Opinion 30: U-WISCONSIN-Madison's Math Grad Program Should Be Emulated

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: Sept. 27, 1998

Have you ever met a bad speaker who got his Math Ph.D. from Wisconsin? Or for that matter have you ever heard a bad talk by a faculty member from Madison? I bet you didn't. All the talks that I have heard were always excellent. It is also clear that the speakers were very well-rounded, and had a very good grounding in ALL of Math.

It was Dave Bressoud who mentioned this to me back in 1985. It must be something in the chilly Madison air, or the stature of such excellent teachers (and mathematicians!) like Dick Askey, Richard Brualdi, Don Passman, Paul Rabinowitz, Walter and Mary Rudin, Lou Solomon (and probably many others whom I don't know), that has something to do with it.

Hopefully, one day one of the Madison faculty would write the recipe down, so that we can all enjoy the dish.

Read Gary Ebert's partial explanation to the Madison phenomenon
Added Jan. 26, 1999: Another secret is that when they hire, they make sure that the persons are also top-notch teachers. For example, I was told that Madison has recently hired Jim Propp and Arun Ram, who are not only brilliant mathematicians, but extraordinary lecturers and hence great teachers.
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