The Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (also known as Course 18) is one of the leading mathematics departments in the US[1] and the world.[2] In the 2010 US News ranking of US graduate programs,[3] the department was ranked number one, while the second place was a 4-way tie among Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

The current faculty of around 50 members includes Wolf Prize winner Michael Artin, Shaw Prize winner George Lusztig, Gödel Prize winner Peter Shor, and numerical analyst Gilbert Strang.


Originally under John Daniel Runkle, mathematics at MIT was regarded as service teaching for engineers.[4] Harry W Tyler succeeded Runkle after his death in 1902, and continued as head until 1930. Tyler had been exposed to modern European mathematics and was influenced by Felix Klein and Max Noether.[5] Much of the early work was on geometry.

Norbert Wiener, famous for his contribution to the mathematics of signal processing, joined the MIT faculty in 1919. By 1920, the department started publishing the Journal of Mathematics and Physics (in 1969 renamed as Studies in Applied Mathematics), a sign of its growing confidence; the first PhD was conferred to James E Taylor in 1925.

Among illustrious members of the faculty were Norman Levinson and Gian-Carlo Rota. George B. Thomas wrote the widely used calculus textbook Calculus and Analytical Geometry, known today as Thomas' Calculus. Longtime faculty member Arthur Mattuck received several awards for his teaching of MIT undergraduates.


  1. ^ MIT is second in the US on number of Math PhDs
  2. ^ MIT ranked 15th on citations and 17 on impact in a survey published in 2002, Vital Statistics on the Numbers Game,Science Watch, May 2002. Archived at "Vital Statistics on the Numbers Game". Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Best Mathematics Programs | Top Math Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  4. ^ Peter L. Duren, Richard Askey, Uta C. Merzbac, A Century of Mathematics in America, 1989,American Mathematical Society, ISBN 0-8218-0124-4
  5. ^ Parshall, Karen; Rowe, David E. (1994). The Emergence of the American Mathematical Research Community 1876–1900: J. J. Sylvester, Felix Klein, and E. H. Moore. AMS/LMS History of Mathematics 8. Providence/London. pp. 229–230. ISBN 9780821809075.