The Mathematics Department at MIT is a world leader in pure and applied mathematical research and education. In pure mathematics we explore exciting current research directions in most of the major fields. In applied mathematics, we look for important connections with other disciplines that may inspire interesting and useful mathematics, and where innovative mathematical reasoning may lead to new insights and applications. Our applied math group focuses on biology, combinatorics, computer science, scientific computing, numerical analysis, and areas of physical applied mathematics.
The Department currently has about 50 faculty members, including many current and former faculty who have received the highest distinctions including an Abel Prize; two National Medals of Science; two MacArthur Awards; two Bôcher, two Cole, five Veblen, one Fulkerson and nine Steele Prizes. Nineteen are members of the National Academies of Science and Engineering and thirty are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. See the award listings for more details.
Instructors in pure and applied mathematics, including CLE Moore Instructors, have the opportunity to reside at MIT for two or three years and work with our faculty. Teaching loads are kept light to provide good conditions for launching research programs. We aim to have roughly 30 Instructors in the Department at any given time.
We are fortunate to attract outstanding students at all levels. Our graduate program trains students for top academic and industrial research positions, and typically has over 100 students enrolled, including many international students. MIT undergraduates are top performers at the Putnam Competition —in the most recent 2019 competition, MIT had the 1st place team and all 5 of the 5 highest ranking individuals. Additionally, 49 MIT students were among those with Honorable Mention or higher. Approximately 360 students are enrolled in one of our two undergraduate programs: Mathematics (course 18) and Mathematics with Computer Science (course 18C).
Our Department benefits from the lively mathematical community in the Boston area including the outstanding departments at Harvard and other nearby universities.
The Clay Mathematics Institute is a wonderful resource for bringing visitors and hosting important colloquia and workshops. Weekly seminars are held at MIT; many organized by graduate students. Our annual Simons Lecture series brings distinguished speakers on the latest developments.
Our excellent staff help us run the Department. Most of them can be found in Department Headquarters and in the Math Academic Services office.