Exams in one field can switch to another field without having to re-take the Quals). This unified home also facilitates broad learning across the mathematical sciences that can prove very helpful in dissertation research. For example, a computational applied mathematics student who is trying to compare a mathematical model of shock waves with experimental data might be helped by taking a course in data analysis. The breadth of mathematical sciences topics also enhances career options for our PhD graduates. For example, many of our PhD students take courses in quantitative finance.
Our department is the seventh ranked applied mathematics graduate program, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education study. Our department has internationally famous research groups in computational fluid dynamics, biostatistics, computational geometry and computational systems biology.
Our department has 20 faculty supplemented by 15 adjunct faculty with primary appointments in other Stony Brook departments or in leading industrial and government laboratories. There are about 100 doctoral students. We graduate 20 PhDs a year. (There are also about 90 Masters students.)
Our department is located in Stony Brook's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences . This setting re-enforces the department's philosophy that the research of faculty and doctoral students should be centered around solving important, real-world problems. That is, our faculty do not look for applications of their theoretical results. Rather, they take a significant real-world problem and develop the mathematics needed to analyze it. All our faculty has participated in applied research collaborations with faculty in other Stony Brook departments or with scientists in industrial or government labs or with doctors in biomedical research centers. Most dissertations grow out of such collaborations of our faculty. For information about our faculty's research projects, see Faculty . For more about research activities in our department, see the Research pull-down menu.
Research projects typically involve teams of faculty, postdocs, and doctoral students along with outside collaborators. A new student on a project is assisted by more senior graduate students. The supportive nature of a research team makes it easier for a doctoral student to successfully complete a successful dissertation. The team structure also fosters rapid progress so that 80% of our students, once past the PhD quals, finish their PhDs in five years. It is not uncommon for a student with previous graduate work to finish in three years.
Financial Support. All our faculty have extensive outside funding that they use to support their doctoral students. Doctoral students typically begin with support from a TAship or department fellowship and then move in the second or third year to a research assistantship. The department has about 35 TAships, 12 Fellowships, and 55 RAships. All forms of support carry a tuition waiver. Academic-year stipends range from $16,000 to $25,000. Additional support is available during the summer for teaching and research.
Ph.D. Requirements. That there are no course requirements for a PhD, rather a student just needs to pass the PhD qualifying exam, an (oral) Preliminary Exam about the planned thesis topic, and finally a Dissertation Defense. However, beginning doctoral students normally take mostly the same courses as M.S. students because the Qualifying Exams are based on M.S. coursework . These exams have two parts, a common exam taken after the first semester (with a second chance after the second semester) and a track-specific area taken after the third semester (with a second chance after the fourth semester). See PhD Qualifying Exams for details about the content of these exams and copies of past exams. In the second year, students pick an advisor and join her/his research team, where their education continues through directed reading. By the end of a third year, students take a Preliminary Exam at which they present the background of their thesis topic along with some preliminary results. By the end of the fifth year, frequently earlier, students complete and defend their dissertation. For more details about the Ph.D. requirements, click here.
List of graduate courses can be found at Graduate Courses .
For information about recent doctoral graduates their advisors, undergraduate institutions, dissertation titles, and initial employment, see recent Ph.D.'s. About 40% take academic positions and the rest go to industrial or government laboratories or to Wall Street firms.
Please come visit us. Prospective doctoral students are encouraged to visit the department. Funds are available to cover most of the visit expenses for well-prepared U.S. applicants.
General application information can be obtained at the Graduate School website or one can go straight to the application website.
For further information and answers to your questions, please contact the Applied Math Graduate Program Director, Professor Xiangming Jiao (631-632-4408) or the Graduate Secretary, Ms. Christine Rota (631-632-8360).