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Florida Atlantic University


Ph.D. Qualifying Exams

A Ph.D. student must pass two qualifying exams, one in Algebra and one in Analysis, before becoming a Ph.D. candidiate. Each part may be attempted at most three times.

Upcoming Qualifying Exam Schedule for Spring 2016:

Algebra: Friday, January 15, 2016
SE 215, 2pm to 5pm

Probability/Statistics: Tuesday, January 19, 2016
SE 215, 2pm to 5pm

Analysis: Tuesday, January 21, 2016
SE 215, 2pm to 5pm

Algebra Exam: group theory, Sylow theorems, the structure of finitely-generated abelian groups, ring theory, Euclidean rings, UFDs, polynomial rings, vector spaces, modules, linear transformations, eigenvalues, minimal polynomials, matrices of linear transformations, Galois theory, and finite fields.

Analysis Exam: the real numbers, metric space topology, uniform convergence, Arzela-Ascoli Theorem, differentiation and Riemann integration of single-variable functions, power series, Stone-Weierstrass Theorem, measure theory, Lebesgue integral, convergence theorems for the Lebesgue integral, absolute continuity, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Probability & Statistics Exam: Advanced topics in Probability and Statistics: Borel-Cantelli lemma, normal and Poisson distributions, Chi-square and exponential distributions, t and F distributions,  Markov and Chebyshev inequalities, convergence in distribution, in probability and almost surely, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, delta method, Slutsky lemma, LSE, MLE, BLUE, sufficient statistics, Cramer-Rao inequality, Fisher information matrix, hypothesis tests via likelihood ratio test and Bayes test.

The Probability & Statistics Exam will be divided into three parts. Total 3 hours.

Part 1. (Elementary part) This part consists of 10 elementary Probability and Stat questions. These will be the same (or very similar) questions that are given for Actuarial Exam. Students are expected to successfully complete at least 80% of these problems.

Part 2. (Advanced part) This part consists of 3-5 advanced problems from Probability Theory and Math Stat classes. Students are expected to successfully complete at least 60% of these problems.

Part 3 (Proofs) This part contains 3-5 statements from the predetermined list of  about 20 basic well known facts in Probability and Statistics with fairly simple proofs (less than a page). Important: the students are given the list of questions ahead of time and the grading is strict with no partial credits. Students are expected to successfully complete at least 80% of these problems.

Note: the syllabus in any particular section of the Introductory Abstract Algebra, Introductory Analysis, and Mathematical Probablity/Statistics courses might differ slightly from the subject material listed above.

Sample Algebra Exams

Sample Analysis Exams

Samples for Probability & Statistics Exam


Topics in Algebra, 2nd ed., by Herstein, Chapters 2-5, 6.1-6.3, and 7.
Algebra, 3rd ed., by Lang, Chapters 1-6.
Abstract Algebra, 3rd ed., by Dummit and Foote, Chapters 1-5, 7-9, and 13-14, excluding 9.6 and 14.9.

Introduction to Analysis, by Maxwell Rosenlicht, Chapters 2-7.
Real Mathematical Analysis, by Charles Pugh, Chapters 1-4.
Real Analysis, 3rd ed., by H.L. Royden, Chapters 3, 4, 5.
Principles of Mathematical Analysis, 3rd ed., by Rudin, Chapters 2-8 and 11.
Measure and Integral, by Wheeden amd Zygmund, Chapters 3-5.

A Probability Path by Resnick
Probability theory by Shiryaev
Measure Theory and Probability Theory by Athreya and Lahiri
Mathematical Statistics by Bickel and Doksum
Statistical Inference by Casella

For information contact:
Prof. Y. Wang, Graduate Director
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

FAU Campuses: Boca Raton/Davie/Dania Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Harbor Branch/Jupiter/Treasure Coast
Boca Raton 561-297-3000 Davie 954-236-1000 Dania Beach 954-924-7000 Fort Lauderdale 954-236-1000 Harbor Branch 772-465-2400 Jupiter 561-799-8500 Treasure Coast 772-873-3300