About the Department of Mathematics

The HMC Department of Mathematics is more than just an award-winning (PDF) department; it’s a place where our faculty, staff, and students work together to create a welcoming environment for everyone, accomplish amazing things, and advance the frontiers of knowledge in the mathematical sciences.

Browse our news highlights, departmental newsletters, or read some of our impressive facts below to learn more about the department.

We Do Well in Preparing Our Students for Graduate School

  • In recent years about 60% of our math majors go on to PhD programs, surely the highest of any college or university in the nation.
  • Almost all of these students received full tuition scholarships and received additional financial support through research and/or teaching fellowships.
  • In the past five years, our graduating seniors have been accepted to graduate schools in mathematics, applied mathematics, computer science, physics, and economics at Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Chicago, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Berkeley, UCLA, Wisconsin, U. Penn, Brown, Caltech, just to name a few.
  • One reason for our success is that we give every math major a research experience.

We Also Do Well Placing Our Students in Nonacademic Jobs

  • Recent math majors have gone on to jobs at Google, consulting, finance, software engineering, high-school teaching, actuarial science, policy analysis, and many other interesting careers.

Our Students and Graduates Do Well in Fellowship Competitions

  • In 2021, three math seniors were awarded NSF fellowships for graduate study. We have had as many as five math seniors win NSF fellowships in one year!
  • Our math majors have won Watson Fellowships for travel and study abroad after graduation.
  • One year we had both a Rhodes Scholar and a Churchill Scholar among our senior majors!

We Give Our Students Real Research Experiences

  • Every math major has a research experience before they graduate, in the form of a Senior Thesis (research in a faculty member’s area) or a Clinic (industry-sponsored project).
  • Faculty often jointly author papers with students (more than 20 papers in the last three years).
  • Many of our students also independently author papers.
  • A Mudd math major, Joshua Greene, won the AMS-MAA-SIAM Morgan Prize (given to one undergraduate in the nation for outstanding research). Another Mudd math major, Aaron Archer won an Honorable Mention in this competition.

Our Students Have Fun with (and Do Well in) Mathematical Competitions!

  • In the Putnam Mathematical Competition, our HMC team has placed as high as third nationwide!
  • HMC is the only undergraduate college in the last 30 years to have placed in the Putnam Top 5 schools (and we’ve done it twice).
  • Harvey Mudd College often outperforms nearly all other schools in participation and numbers of Top-100 finishers on the Putnam by percentage.

More Fun with Mathematical Competitions!

  • HMC leads all other colleges and universities in the number of ICM and MCM (Interdisciplinary and Mathematical Competition in Modeling) Outstanding awards won. Each year the MCM awards Outstanding to the top 10–12 papers from over 600 entries. As many as three HMC teams have won this highest honor at the same time!
  • HMC teams have also won special recognition from SIAM and INFORMS for their solutions.
  • A team of three HMC math and math/CS majors won the International ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Programming contest, topping more than 1000 schools worldwide, and the first undergraduate institution ever to win in the competition’s 50-year history.

Our Faculty Are Outstanding, and Are Dedicated to Our Students

  • Our regular faculty hold PhDs from some of the best programs in their research areas.
  • Nearly all our faculty have won teaching awards at their previous institutions, and some have won national awards.
  • Many of our faculty have won National Science Foundation Research Awards.

American Mathematical Society Award

Our department was awarded the very first Award for Exemplary Program (PDF) by the American Mathematical Society for the strength of our overall program. We were selected to receive this award out of all the colleges and universities in North America!

Other Interesting Facts about Math at Mudd

  • A Mudd math major won College Jeopardy, which helped to fund the RIF Mathematics scholarship.
  • Many of our students present their research work at national meetings.
  • Many of our majors study abroad.
  • We offer graduate-level courses in conjunction with Claremont Graduate University and the other Claremont Colleges, so our students never run out of courses.