Information for Prospective StudentsOur programs are designed to give students a solid foundation, preparing them for a successful career in academia, industry, or government service. In addition to their practical training in mathematics, students receive guidance and mentoring, from both faculty and graduate students, to develop as a teacher and researcher.
Mathematics at OU
The math department is home to approximately 36 faculty, 7 postdocs, and 50 graduate students. We are a collegial department, having regular tea time and a robust, active culture of discussing and sharing mathematics.
You will be able to select from a broad range of options in pure and applied mathematics and in research in undergraduate mathematics education for your graduate degree:
- Algebra and Number Theory. Algebraic Groups, Automorphic Forms, Combinatorics, Lie Theory, Modular Forms, Representation Theory (real, p-adic, Lie, automorphic).
- Analysis. Global Analysis, Harmonic Analysis, Integrable Systems, PDEs, Signal Processing, Spectral Theory, Wavelets and Frames.
- Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. Control Theory, Dynamical Systems, Modeling, Numerical Analysis, Scientific Computing.
- Geometry. Harmonic Maps, Riemannian Geometry, Group Actions, Einstein metrics, Non-negative Curvature.
- RUME. Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, Diversity and Equity, International Comparative Education.
- Topology. Algebraic and Geometric Topology, Geometric Group Theory, Hyperbolic Geometry, Low Dimensional Topology, Teichmüller Theory.
Specific faculty interests can be found here.
Faculty run seminars. We have a weekly colloquium, generously funded by the Karcher endowment, and weekly seminars in our core research areas (see above). To see upcoming and recent talks, see our events calendar.
Student seminars. Our graduate students have self-organized their own area seminars which they use to introduce new topics to the younger cohorts of students. Typically, faculty are not involved in these seminars, but postdocs are often invited to participate and serve as a resource for questions. Presently, these seminars cover algebra, topology, geometry, dynamics, applied math, and analysis.
Reading courses. In addition to regular courses, graduate students take reading courses from faculty to be introduced to a research area. And it is not uncommon for groups of faculty, grads, and postdocs to form "secret seminars" whenever a new topics arises that people want to learn.
Directed reading program. A few years ago, our graduate students began a directed reading program with advanced undergraduates. This informal program pairs interested undergrads with grads to study new and advanced topics.
Life in Norman and Oklahoma
The city of Norman has a population just over 120,000 and, consequently, is a city with an active music scene, museums, and loads of restaurants. Additionally, we are located in the Oklahoma City metro area which has a population of approximately 1.3 million people. Just outside these cities one can find lakes and trails, state parks, and national recreation lands.
- Norman is Oklahoma's 3rd largest city, diverse with a low cost of living and 20 minutes from OKC.
- Diverse cuisine - nearly 250 restaurants
- Extensive parks and recreation system - more than 50 parks across Norman.
- Norman hosts regular art walks, movies in the parks, seasonal fairs, etc. https://www.visitnorman.com/
- OU sports - Gymnastics, soccer, football, basketball, ...
- OU houses two museums on campus
- For a sample of our local music venues up in the city, see
- Oklahoma is the second most ecologically diverse state in the US.
- Native American culture and history.
- There are 34 state parks, most within a couple hours drive from Norman. The nearest is Lake Thunderbird (10 miles away) which hosts boating, hiking, and mountain biking opportunities.
- National Parks and Wildlife Refuges (15 total) cover Oklahoma, hosting buffalo and elk, as well as hiking trails and camp grounds - see, e.g., the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
- Dark skies aren't far either, where you can still see the Milky Way.