consider the control group to be the group of awardees prior to the receipt of their VIGRE awards; that is, to have a before-and-after comparison. A second approach is spatial and compares the awardees to a group of similar departments or institutions that did not receive an award. Finally, it is possible to combine these approaches and to compare the two types of departments at two different points in time. Although data tracking numbers and progress of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows at selected VIGRE and non-VIGRE departments could have been extracted from existing reports and other sources, comparable comparison would have been challenged in three ways:

  • The departments that received awards are different from those that did not. In particular, the departments funded through the VIGRE program have tended to be at top institutions as ranked according to NRC (1995). As noted in Table 5-1, 19 of the top 25 mathematics departments have received a VIGRE award. However, among those 25, 9 schools either never received a VIGRE grant (Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]; Stanford University’s Department of Mathematics [although Stanford’s Department of Statistics received a grant]; California Institute of Technology; University of California, San Diego; University of Minnesota), or were judged by NSF to have failed in their VIGRE programs (University of California, Berkeley; Yale University;

TABLE 5-1 VIGRE Grants Received Among 25 Top-Ranked Mathematics Departments Since the Inception of the VIGRE Program in 1998

Rank

Institution

Grant

1.5

Princeton University

Yes

1.5

University of California, Berkeley

Yes

3

MIT

No

4

Harvard University

Yes

5

University of Chicago

Yes

6

Stanford University

No

7

Yale University

Yes

8

New York University

Yes

9.5

Columbia University

Yes

9.5

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Yes

11

California Institute of Technology

No

12

University of California, Los Angeles

Yes

13

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Yes

14

University of Minnesota

No

15

Cornell University

Yes

16

Brown University

Yes

17

University of California, San Diego

No

18

University of Maryland, College Park

Yes

19

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Yes

20

State University of New York, Stony Brook

Yes

21

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Yes

22

University of Pennsylvania

No

23

University of Texas, Austin

Yes

24.5

Purdue University

Yes

24.5

Rice University

Yes

NOTE: Stanford University’s Department of Statistics did receive a grant.

SOURCE: Ranking data from NRC (1995); VIGRE grant data from the National Science Foundation.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement