Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE)

Committee to Evaluate the NSF’s Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) Program

Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) Committee to Evaluate the NSF’s Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) Program Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract Number DMS-0650370. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14186-4 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14186-9 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2009. Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants for Vertical Inte - gration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engi - neering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad com - munity of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the govern- ment, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.or g

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COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE THE NSF’S VERTICALLY INTEGRATED GRANTS FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATION (VIGRE) PROGRAM WILLIAM E. KIRWAN, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, Chair EFRAIM ARMENDARIZ, University of Texas at Austin JOHN A. BURNS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University C. HERBERT CLEMENS, Ohio State University DONA L. CRAWFORD, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory CHRISTINE M. CUMMING, Federal Reserve Bank of New York LAWRENCE CRAIG EVANS, University of California at Berkeley CHARLES L. FEFFERMAN, Princeton University MARTIN GOLUBITSKY, Ohio State University and Mathematical Biosciences Institute MARK L. GREEN, University of California at Los Angeles LEO P. KADANOFF, University of Chicago DANIEL L. SOLOMON, North Carolina State University LYNN ARTHUR STEEN, Saint Olaf College KAREN L. VOGTMANN, Cornell University ERIC W. WELCH, University of Illinois at Chicago SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center Staff SCOTT WEIDMAN, Director, Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications NEAL GLASSMAN, Senior Program Officer JOHN SISLIN, Program Officer BARBARA WRIGHT, Administrative Assistant 

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BOARD ON MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS C. DAVID LEVERMORE, University of Maryland, Chair MASSOUD AMIN, University of Minnesota TANYA STYBLO BEDER, SB Consulting Corporation MARSHA J. BERGER, New York University PHILIP A. BERNSTEIN, Microsoft Corporation PATRICIA FLATLEY BRENNAN, University of Wisconsin EMERY N. BROWN, Massachusetts General Hospital GUNNAR E. CARLSSON, Stanford University BRENDA L. DIETRICH, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center DEBRA ELKINS, Allstate Insurance Company SUSAN J. FRIEDLANDER, University of Southern California JOHN GEWEKE, University of Iowa DARRYLL HENDRICKS, UBS Investment Bank PETER WILCOX JONES, Yale University KAREN KAFADAR, Indiana University CHARLES M. LUCAS, AIG (retired) DONALD G. SAARI, University of California at Irvine J.B. SILVERS, Case Western Reserve University GEORGE SUGIHARA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego Staff SCOTT WEIDMAN, Director NEAL GLASSMAN, Senior Program Officer BARBARA WRIGHT, Administrative Assistant For more information on the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications, see its Web site at http://www.nationalacademies.org/bms, write to BMSA, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2421, or send e-mail to bms@nas.edu. i

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Preface The National Science Foundation (NSF) requested that the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications assess NSF’s program, Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE). The NRC established a study committee with the following charge: 1. Review the goals of the VIGRE program and evaluate how well the program is designed to address those goals; 2. Evaluate past and current practices at NSF for steering and assessing the VIGRE program; 3. Draw tentative conclusions about the program’s achievements based on the data collected to date; 4. Evaluate NSF’s plans for future data-driven assessments and identify data collection priorities that will, over time, build understanding of how well the program is attaining its goals; and 5. Offer recommendations for improvements to the program and NSF’s ongoing monitoring of it. Through four meetings over the course of nearly 2 years, the Committee to Evaluate the NSF’s Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) Program collected and analyzed a broad range of inputs to develop this consensus report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the delibera - tive process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: James A. Carlson, Clay Mathematics Institute, Richard T. Durrett, Cornell University, ii

