Introduction to the Stony Brook Math Department and its CID Work

State University of New York, Stony Brook

This snapshot summarizes our department and its work in the CID. It is not intended to duplicate a departmental web site, but rather to provide a short introduction to our efforts related to the CID.

Department Home Page

Who are we?


Department of Mathematics

Contact person: Daryl Geller,

Stony Brook CID Team: Dusa McDuff (chair), David Ebin (department chair), Detlef Gromoll, Irwin Kra (who submitted the original CID proposal), Daryl Geller, Sorin Popescu, Michael Anderson, Justin Sawon, Michael Chance, Karyn Lundberg

Department Home Page

What do we want to accomplish in the CID?

Our goal is to improve all aspects of graduate education in mathematics. We especially want to make students feel that they are part of a supportive and encrouraging environment. We also want to expose students, from early on, to the vast breadth of mathematics, as well as its applications, and open their eyes to the wide array of options open to them with a doctorate in mathematics.

Our Department

The Mathematics Department was founded in 1958, and in recent years has ranked among the top twenty in the country. Particular strengths include differential, algebraic and symplectic geometry, algebraic topology, complex analysis, dynamical systems and their applications to mathematical physics.

The Institute for Mathematical Sciences, founded in 1989, is closely allied to the department. The Institute's director is John Milnor. Its current primary research focus is on dynamical systems with an emphasis on the low-dimensional real and complex cases.

The department offers a full range of undergraduate courses, with programs concentrating on pure mathematics or leading to preliminary certification to teach secondary school mathematics. On the graduate level there are Master's-level programs both for secondary teachers and in pure mathematics. We have an active, high-caliber Ph.D. program in Mathematics, with over 70 students currently enrolled.

Commonalities PowerPoint
CID 2004 Summer Convening Power Point Presentation

What are we doing?

Stony Brook is world-renowned as an inspiring and nurturing place to receive a graduate education.

In our "Exposure to Research" seminar, Graduate Student seminar, minicourses and colloquia, we seek to expose students to cutting-edge research and applications at a very early stage in their studies.

We want to make our social atmosphere even better, and further enhance communication among graduate students and between grad students and faculty members.

To this end:

We are encouraging students and faculty to take more active roles in organizing social activities.

The graduate student seminar is more active, and encourages the participation of first and second year students.

To broaden graduate students' horizons, we have set up two seminars that are run jointly with universities in New York City.

We have set up an enhanced advising system for pre-orals students. The purpose of this is to ensure students are able to pass their comprehensive exams and find an advisor without unnecessary delays.

We are reevaluating our examination system for doctoral students.

We reviewed the curriculum and the way the courses are taught. The major changes are to make the first year courses more relevant to the comprehensive exams and to require more participation from students in the intermediate (second and third year) courses.


Enhanced advising system -- implemented September 2004 -- to ba assessed periodically, especially after students take comprehensive exams.

Changes in comprehensive exams -- the review is still ongoing; the first changes may be made in August 2006 -- to be assessed over the next few years, by examining students' progress.

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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