AMS Qualifying Examinations

Spring 2014 Qualifying Exams:
Common exams: Monday, January 27
Area exams: Wednesday, January 29
Applied Statistics take-home exam: Applied Statistics take-home exam: [1]. Professor Wei Zhu will email you the exam on Thursday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. (***Please call her at 631-335-5518 if you did not receive your exam by 11:05 a.m. She will resend you the exam then. Please note that she will be teaching two classes back-to-back that day -- so her cellphone is the best way to find her.)  [2]. You will return your answers (hard copies please) to her at her Math Tower office (Math Tower P-138) on Friday, January 31, at 12:00 noon. Please note that she has already provided an extra 1-hour for your delivery. Therefore no exam will be accepted after 12:00 noon on Friday. Good luck!
Comp Bio Area oral exams: TBD

A student must pass a qualifying examination to be allowed to continue toward the Ph.D. degree. It is designed to test the student's preparation to do research in applied mathematics. The Doctoral Qualifying Examination comprises the so-called Common Exam and the Area-Specific Exam. Every doctoral student must take the former but may choose to take the latter in the student's declared area of concentration -- computational applied math. (CAM), operations research (OR), or statistics (STAT). The exams are given twice a year during the first week of Spring semester and summer.

Note that a student must first find a research advisor before he/she can take the area qualifying exam.

Common Exam (Updated on December 12, 2003)

In the first two hours of the three-hour Common Exam the student is expected to do six out of eight problems in linear algebra and advanced calculus at the level of AMS 510, Analytical Methods for Applied Mathematics and Statistics. The following link has problems from recent AMS 510 homework assignments that give an idea of what the Common Exam questions in linear algebra and advanced calculus will be like. 510 review problems

In the remaining hour, the student answers the problems in one of the two categories. The CAM Category requires doing three out of total four problems (two problems from each of AMS 526 and 501). The Stat/OR category involves doing three out of four problems from AMS 507, Introduction to Probability.

Computational Applied Math (CAM) Exam: Organizer - Prof. Jim Jiao

The exam is 4 hours long. Students will be asked to solve 8 problems.
4 problems out of the following 5 problems: 2 or 3 from 502 and 2 or 3 from 503.
4 problems out of the following 5 problems: 2 or 3 from 527 and 2 or 3 from 528.

Computational Biology (CB) Exam: Organizer - Prof. Robert Rizzo

This exam is an oral exam designed by the student’s advisor.

Operational Research (OR) Exam: Organizer - Prof. Esther Arkin

The exam is 4 hours long. Students must answer
2 out of 3 questions on AMS 540
2 out of 3 questions on AMS 550
3 out of 10 questions: 2 questions each from 553, 546, 545, 544, 556, 569.

Quantitative Finance (QF) Exam: Organizers -  Profs. Zari Rachev and John Pinezich 

This is a four hour, comprehensive examination covering material from:
 *    AMS 511: Foundations of Quantitative Finance 
 *    AMS 512: Capital Markets and Portfolio Theory 
 *    AMS 513: Financial Derivatives and Stochastic Calculus 
 *    AMS 517: Risk Management 

 For full credit, you are required to answer: 
 *    2 out of 3 questions from AMS 511 
 *    2 out of 3 questions from AMS 512 
 *    2 out of 3 questions from AMS 513 
 *    2 out of 3 questions from AMS 517 

It is strongly recommended that students taking the exam have achieved grades of A or A- in the listed courses. 

Statistics (STAT) Exam:
Organizer - Mathematical Statistics - Prof. Song Wu
Organizer - Applied Statistics - Prof. Wei Zhu (Exam will be emailed to students the morning of the scheduled exam date at approximately 11:00 AM. You may email Prof. Wei Zhu at with any questions.)

It consists of two parts: Mathematical Statistics and Applied Statistics. Mathematical Statistics part is organized by Prof. Hongshik Ahn, Haipeng Xing, Song Wu and Wei Zhu. It is 2 hours long and based on AMS 570 and 571. Applied Statistics part, organized by Prof. Steve Finch, Song Wu and Wei Zhu, is usually given as a take home exam. It has questions based on AMS 572, 573, 578, and 582.

Past Common Qualifying Exams and Area Specific Exams may be accessed by clicking here: Past Qualifying Exams