Graduate Program: Q&A

 

GTA/GRA and Travel Support Issues

1. Is the graduate teaching/research assistantship renewable from the second year?

Based on students’ academic and teaching/research assignment performance, their graduate teaching/research assistantship will be renewable from second years, up to 6 years in the PhD program and 2 years in the Master program.

2. Will the stipend of graduate teaching/research assistantship be adjusted? 

The stipend of GTA/GRA could be adjusted every year, depending on students’ academic and teaching/research assignment performance. Students passing the qualifying exams will have $500 stipend increase and students passing candidacy exams will have $1000 stipend increase. Students received the following awards, 1) Research Excellence Award; 2) Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award; and 3) Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, will have $250 stipend increase.

3. Is there the graduate teaching/research assistantship available in the summer? 

Students in the PhD and master program can apply for the graduate teaching/reseach assistantship in the summer.  The application form will be sent to all GTA/GRA students in about March.  The program offers about 20 graduate teaching/research assistantship in the summer, with priorities given to those taking dissertation hours and passing qualifying exams. The stipend for graduate  teaching/research assistantship is about $4500.

3. Is there any financial support to attend a meeting/workshop?

The College of  Graduate Studies has the Presentation Fellowship to support students who plan to present a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional conference. More information about the fellowship can be found in the website   https://funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/

Students in the graduate program are greatly encouraged to attend meetings, workshops and summer schools. The department  allocates some fund  every year and provides partial financial support, around $250 per trip,   for students to  attend  various academic activities.

Award Issues

1. What is a Research Excellence Award?

The Research Excellent Award is to honor graduate students of Department of Mathematics to conduct research of high quality. It is formerly known as the Graduate Research Award.

Rajitha Puwakgolle received the 2017 Research Excellence Award for his study on approximation theory, orthogonal polynomials and special functions.

Yi Zhu received the 2016 Research Excellent Award for her study on propagating traveling waves in reaction-diffusion systems.

Cheng Cheng  received the 2015 Research Excellent Award for her contribution on sparse wavelet signal reconstruction and robust spatially distributed networks.

Ashish Bhatt received the 2015 Research Excellent Award for his discovery of a new conformal property of a Burger’s equation.

Deborah Kelly received  the 1995 Graduate Research Award for the improved results on  analysis of heat and mass transfer of a videoelastic, electrically conducting fluid past a continuous stretching sheet.

2. What is an Outstanding Dissertation Award?

The Award for the Outstanding Dissertation, created in Fall 2016, recognizes doctoral students for  excellence in the dissertation.

Arita Dutta received the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award. He is under the supervision of Professors Xin Li and Qiyu Sun. The title of his dissertation is Weighted low-rank approximation of matrices: some analytic and numerical aspects.

3. What is a Master’s Thesis Award?

The Master’s Thesis Award is given to a student to have the best Master’s thesis and graduate in previous calendar year.

The recipients of the Master’s Thesis Award are Daniel Marulanda (2017),   Christopher Huff  (2013).

4. What is the Ed Norman Award for Excellence in Mathematics?

The award was established in 1994 by Eliane Norman in memory of Ed Norman, a former UCF mathematics professor. It is awarded every year to that graduate student who graduates in the past calendar year with the highest graduate GPA.

The recipients of this award are Matthew Russo (2017), Robert Anschuetz (1995).

5. What is the Lee Armstrong Award for Distinguished Teaching?

The award is created by Professor Lee Armstrong, an emeritus professor of the Math department, to honor graduate student with distinguished teaching.  It was formerly known as the graduate teaching award.

The recipients of the Lee Armstrong Award for Distinguished Teaching are  Aritra Dutta, Tyler Gomez (2017), Martin Rolek (2016),  Arielle Gaudielle (2015), Rachid Semmoum (2004), Alex Zamyatin(2003),  Heather Edwards (2002), John Boneck (2001), Lisa Fischer (2000),  Lori Dunlop (1999), Julie Meer (1998), Kevin Brown (1997), Michael Reynolds (1996), Deborah Kelly (1995), Patrick Higgins (1994),  and Frederick Hackett (1993)

6. What is a Graduate Teaching Excellence Award?

The Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award, created in Fall 2015, recognizes excellence in teaching by graduate teaching associates/assistants who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities.

The recipients of Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award  are Christian Bosse (2017),  Ashish Bhatt (2016), Arielle Gaudielle, Martin Rolek, Cheng Cheng (2015).

7. What is a Graduate Teaching Assistant Award?

The Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, created in 2016,  recognizes excellence by graduate teaching assistants who are not instructors of record, but who provide teaching support and assistance.

The recipients of Graduate Teaching Assistant Award are Jingmei Zhang(2017),  Rajitha Puwakgolle (2016).

8. What is a  MALL Award for Excellence in Tutoring by a Graduate Student?

The UCF Mathematics Assistance and Learning Lab (MALL) is a state-of-the-art lab and the designated classroom for Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra students. The facility also serves as an extension of the classroom environment for Pre-Calculus and College Trigonometry students. The MALL aids students by providing hands-on learning, one-on-one assistance, and promotes the study and enjoyment of mathematics.

Recipients of the award are Daniel Gibney (2017), Calvin Wheeler (2016), Nathaniel Adu (2015) and Talon Ward (2014).

 

Tracks Issues

1. What is the main difference in the PhD program between the Financial Mathematics track and the regular Mathematical Sciences track?

There are several required courses  designed for Financial Mathematics track, such as  Computational Mathematics for Financial Mathematics I and II, Financial Mathematics I and II; Risk Management for Financial Mathematics, and Applied Time  Series Analysis.

For the candidacy examination, at least one sequence selected by students in the Financial Mathematics Track must be based on  two required courses on financial mathematics.

