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janesmom1janesmom1 Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
edited August 2008 in SUNY at Stony Brook
D, who just started college is now thinking of post-grad studies in Math at SB. SBUA, can you tell me more about the Math dept at SB, I hear it is really good.
Post edited by janesmom1 on

Replies to: Math dept

  • phishfan0969phishfan0969 Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    of the SUNYs, SBU has the best math by far. they recently recieved an extremely large grant which i believe is going to the math dept.
  • ZuljianZuljian Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    Yes you are right.

    They just received a 60 million dollar grant towardsa Physics/Geometry building. It was given by an old math professor, or the head of the math department there, Idon't know. All I know is that it is a HUGE amount of money. The most given to any SUNY school.
  • mark19mark19 Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    The best way to answer such question is by comparing to other schools. In the SUNYs, it is indeed likely the best. However, it is definitely not perfect. There could be a lot more resources within the department. Facility wise, the math building is far for state of the art and the offices seem very messy. The help room provided for students is a stuffy room in the basement with a loooong waiting line.

    But since this is math (doesn't require much equipment, computers), I would say the caliber of the professors is one of the main factors. So far, my professors have been good. There are a lot of foreign TA's and instructors in the department, so that can be a hassle since the majority of those are not able to articulate the material effectively/ orther times are illegible. In short, most professors are acceptable and some are very good.

    Classwise, there are a lot of variants of the same course and a lot of classes with overlap. For instance, for calculus 2, you can take Mat 132, the A/B/C sequence where II is taught in B-C, the AMS version, and the Mat calc II with applications. So, this gets very confusing. In my opinion, they should have just one general section and offer more sessions (usually just 1 is offered per semester). But if you are a wek student, this may be a good thing since there is plenty of options in case the pace is not right for you.
  • janesmom1janesmom1 Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
    Thank you all for you responses.
  • SBUMathgradSBUMathgrad Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Hi, I am a recent graduate of SBU's math UG program. I know it very well and I'll tell you what I know or what I think you might want to know.

    Admissions isn't impossible, but it's tough. I think they take 20 students a year. I think all of them get funding, a TA ship with a 15k stipend.

    Some of the professors are top notch. Michael Anderson, Claude LeBrun, Henry Lawson, John Milnor (fields medalist, although he does not teach or take on phd students), Mikhail Lyubich, Dusa McDuff, Dennis Sullivan, Leon Tahktajan (who is an editor for a prestigious mathematical physics journal), Chris Bishop, ETC. I mean pretty much all their full rank professors are world renowned for what they do.

    Stony Brook is a top notch, and I mean comptetitive with almost any school for geometry and dynamical systems. It is great for topology and mathematical physics as well (gauge theories, AdS/CFT correspondence, algebraic geometry and string theory, floer homology, symplectic geometry, etc).

    I'm trying to give you the inside perspective and not some of the "homer" rah rah Stony Brook is great perspective who really know NOTHING about the math department other than it is well regarded. The math grad is great and you are almost guaranteed to work with one of the full ranked professors. Some of the phd graduates go on to become professors. One recent PhD got a very prestigous CLE Moore Instructorship at MIT (it is commonly called a postdoc, you do a postdoc before you get a tenured position).

    Overall, I would say Stony Brook is a great place to do geometry, dynamical systems, mathematical physics, topology and maybe some analysis. It isn't particularly strong in algebra, although Kirrilov and Movshev might change that. But they aren't as dominant in algebra as they are in other fields.
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