Sep 29, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]


Return to: USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

The USC Department of Mathematics welcomes students interested in the mathematical sciences. Our undergraduate degree programs are constructed to provide basic knowledge of modern mathematical techniques most relevant to each specific degree together with sufficient flexibility to enable each student to study additional topics of particular interest. We seek to provide our students with an appreciation of the structure and beauty of the mathematics they learn as well as the power of its applications.

Students completing the undergraduate programs in Mathematics should be well prepared for many careers in industry and education, as well as for graduate study in mathematics. The Applied and Computational programs focus on the areas most useful in the application of mathematics to real-world problems. All programs offered, and the applied degrees in particular, train graduates for technologically oriented careers.

The primary aspects of USC’s graduate programs in Mathematics are high-level courses, independent study and thesis preparation by PhD students. Our programs also mentor students in their presentation skills and post-degree careers.  Students choose either the Mathematics or the Applied Mathematics program, which share the requirement of a written thesis containing original research for a PhD, and have course and examination requirements tailored to the program chosen.

Each incoming PhD student is assigned a temporary adviser. At some point in their studies, PhD students choose their own thesis adviser whose research interests align with those of the student. There is considerable contact with faculty in graduate classes, reading courses, research efforts and at lively afternoon teas. The department has a strong tradition of senior PhD students aiding and advising students early in their graduate career.

In addition to its PhD programs, the Mathematics Department offers Master’s degrees in Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Mathematical Finance and Statistics.

Kaprielian Hall 104
(213) 740-2400
FAX: (213) 740-2424

Chair: Eric M. Friedlander, PhD


University Professor and Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics: Shanghua Teng, PhD (Computer Science)

Dean’s Professor of Mathematics: Eric M. Friedlander, PhD

Professors: Kenneth Alexander, PhD; Richard Arratia, PhD;  Aravind Asok, PhD; Susan Friedlander, PhD; Jason Fulman, PhD; Larry Goldstein, PhD; Robert Guralnick, PhD*; Nicolai T.A. Haydn, PhD; Juhi Jang, PhD; Edmond A. Jonckheere, PhD (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Sheldon Kamienny, PhD; Igor Kukavica, PhD; Aaron Lauda, PhD; Sergey Lototsky, PhD; Jinchi Lv, PhD (Data Sciences and Operations); Jin Ma, PhD; Fedor Malikov, PhD; Remigijus Mikulevicius, PhD; Paul K. Newton, PhD (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Susan M. Montgomery, PhD*; Gary Rosen, PhD; Robert J. Sacker, PhD; Fengzhu Sun, PhD (Biological Sciences); Chunming Wang, PhD; Jianfeng Zhang, PhD; Mohammed Ziane, PhD

Associate Professors: Sami Assaf, PhD; Stanislav Minsker, PhD; Greta Panova, PhD

Assistant Professors: Yu Deng, PhD; Sheel Ganatra, PhD; Cris Negron, PhD; Kyler Siegel, PhD; Harold Williams, PhD

Professor (Teaching): Cymra Haskell, PhD

Associate Professor (Teaching): David Crombecque, PhD

Assistant Professors (Teaching): Guillaume Dreyer, PhD; Nathaniel Emerson, PhD; Ricardo Mancera, PhD; Guillermo Reyes Souto, PhD; Harry Warner, PhD

Assistant Professors (RTPC): Anne Dranowski, PhD; Steven Heilman, PhD; Joseph Helfer, PhD; Christopher Kuo, PhD; Trevor Leslie, PhD; Trinh Nguyen, Phd; Dmitrii Ostrovskii, PhD; Yang Qiu, PhD; Mark Rychnovsky, PhD; Joshua Swanson, PhD; Masoud Zargar, PhD; Zhaoyu Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professors (Teaching): Guillaume Dreyer, PhD; Nathaniel Emerson, PhD; Ricardo Mancera, PhD; Guillermo Reyes Souto, PhD; Harry Warner, PhD

Emeritus: Peter Baxendale, PhD; Charles Lanski, PhD; Wlodek Proskurowski, PhD; Alan Schumitzky, PhD; Michael S. Waterman, PhD (Biological Sciences)

*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.

Undergraduate Degrees

Advanced Placement Examinations in Mathematics

The university grants 4 units of credit in mathematics for scores of 4 or 5.

Grade Point Average Requirements

For each undergraduate degree an overall GPA of 2.0 in all upper-division courses taken for the degree is required. In addition, any upper-division course specifically listed as required must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or better (e.g., MATH 410 , MATH 425a , MATH 425b  and MATH 471  for the BS degree).

Minor in Mathematical Finance

This interdisciplinary minor was created for students in business, economics and mathematics, whose majors already require some of the introductory course work. Students in other programs are welcome but should expect the minor to require more units than it does for students in these programs. For more information, see Mathematical Finance .

Honors Program in Mathematics

Admission to the Program

The honors program is available for mathematics majors. A student must apply to the department for admission. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 is required in the first two years of university work as well as in the lower-division mathematics courses MATH 125 MATH 126  or MATH 127 , MATH 225  and MATH 226  or MATH 227 .


The students must complete all requirements for the degree program in which they are enrolled. MATH 410 , MATH 425a MATH 425b  and MATH 471  are required. The remaining courses at the 400 level or higher must be acceptable for the BS degree.

In addition, students in the honors program must register for at least 4 units of MATH 490x Directed Research . The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 in all courses at the 400 level or higher.


Those students intending to go on to graduate school should satisfy the language requirement in French, German or Russian.

Progressive Degree Programs in Mathematics

Outstanding undergraduate students may apply for a master’s degree in any area for which their major is relevant. If accepted into the master’s degree program, the student may work simultaneously toward their bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. To apply for a master’s degree, a student must have completed at least 64 units, but fewer than 96 units, toward their major. The application requires two letters of recommendation from USC faculty, at least one of whom must be in the department of the student’s major. For more information on progressive degree programs, see the Progressive Degree section in Undergraduate Degree Programs  .

Graduate Degrees

Admission Requirements

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations General Test.

Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics and in Applied Mathematics

A substantial undergraduate background in mathematics which includes one year of real analysis (MATH 425a /MATH 425b ), one semester of abstract algebra (MATH 410 ) and one semester of upper-division linear algebra (MATH 471 ) is required. 

Master of Science in Applied Mathematics, in Statistics and in Computational Molecular Biology

A substantial undergraduate background in mathematics that includes one semester of real analysis or advanced calculus and one semester of linear algebra is required.

Regular admission pending completion during the first year of graduate studies of prerequisite undergraduate mathematics may be considered for applicants who otherwise qualify for the program.

Degree Requirements

These degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation  section and The Graduate School  section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.

Master of Science in Mathematical Finance

See Mathematical Finance .


    Bachelor’s DegreeCombined MajorMinorMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree


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