• All departments, including those characterized as elite and selective, need to provide a supportive learning environment.
  • Doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows should receive broad academic preparation appropriate for their future careers in research universities, teaching universities, government laboratories, business, and industry.
  • Doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows should learn teaching skills and other communication skills appropriate for their future careers.
  • The number of postdoctoral fellowships in the mathematical sciences should be greatly increased so that such positions can be viewed as the logical next step after completion of the doctorate for the good student, not as a highly competitive prize for a select few. More postdoctoral fellowships should have applied, interdisciplinary, or pedagogical components.

Changing the American doctoral and postdoctoral system in the mathematical sciences so that it responds better to the needs of the profession, students, and the society is a task that requires the cooperative efforts of faculty, departments, professional societies, and federal agencies. The departments at research universities have a special responsibility to raise the level and increase the knowledge of talented but underprepared entering American doctoral students. Federal agencies should continue their programs and also increase their awareness of the impact of their programs on the doctoral and postdoctoral system. Professional societies should be involved in monitoring change in the universities, the agencies, and the community. But action, if it starts at all, will start from the faculty. The faculty should be aware that creating and maintaining a successful doctoral/postdoctoral program will require additional effort and time. The long-term benefits to the department, the students, and the society are clearly worth the effort.



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