The Tulane VIGRE project has as its goal the integration of research and education at all levels above calculus. The mechanism by which this will be achieved is the formation of Integrated Research Groups within the mathematics department all of which build on existing strengths. There will be four of these groups, one in Algebra and Theoretical Computer Science, one in Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, one in Geometry and Topology and one in Probability and Statistics. Each faculty member will be associated with at least one such group and graduate students will choose among these groups during the early years of their graduate career. Postdoctoral fellows will be hired into a group and that group will be responsible for mentoring. Mentoring will be vertically integrated, with faculty bearing the primary responsibility for mentoring all department members. Postdoctoral fellows will mentor graduate students and undergraduate students. Undergraduate research will be coordinated through the different Integrated Research Groups.
The vision of the Tulane VIGRE program is the creation of a department where research is seamlessly integrated into courses at all levels above calculus and where students see research as an exciting way to learn mathematics. Students and postdoctoral fellows will be broadly educated and well prepared for further education and employment in the mathematical sciences or for academic, industrial or government careers. Students will have a much better perspective into how mathematical ideas are used and how mathematics is done than they would if they just followed a traditional curriculum of listening to lectures and doing homework exercises. The scholarly life and productivity of the Tulane Mathematics department will be significantly enhanced by the funding of this grant.