is added. For the mathematics departments, this occurs only in Group III.7 There are also changes as to which statistics, biostatistics, and applied mathematics departments are included.

  1. In some cases, departments returned a form but the specific data either were missing or judged not usable.

  2. Some departments may not have undergraduate programs (i.e., the department reports graduate enrollment only).

AMS also collects data on the number of doctorates in the mathematical sciences. Data focus on the number of new doctorates by gender, race/ethnicity, and citizenship, organized by academic calendar year, by institution, and by department. Coverage is from academic year 1991 to academic year 2005. There are a number of technical issues (e.g., values changing for race/ethnicity categories in the 1990s), and there are some indications of inaccuracies.

A second source of information is provided by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics through its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Peer Analysis System. IPEDS allows users to compare a postsecondary institution to a group of peer institutions, all of which are user-selected. Data of relevance include degree data, enrollment data, and data on enrollment of mathematics majors. Degree data include information on level of degree, gender, and race/ethnicity. Enrollment data are fall enrollment or 12-month enrollment data, and enrollment data on mathematics majors are available by gender, race, attendance status, and level of student. Degree data go back to 1986. General enrollment data go back at least to 1990. Data on enrollment of mathematics majors were collected every 2 years from 1996 through 2006.

Information Collected by the Committee

The study committee sent an e-mail request for information to VIGRE awardees and to other departments of applied mathematics, mathematics, and statistics. The objective of this request was to collect additional information on the following:

  • Initial and renewal applications to the VIGRE program,

  • Experiences of VIGRE awardees, and

  • Basic trends in the departments.

Working with AMS, the committee sent an e-mail to chairs of all PhD-granting departments of applied mathematics, biostatistics, mathematics, and statistics, asking them to submit information on their departments’ experiences. The committee requested information from a total of 288 departments. To facilitate the data collection, a Web site was created to store the information received; the e-mail to the chairs contained a link to this Web site. The initial request was sent in November 2007. Three e-mail follow-ups were sent, the final one in early February 2008. Of 50 VIGRE awardees (departments) that were surveyed, 40 returned the committee’s questionnaire. Of 238 non-awardee departments that received the e-mail, 114 responded. See Appendix C for the questionnaires sent to departments.

On February 29, 2008, three committee members conducted an hour-long conference call with seven professors who had in previous years served on site-visit teams, either at the time of an initial proposal


 According to the AMS (; accessed August 6, 2009), Group III contains U.S. mathematics departments reporting a doctoral program that received a ranking of less than 2.0 in the 1995 National Research Council volume Research Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change (NRC, 1995) or were not included in the NRC rankings.

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