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Annual Survey: First Report on the State of the Mathematical Sciences 2008

More new doctoral recipients in 2007-08 did their dissertations in statistics and biostatistics (27%) than in any other field of mathematics. Algebra and number theory came next (16%), followed by applied mathematics (15%); geometry and topology (9%); differential, integral, and difference equations (8%); discrete mathematics, combinatorics, logic, and computer science (7%); real, complex, functional, and harmonic analysis (5%); numerical analysis and approximations (5%); probability (4%); linear and nonlinear optimization and control (2%), and mathematics education (1%).

This information comes from the preliminary report of the 2008 Annual Survey of the Mathematical Sciences, published in two parts in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society (February, March 2009). The MAA is a member of the joint Data Committee responsible for gathering and compiling the data.

This year’s preliminary report gives a broad picture of 2007–2008 new doctoral recipients and faculty salaries, based on information received from the relevant departments in the mathematical sciences at universities in the U.S. from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008. A second, updated report will appear in the August 2009 Notices of the AMS.


  • Of 1,235 new doctoral recipients reported for 2007-08 by departments responding in time for the 2008 First Report, 540 are U.S. citizens, 44% of the total. Last year’s figure was 43%. Of all new doctoral recipients, 388 (31%) are female, the same percentage as last year.
  • Among the 540 doctoral recipients who are U.S. citizens, 4 are American Indian or Alaska Native, 23 are Asian, 22 are Black or African American, 19 are Hispanic or Latino, 5 are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 461 are White, and 6 are of unknown race or ethnicity.
  • The fall 2008 unemployment rate for the 1,083 new doctoral recipients whose employment status is known was 5.4%, up from 4% for fall 2007.
  • Sixty-nine new doctoral recipients hold positions at the institution that granted their degree, representing 7% of the new doctoral recipients who are currently known to have jobs and 11% of those who have academic positions in the U.S. Eighteen recipients have part-time positions.
  • The number of new doctoral recipients employed in the U.S. is 886, up 22 from last year. Among these recipients, 426 (48%) are U.S. citizens (up from 405, or 47%, last year). About 23% of the total have jobs in business and industry, a category showing an increase for the fifth consecutive year.

The Faculty Salary Survey offers graph-based data on the distribution of 2008-2009 academic-year salaries for tenured and tenure-track faculty at four-year mathematical sciences departments in the U.S. The information was gathered from departments using a questionnaire initially distributed in June 2008. This year's salary report includes, for the second time, separate reporting on the salaries of newly appointed tenure-track assistant professors.

The Annual Survey series, begun in 1957 by the American Mathematical Society, is under the direction of the Data Committee—a joint committee of the MAA, AMS, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The members are Richard Cleary, Richard M. Dudley, John W. Hagood, Abbe H. Herzig, Ellen Kirkman, David J. Lutzer, Joanna Mitro, James W. Maxwell (ex officio), Bart Ng, Polly Phipps (chair), Douglas Ravanel, Jianguo (Tony) Sun, and Marie Vitulli.—H. Waldman

News Date: 
Thursday, February 19, 2009