Welcome to the Department of Mathematics of the USC Dornsife College of Letters Arts and Sciences, at the University of Southern California. We offer a wide range of research and education opportunities in pure and applied mathematics. We also form a lively and engaged community of scholars. Please explore our web site, from student resources to faculty personal pages, from math clubs to research seminars, to learn more about us and about our offerings and activities.


Congratulations, Michael Waterman

Dr. Michael Waterman has been awarded the Dan David Prize for his seminal and influential contributions to biological sequence analysis. His algorithms are the basis of computational biology. 

Congratulations, Aaron Lauda



Dr. Aaron Lauda received a 2015 Simons Foundation fellowship, allowing him to take a full year of academic leave to pursue his theoretical mathematics research.

Congratulations, Susan Friedlander



Dr. Susan Friedlander has been elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the Mathematical Council of the Americas.

Vlad Vicol named a Sloan Fellow



The first CAMS Prize winner has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Vlad Vicol, who received his PhD in 2010 from USC, is currently an Assistant Professor at Princeton University.

Aravind Asok promoted

Dr. Aravind Asok has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Aravind is an internationally recognized leader in A^1 homotopy theory.

David Crombecque promoted

Dr. David Crombecque has been promoted to Assistant Professor (teaching) in recognition of his many contributions to the department’s teaching mission.

Congratulations, Eric Friedlander

Dr. Eric Friedlander has been elected Chair-Elect of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Albert L. Whiteman Lecture

CAMS Distinguished Lecturer

Congratulations 2014 PhD students


Nine students received their PhD from our department in 2014, and are all headed for good jobs in academia and industry. These are:

  • Diogo Bessam, going to the Catholic Pontifical University (PUC) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
  • Ibrahim Ekren, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland;
  • Umit Islak, University of Minnesota;
  • Yuan Pei, Ursinus College;
  • Grigory Sokolov, Binghamton University;
  • Yin Tian, Simons  Center for Geometry and Physics, Stony Brook, NY;
  • Joseph Timmer, Louisiana State University;
  • Jia Zhuo, Morgan Stanley.

USC undergraduates invited to present their work at conference


Bradley Rava and Cameron Thieme will be presenting their research work at the Young Mathematicians Conference held at the Ohio State University on August 21-24. Bradley worked on P-colorability by pairs as a knot invariants, and Cameron's research was devoted to Bounds for self-intersection of closed curves in the 2-puncture plane. Both research projects were supervised by David Crombecque.

Knot a problem - by Susan Bell


A day of math-based games at USC prepares prep students to explore mathematical concepts in an engaging way. 



USC Undergraduates Bring Home Datafest 2014 Prize

Twenty one talented USC undergraduates competed in Datafest 2014 -- a 48-hour statistics hackathon held annually at UCLA's IPAM -- led by Mathematics faculty Prof. Jay Bartroff and sponsored by the Mathematics Department and the USC Applied Statistics Club. The USC team (from left to right) of Bradley Rava, Tsz Chan, Chris Funaki, Sri Ramesh, and Matthew Norris brought home one of only 3 prizes, for "Best Insight” into the massive data set on energy grid usage. The field included 140 undergraduates from Cal Poly SLO, Pomona College, UCLA, UC Riverside, and USC. Congratulations!

Susan Montgomery elected Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.

Congratulations to Professor Susan Montgomery, who has been elected as the Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.

The vice president and the members at large of the AMS Council serve for three years on the Council. That body determines all scientific policy of the Society, creates and oversees numerous committees, appoints the treasurers and members of the Secretariat, makes nominations of candidates for future elections, and determines the chief editors of several key editorial boards.

Michael Waterman elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences



After winning the 2013 People's Republic of China Friendship Award last Fall, University Professor Michael Waterman has been elected a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The USC Dornsife professor of biological sciences, computer science and mathematics is among nine foreign members from seven countries to be elected to the Academy in 2013, and one of two Americans not of Chinese origin. Waterman has a joint appointment with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Professors Bartroff and Goldstein win grant for international colloquium



The Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation's Center on International Education has awarded Professors Jay Bartroff and Larry Goldstein a grant funding an international colloquium in France in June and July 2014 on Stein's method, concentration inequalities, and Malliavin calculus.  The conference, which Bartroff and Goldstein will co-direct, will take place in the Château de la Bretesche in Missillac, France, a medieval castle dating to the 14th century and a historical monument. Félicitations!

