Graduate education at Stephen F. Austin State University is viewed as an extremely important step following the undergraduate experience. The goal of the University is to stimulate the graduate student to seek a deeper understanding of his/her chosen field of study so that an enjoyable and productive life may be more easily attainable. Thus, the graduate course of study consists both of instruction and research pursued in an atmosphere of uninhibited intellectual inquiry.
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Recognizing that the ability to think independently and to analyze and solve problems found in business, industry, and the academic world are valuable skills, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics has designed graduate programs of study with three goals in mind. One such goal is to prepare those who are planning to pursue further study in a doctoral program in mathematics and/or statistics. Another is to assist persons to obtain the necessary foundations which are required of those planning careers in the teaching professions at colleges, universities, or public schools. The third goal is to develop mathematicians and statisticians for business and industry.
There are two graduate degrees offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The Master of Science Degree in Mathematical Sciences with empahsis in Mathematics prepares students for employment in industry and in postsecondary teaching and also prepares them to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level in mathematics. The Master of Science Degree in Mathematical Sciences with emphasis in Statistics prepares students for work in industry and for doctoral work in statistics. The Master of Science Degree in School Mathematics Teaching prepares students for the teaching profession in middle and secondary schools. A more detailed description of the required courses for each of the three degrees is found in the Graduate Bulletin. A graduate student may choose to write a thesis in satisfying degree requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Mathematical Sciences.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics occupies the third floor of the Math Building on the Stephen F. Ausitn State University campus. Each graduate assistant will have a office shared with one or two other graduate assistants, with their professors' offices nearby. Each graduate assistant has a desktop computer with internet access, as well as access to other shared computers around the depatment. In addition to those computers in faculty and graduate student offices, there are two departmental computer labs for students and the faculty to use in conjunction with class work.There is a graduate student lounge with computers, whiteboards, and comfortable furniture for students to work together and socialize.
The mathematics building is adjacent to the Ralph W. Steen Library. The library's mathematics and statistics collections are extensive and are constantly being improved. Additionally, the library collection is accessible from the mathematics building via the campus network. Also, a modest library is maintained within the Department.
The Robert W. Yeagy Colloquium Series brings outstanding mathematicians from across the country and from within our own department to speak on topics of interest to the mathematics and statistics community.
A number of graduate assistantships are awarded each year by the Department. All graduate assistants are provided with carpeted, semi-private offices having phones and networked computer.
Graduate teaching assistants are granted faculty parking privileges and a large degree of teaching autonomy. They have complete responsibility for two sections of an undergraduate math course. Graduate assistants who do not teach perform other duties at the rate of 20 hours per week. These duties include grading for faculty, serving in department computer labs, assisting with a professor's classes, or serving as a research assistant for a professor.
Some summer support is generally available for continuing graduate students. More information on graduate assitantships and employment can be found here on the Graduate School website.
Our faculty's fields of interest include abstract algebra, algebraic topology, analysis, applied mathematics, combinatorial analysis, cryptography, functional analysis, graph theory, mathematical statistics, mathematics teaching, numerical analysis, partial differential equations, statistics, and topology.
Students in the Master of Science in the Mathematical Sciences program may complete a thesis as part of their program of study. Thesis proposals must be approved by the department chair. Once completed, theses are approved by a committee of faculty members approved by the Department and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Forms must be filed well in advance of thesis completion; see the Office of Graduate Studies and Research website for dates. Departmental forms are available below.
Theses must be formatted according to Graduate School guidelines. See the Graduate School's Thesis Guides and Forms site for more information. Thanks to Dr. Jeremy Becnel, we have a LaTeX beamer theme and a thesis template.
A culminating comprehensive oral and/or written examination is required in the final semester of summer session of enrollment for students in the Master of Science Degree with a Major in Mathematical Sciences. It is University policy that the student must be registered during the semester or summer session in which he or she takes this final examination.
For a comprehensive oral examination, the student is responsible for arranging the date, time and the membership of the examining committee in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. The examining committee will consist of departmental graduate faculty members. Other graduate faculty may be appointed by the Graduate Dean/Associate Provost.
If a retake of the oral or written examination is required, the student will be notified as quickly as possible following the examination and a date for the retake must be decided within the two-week period following this notification. A student who fails to satisfy the culminating requirement after two retakes will not be awarded the degree.
If the student writes a thesis, the successful defense of the theses will satisfy this culminating requirement.
Required forms are available below.