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iii PREFACE Michael E. Fisher, University of Maryland, Irene M. Gamba, University of Texas at Austin, Roger E. Howe, Yale University, Leon M. Keer, Northwestern University, Sallie Keller-McNulty, Rice University, and Thomas M. Liggett, University of California at Los Angeles. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Ronald G. Douglas, Texas A&M University, College Station, and by John C. Bailar, University of Chicago. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The committee thanks the members of the National Research Council staff who provided extensive input during the project. Thanks are also extended to all presenters who participated in the committee’s meetings for sharing their thoughts and experiences regarding the VIGRE program. The committee would also like to thank all those who responded to its requests for information, including mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics department chairs, and the experts who conducted site visits. James Maxwell of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) graciously provided AMS data and assisted the committee in contacting department chairs. Henry Warchall of the National Science Foundation answered many questions posed by the committee and provided key data. William E. Kirwan, Chair Committee to Evaluate the NSF’s Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) Program

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 Committee’s Charge, 8 Evaluation of the Scope and Approach, 8 Sources of Information, 10 Outline of the Report, 19 2 BACKGROUND OF THE VIGRE PROGRAM 21 Funding for Mathematical Sciences in the 1980s and 1990s, 22 Students in the Mathematical Sciences, 29 Redefining Mathematical Sciences Programs, 33 3 THE VIGRE PROGRAM 35 Evolving Goals of the VIGRE Program, 37 Key Components of the VIGRE Program, 39 Structure of the VIGRE Program, 42 Grant Duration, 43 Awardees to Date, 43 4 ADMINISTERING, MONITORING, AND ASSESSING THE PROGRAM 47 Proposal and Award Review Process, 50 Structure of Annual and Final Reports, 54 5 PROGRAM ACHIEVEMENTS 57 Challenges to Identifying Achievements, 57 Some Effects of VIGRE Awards, 59 ix

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x CONTENTS VIGRE Applications and Awards, 63 Outcomes at Awardee Departments, 67 Conclusion, 69 6 RECOMMENDATIONS 71 BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES 79 APPENDIXES A Biographies of Committee Members 83 B The Mathematical Sciences in the 1980s and 1990s 89 C Data Requested from Departments 99 D The Mathematical Sciences Since 1998 105 E Presentations to the Committee 113 F Acronyms 115

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List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes FIGURES 1-1 Conceptual model of the Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Math - ematical Sciences (VIGRE) program, 9 2-1 Total academic research and development (R&D) expenditures and percentage of the federally financed R&D expenditures in mathematics and statistics in the United States, 1980-1998, 23 2-2 Sources of support to full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics in the United States, 1980-1998, 24 2-3 Mechanisms of support for full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics in the United States, 1980-1998, 25 2-4 Percentage of academic doctorate holders in mathematics in the United States with federal support, 1981-1999, 28 2-5 Full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institutions in the United States, 1980-1998, 30 2-6 Percentage of full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics in the United States who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents, underrepresented minorities, or female, 1980-1998, 30 2-7 Number of degrees awarded in the mathematical sciences in the United States, 1980-1998, by degree level, 31 2-8 Percentage of mathematics and statistics doctorates awarded in the United States, by gender, race, and citizenship, 1980-1998, 31 2-9 Number of postdoctorates in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institutions in the United States, 1980-1998, 32 5-1 Number of VIGRE proposals and new awards and percentage of successful applications, 64 5-2 Grants for the Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences, 1999- 2006, 65 xi