Congratulations to Professor Robert Guralnick

Professor Robert Guralnick has been invited to give a sectional lecture at the International Congress of Mathematics.

This prestigious lecture will be held in Algebra section at the ICM meeting being held in Seoul Korea August 13th - 21st, 2014

Congratulations to USC Mathematics Department alumna Christine Shoemaker

Christine Shoemaker has won the National Engineering Award for 2014  from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES)

The citation for her  award is “For contributions to engineering education, research, and inspirational leadership including becoming in 1985 one of the very first women engineering Department Chairs in  a U.S. university and founding and leading a 10-year international UNEP/SCOPE project on groundwater contamination in developing countries."

The National Engineering Award recognizes “inspirational leadership and tireless devotion to the improvement of engineering education and to the advancement of the engineering profession, as well as to the development of sound public policies as an engineer-statesman”.   Previous winners of this award include University Presidents (e.g. Charles Vest, Wayne Clough and Jared Cohon) and engineering industry leaders (e.g. Roy Weston, Stephen Bechtel, and Robert Noyce).

Congratulations to Professors Aravind Asok and Aaron Lauda who both won NSF CAREER Awards

Professor Aravind Asok has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation CAREER award based upon his proposal, entitled "Vector bundles, rational points and homotopy theory". Professor Aaron Lauda's award is based upon his proposal, entitled "Interactions between knot homology and representation theory". The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. See here for more details on Professors Asok and Lauda's achievements.

USC Undergraduates Bring Home Datafest 2013 Prize

Nine talented USC undergraduates competed in Datafest 2013 -- a 48 hour around the clock statistics competition held annually at UCLA's IPAM -- led by Mathematics faculty Prof. Jay Bartroff and sponsored by the Mathematics Department, and brought home one of only 3 prizes, for "Best Data Visualization." The field included 110 undergraduates from Cal State Long Beach, Pomona College, UCLA, and UC Riverside in addition to the USC team, composed of Anthony Colombo, Bo Wen Lin, Ashley Luo, Reagan Rose, Yawei Suo, Daniel Wang, Zhixia Zhang, and Biexi Zhong. Congratulations!

Congratulations to the graduate students recognized by the 2013 Graduate Student Prizes!


This year's recipients are

  • Edward and Dolores Blum Graduate Research Prize: Triet Pham
  • Dennis R. Estes Graduate Research Prize: Yin Tian
  • Theodore E. Harris Graduate Research Prize: Umit Islak
  • Dennis R. Estes Graduate Teaching Prize: Selenne García-Torres
  • Theodore Edward Harris Graduate Teaching Prize: Kasia Williams
  • CAMS Prize for Excellence in Research: Sushmita Allam

Congratulations to all of them!

Picture (left to right): F. Bonahon, T. Pham, K. Williams, S. García-Torres, Umit Islak, K. Alexander.


Mohammed Ziane receives 2012 Algerian Scholar award.

This award is  given to an Algerian scientist who produced scientific, educational, or intellectual work in any field of natural sciences and humanities, and who honored  the  country of Algeria in international events.


Solomon Golomb, Member of the CAMS Board, receives the US National Medal of Sciences.

Solomon Golomb, USC University Professor, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Communications and Professor of Mathematics was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2013. This is the highest honor bestowed by the US government on scientists, engineers and inventors. See the forthcoming article in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society for a short description of the Professor Golomb's most outstanding achievements.

New AAAS Fellows include two mathematicians from USC

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced the list of the new AAAS Fellows that will be inducted at the annual meeting of the association on February 6, 2013. The individuals so recognized include Professors Susan Friedlander and Susan Montgomery. Great fellowship year for the two Susans of the department! (See below).