I’ve read about and personally heard of discussions among senior faculty about Theoretical and Applied Mechanics departments no longer existing today in the United States. Some of those professors from TAM are now in math departments within applied math, or are in mechanical engineering departments.

What is the history behind the demise of TAM departments in the United States? Was it due to funding issues? A lack of students majoring in / wanting to be in TAM?

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    Cornell still has theirs. Always seemed a little bit of a niche department type, with aspects of it covered in various other ones. Not many places had a separate T&AM department. Kind of like many metallurgy or ceramics departments have been subsumed into a broader materials science department.
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 13, 2022 at 3:09
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    @joncuster Cornell’s TAM department doesn’t exist anymore — I know a prof. from there. Also, if you googled it, you might still see the TAM department name, but graduate school applications go to their mechanical and aerospace engineering department now.
    – user152229
    Jan 13, 2022 at 11:41
  • Oh dear - I did not know that. That said, it does not surprise me much - even ~40 years ago they were closely tied to mechanical & aerospace. For a materials person it was hard to see what was unique to the department.
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 13, 2022 at 13:43


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