UT Math Faculty Rank High in NSF Grants

KNOXVILLE — The mathematics department in the University of Tennessee’s College of Arts and Sciences ranks high nationally in percentage of faculty with National Science Foundation grants.

An NSF survey showed 44 percent of UT math faculty have grants from NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences.

Dr. John Conway, math department head, said that ranks UT 25th among state universities. Only Georgia Tech, Duke, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham ranked higher in the Southeast.

Regional schools UT outranked include Virginia, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina State, and Florida, Conway said.

“This is a big improvement over the past and I think reflects our successful recruiting in the last 10 years or so,” Conway said.

UT’s math department is only 70th in total NSF grant dollars because it has fewer faculty (36) than many other schools, and most at UT are junior faculty who receive smaller grants, Conway said.

“Both UT and the University of Minnesota have about 44 percent of faculty with NSF grants, but they have 88 faculty and rank 19th in total funding,” Conway said. “They also have more senior faculty who pull in larger grants.

“We have lost eight math faculty positions here in recent years due to budget cuts. If we could have kept those positions, we might have been able to earn more grants.”