• Algebra, from the University of California, Irvine;
• Calculus: Single Variable, from the University of Pennsylvania;
• Analytic Combinatorics, from Princeton University; and
• Machine Learning, from the University of Washington.7
More recently, Harvard and MIT announced a joint partnership called edX “to offer online learning to millions of people around the world. EdX will offer Harvard and MIT classes online for free.”8 The press release9 accompanying that announcement notes that online students may receive “certificates of mastery” if they demonstrate adequate knowledge of the course material. It also states that “edX will release its learning platform as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations that wish to host the platform themselves.” The press release goes on to say that Harvard and MIT faculty will use data from edX “to research how students learn and how technologies can facilitate effective teaching both on-campus and online . . . [to study] which teaching methods and tools are most successful.”
At the same time that mathematics and statistics departments are feeling these pressures, there is also the challenge noted at the beginning of Chapter 5: the belief in some circles that more lower-division mathematics should be taught by other departments. The 2012 report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on STEM education at the undergraduate level recommended that this hypothesis be actively explored through a set of perhaps 200 experiments across the nation. As stated in Chapter 5, the committee agrees that the existing mathematics curriculum would benefit from a significant updating of both content and teaching techniques. There is a real chance that if mathematicians do not do this, others will, and that could exacerbate the erosion in mathematics service teaching that is likely to occur due to cost pressures.
Another important trend of concern to all STEM disciplines is that graduate enrollments from overseas are likely to go down over time as the quality of overseas universities improves, because employment opportunities now exist worldwide for mathematical sciences talent. Over half (52 percent in the 2009-2010 academic year) of the Ph.D. degrees awarded annually in the mathematical sciences by U.S. universities are to non-U.S. citizens.10 Until now, a large fraction of them have continued their careers in the United States, and the nation has benefited greatly in recent decades
9 Available at http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/mit-harvard-edx-announcement.html. Accessed May 2, 2012.
10 R. Cleary, J.W. Maxwell, and C. Rose, 2010, Report on the 2009-2010 new doctoral recipients. Notices of the AMS 58(7):944-954.