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xii EVALUATION OF NSF’S VIGRE PROGRAM D-1 National Science Foundation support to full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institutions as a percentage of federal support, 1980-2006, 106 D-2 Full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institutions in the United States, 1980-2006, 107 D-3 Full-time and first-year graduate students in Groups I, II, III, and Va, fall 1998 to fall 2007, 108 D-4 Percentage of full-time graduate students in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institu- tions in the United States who are U.S. citizens/permanent residents, underrepresented minorities, or female, 1980-2006, 108 D-5 Number of degrees awarded in the mathematical sciences in the United States, 1980-2006, by degree level, 109 D-6 Percentage of mathematics and statistics doctorates in the United States, by gender, race, and citizenship, 1980-2006, 110 D-7 Number of postdoctoral fellows in mathematics and statistics at doctorate-granting institutions in the United States, 1980-2006, 111 TABLES 1-1 Potential Indicators of VIGRE Achievement, 11 2-1 Federal Obligations to U.S. Universities and Colleges for Research in Mathematical Sciences, 1980-1998, 23 2-2 Percentage of Each Mechanism of Support for Full-Time Graduate Students in Mathematics and Statistics in the United States That Comes from Federal Sources, 1980-1998, 26 2-3 Mechanisms of Support by the National Science Foundation for Full-Time Graduate Students in Mathematics and Statistics in the United States, 1980-1998, 27 2-4 Number of Postdoctorates Supported in Mathematics and Statistics in the United States, 1980-1998, by Mechanism of Support, 28 2-5 New Doctorate Recipients with Definite Commitments to Postdoctoral Study or Research, by Broad Field of Doctorate: 1982, 1993-1998, 32 2-6 Median Years from Bachelor’s Degree to Doctoral Degree in Mathematics in the United States, 1980-1998, 34 3-1 VIGRE Awardees, 1999-2012, by Institution, Department, and Academic Grant Years, 44 5-1 VIGRE Grants Received Among 25 Top-Ranked Mathematics Departments Since the Inception of the VIGRE Program in 1998, 58 5-2 Number of Proposals from One or More Departments at an Institution That Never Received a VIGRE Award, by Year, 1999-2008, 64 5-3 Number of Unfunded Proposals from Institutions, Among Those That Never Received a VIGRE Award, 64 5-4 VIGRE Awards by Department Type, 1999-2008, 67 5-5 Trends in Departments That Received a VIGRE Award, 69 B-1 Federally Financed and Total Academic Research and Education Expenditures in Mathematics and Statistics, 1980-1998, 89

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xiii LIST OF FIGURES, TABLES, AND BOXES B-2 Sources and Mechanisms of Support for Full-Time Graduate Students in Mathematics and Statistics Doctorate-Granting Institutions in the United States, 1980-1998, 90 B-3 Mathematics Doctorate Holders Employed in Academia in the United States, 1981-1999, 92 B-4 Number and Percentage of Full-Time Graduate Students in Mathematics and Statistics at Doctor- ate-Granting Institutions in the United States, by Gender, Race, and Citizenship, 1980-2006, 93 B-5 Degrees Awarded in Mathematical Sciences in the United States, 1980-2006, by Degree Level, 94 B-6 Number and Percentage of Mathematics and Statistics Doctorates in the United States, by Gender, Race, and Citizenship, 1980-2006, 95 B-7 Number and Percentage of Doctorates in Mathematical Sciences in the United States Received by U.S. Citizens, 1980-1981 to 2007-2008, 96 B-8 Number and Percentage of Doctorates in Mathematical Sciences in the United States, 1980-1981 to 1998-1999, by Gender, 97 B-9 Number of Postdoctoral Fellows in Mathematics and Statistics at Doctorate-Granting Institutions in the United States, 1980-2006, 98 D-1 National Science Foundation Share of Federal Funding to Universities and Colleges for Research in the Mathematical Sciences, 1999-2005, 106 D-2 Percentage of National Science Foundation Support for Full-Time Graduate Students in Mathemat - ics and Statistics, 1999-2006, by Mechanism of Support, 107 D-3 Median Years Elapsed from Bachelor’s to Doctoral Degree in Mathematics, 1999-2003, 109 D-4 New Doctorate Recipients with Definite Commitments to Postdoctoral Study or Research, by Broad Field of Doctorate: 1999-2005, 111 D-5 “VIGRE-like” Activities of Departments That Did Not Receive a VIGRE Award, 112 BOXES 1-1 Data Now Requested with Proposals to the National Science Foundation’s Program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education (VIGRE), 14 4-1 Guidance from the National Science Foundation to Departments Preparing for a Pre-Award Site Visit, 51

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