The Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University engages in outstanding research in Mathematics, both pure and applied, in Mathematics Educations, and in teaching a wide range of students, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the department also engages in interdisciplinary and outreach activities, both inside the University and beyond.
The faculty of the Department has a distinguished research reputation, and is rated as a Group I department - the highest grouping - in the 1995 ratings of the National Research Council. Among the faculty are six University Distinguished Professors (Bang-Yen Chen, Ronald Fintushel, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Glenda Lappan, Tien-Yien Li and Alexander Volberg, all of whom have been awarded Distinguished Faculty Awards), a winner of the Amoco Excellence in Teaching Award (Michael Frazier), a winner of the Michigan Mathematical Association of America Teacher of the Year Award (Richard Hill), two winners of the prestigious international Salem Prize for research in Harmonic Analysis (Alexander Volberg and Fedor Nazarov), and two winners of the national Louise Hay award for service to Mathematics Education (Glenda Lappan and Joan Ferrini-Mundy). (Glenda Lappan is also a former president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.) In addition, there are two current holders of Sloan Research Fellowships (George Pappas and Selman Akbulut), one former Guggenheim Fellow (Tien-Yien Li), one former AMS Centennial Fellow (T. Parker), and two former Fulbright Research Fellows (David Blair, twice, and Sheldon Newhouse). Many faculty are on editorial boards of research journals, and the Department even publishes its own research journal, The Real Analysis Exchange (edited by Clifford Weil). Virtually all faculty publish regularly in leading research journals. Finally, three faculty (Alexander Volberg, Sheldon Newhouse, and Ronald Fintushel) have given invited addresses at a meeting of the International Congress of Mathematicians and two (Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Glenda Lappan) have given invited addresses at the International Congress of Mathematics Education. (These events are held every fourth year, and the number of worldwide invitations to give an address at these Congresses is very small.)
The Department teaches courses suitable to all students in the university, ranging from introductory course through technical calculus through advanced undergraduate courses and finally to graduate courses. Excellent instruction is provided to students at all levels, with student enrollments on the order of 20,000 per academic year. There are approximately 400 undergraduate mathematics majors and 120 graduate students, producing approximately 40 bachelor's degrees, 15 masters degrees, and about 13 doctorates per year. The program for the undergraduate major is flexible enough for the preparation of prospective secondary mathematics teachers, preparation for graduate school in mathematics, and preparation for a variety of positions in industry and commerce. In addition to the more conventional masters and doctoral programs in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, the Department has started a masters program in industrial mathematics, and has a revamped doctoral program in Mathematics Education. The undergraduate program includes a calculus sequence for prospective scientists, engineers, and math majors, several advanced undergraduate courses suitable for various scientists and engineers, and a separate version of calculus for business (and some biological science) students. There are also courses for prospective elementary teachers. The Department provides a full complement of courses that enable students to satisfy the Mathematics Graduation Requirement in a variety of ways for students with a variety of interests. Included in these is a new course, Math 106: The Significance of Mathematics, designed to give students some experience with useful mathematics at a pre-calculus level. Internet versions of some courses are available for self-motivated students who prefer to take "on line" courses.
The Department has been involved in outreach activities in Mathematics Education for many years. In addition to the activities attributable to the specific Mathematics Education faculty (ranging from special programs for teachers to service on national councilsand commissions, not to mention the widely used Connected Mathematics textbook series for Middle School), there are many activities done by other faculty, for example, CHAMP (a program at the high school level for mathematically talented students), and service through state and national mathematical organizations, such as the through the Mathematical Association of America Michigan section in contributing to the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition.
Founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university, MSU served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862 and was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture. Today, Michigan State has grown into a comprehensive research university with 4,244 faculty and academic staff, and 33,966 undergraduate, 7,732 graduate, and 1,340 professional students. The total enrollment of 43,038 is the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university and among the largest in the country. In the 1998–99 academic year, MSU granted 6,686 bachelor's degrees, 1,722 master's degrees, and 885 doctoral and professional degrees.
MSU places a great emphasis on excellence in undergraduate education. The curriculum, which originally concentrated on farm science, now includes more than 200 programs of undergraduate and graduate studies in 14 degree-granting colleges, and Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law. Ninety-four percent of non-medical faculty are involved in undergraduate education through teaching and research opportunities. MSU operates on the semester system.
Michigan State is a leader in scientific and technological advancement and, since 1964, has been a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a group of 58 of the nation's leading graduate research institutions. MSU's research program now includes more than 3,000 projects. MSU is a leader in agricultural research. Federal agencies provide the largest proportion of research funds, with the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation as the largest sponsors.
Central to the university's land-grant mission is service to the state, the nation, and the world. Public service and extension missions are fulfilled by long standing commitments to international development and education and an extensive lifelong education effort throughout the state. MSU Extension offices provide community and technical support services to agriculture, business and family service, and 4-H youth programs in each of Michigan's 83 counties. MSU operates public radio and TV facilities that extend the university to wide audiences and provide links to the Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio, and national television and radio networks.
More detailed information can be found at http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/.
About East Lansing
East Lansing's first houses, known as Faculty Row, were built on the college campus in the 1850's, and thereafter the city's history and growth paralleled that of Michigan State University (MSU).
In those early days the village primarily served the needs of teacher and student. An early village planner was the college's world famous botanist, William James Beal, who, together with mathematician Rolla C. Carpenter, laid out an area just north of campus as a residential tract.
In the new century the rush to expansion boomed, and in 1907 "Collegeville" and adjacent neighborhoods were chartered as East Lansing. Many of the historic homes in the city retain the college gothic flavor of MSU architecture from the first quarter of the century.
The East Lansing Businessman's Association, many of whose members were faculty at the college, was instrumental in the expansion of the town and business district along one edge of the campus. Today this association, after a handful of evolutions, is recognized as the East Lansing Merchants Group, a group that demonstrates its commitment to the city through the many community activities it supports.
The East Lansing School District dates from 1901. Growth of MSU and its faculty resulted in a community with high educational expectations, and East Lansing soon became known for the quality of its public education. As word of the system's excellence spread, the city became increasingly attractive as a place for family life.
East Lansing is now more than eight times larger than at its founding and has a public school system of ten schools. Its population of more than 50,000 has evolved to include business and professional women and men, families of all configurations and ethnic backgrounds, educators, international residents, politicians, and artists, as well as MSU faculty and students.