Students in the Financial Mathematics Track must complete their dissertation on  financial mathematics.

2.  What is the main difference in the master program among the regular Mathematical Sciences track, the Industrial Mathematics track and the Financial Mathematics track?

The Industrial Mathematics  track in the master program is meant to be a terminal degree for a student who wants a career in industry. The courses in those two tracks may be not be aligned to our Ph.D. program as in the regular M.S. program.

The Financial Mathematics track in the master program is meant to be a terminal degree for a student who wants a career in financial institutes. The courses in the tracks may be not be aligned to our Ph.D. program at Financial Mathematics track.

 

3.  Can I select a new track and even a new program after admission?

The objectives of the UCF math PhD and Master programs are different. Students who change their mind after admission to the Math graduate program can  select a new track and even a new graduate program in the department, up to the approval. Due to different requirements on core and restricted selective courses, some credit hours earned by students may not be transferred to the new program. The university policy allows automatic transfer of up to 9 credit hours of graduate level courses between programs and anything beyond 9 credit hours will have to be petitioned through the College of Graduate Studies.

4. Can I change from the certificate program to the master/PhD program?

Yes, you may apply to transfer to the Master or PhD program if you are qualified. Since all the online courses are part of our regular graduate courses, you may take the credit hours with you when you are admitted to the master/PhD program. The university policy allows automatic transfer of up to 9 credit hours of graduate level courses between programs and anything beyond 9 credit hours will have to be petitioned through the College of Graduate Studies. It is strongly recommended that you transfer soon after you have 9 credit hours and before you have too many credit hours.

Course Selection Issues

Will all required courses be available as online courses?
At least six courses will be made available as online courses. More online courses will be added.

Each spring and fall semester, at least one online courses will be offered. In the summer, online course(s) will be offered as long as our budget permits us to do so.

When do I take core and required selective courses?

The core and required selective courses for the PhD and master program are different. Students in the PhD and master program admitted in the fall semester are recommended to take three core courses: MAA5228 (Analysis I), MAS5145 (Advanced Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory) and MAT5712 (Scientific Computing).

 

How do I choose the elective course?
You may choose any graduate level course in the department of mathematics as your elective course. You should always consult with the graduate coordinator with your selection of the elective course. You may choose an online course or a face-to-face course.

Will my elective course be available as an online course?
We will make more and more courses available as online courses but we cannot promise the one you select as your elective course is available as an online course.

 

Qualifier and Candidacy Issues

1. What is a qualifier exam?

Qualifier exams include two subjects, Analysis and Linear Algebra.  The qualifier exam  on Analysis is  based on MAA5228 (Analysis I) and MAA 6229 (Analysis II), and the qualifier exam on  Linear Algebra is  based on MAS 5145 (Advanced Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory).

Students in the graduate program can take the qualifier examination. Students have at most two attempts for each subject with one free trial just after admission to the program.

Students are encouraged to take the examination of each subject just after completing the corresponding core courses, and they are expected to have passed the examination by the end of the second year.

Grade scales for the qualifier exam are PhD pass, Master pass and Fail. Students to continue in the PhD program must pass the examinations at the PhD Pass level. Students with non-thesis option in the Master program must earn the Master Pass or the PhD pass in the examinations.
The qualifier exam will be administered twice a year, one in the fall semester and the other in the spring semester. The examination on two subjects will be on the second and third weekend of the fall and spring semester, or on the date determined by the graduate program director.
Students to take the examination in the spring/fall semester should submit your request to the Graduate Program Assistant of the department during the first two weeks of November/May.

Withdrawing the request is permitted. Students should send the withdrawal petition at least two weeks before the examination date. No showing will be counted as one attempt with grade Fail.

2. What is a candidacy exam?

Candidacy examination consists of a written examination based on the materials from two of the selected two-semester sequence courses beyond the core courses. Students may use restricted electives listed in the Math PhD program @ graduate catalog as their sequence courses.

Students in the PhD program can take the candidacy examination after passing the qualifying examination with a PhD pass. The candidacy examination must be completed within two years after the qualifying examination and within three years admitted in the PhD program. A student must successfully pass the Candidacy Examination within at most two attempts for each sequence.
The examination will be administered three times a year, in the fall, spring and summer semesters. The examination will be on the second and third weekend of the fall, spring and summer semester, or on the date determined by the graduate program director.
Students to take the examination in the fall/spring/summer semester should submit your request to the Graduate Program Assistant of the department during the first two weeks of May/November/March.

Withdrawing the request is permitted. Students should send the withdrawal petition at least two weeks before the examination date. No showing will be counted as one attempt with grade Fail.

Miscellaneous Issues

1. Is there a time limit on the completion of the  graduate program?

There is no official time limit. However, it is highly recommended that students should complete the PhD program with 6 years, the master and graduate certificate program  within three years.

However, the university has  7 year rule for all master and doctoral programs, which requires graduate students have seven years from the date of admission to complete their degree (prerequisite, articulation, and foundation courses are exempt). In addition, no course older than seven years at the time of graduation may be used in the Plan of Study.

2.  What is the credit transfer policy?

The program follows the university policy to credit transfer. For a full description of the rules that govern transfer credits, please see the appropriate Transfer of Credit policy in the current Graduate Catalog. The university will not allow students to transfer course work from professional societies, independent agencies, employers or companies unless they are American Council on Education (ACE) certified.

3.  Annual Evaluation of the  graduate program?
Students in the graduate program are required to complete the annual evaluation and to meet with graduate coordinator to discuss their academic performance. Students with GTA/GRA need report their performance for assigned teaching and research.  The annual evaluation will be  recorded in student’s performance report and will be used for the stipend increase.