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Masters Degrees (Applied Mathematic)

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Why does one car have more air resistance than another? How can a satellite be kept in an orbit around the earth? Applied mathematicians provide the necessary theoretical background to such questions. Read more
Why does one car have more air resistance than another? How can a satellite be kept in an orbit around the earth? Applied mathematicians provide the necessary theoretical background to such questions.

Applied Mathematics is concerned with the development and exploitation of mathematical tools for the analysis and control of technological problems. Mathematical modelling of the problem at hand plays a basic role, followed by (numerical) analysis and (computer) simulation. Interaction with other disciplines and with specialists in the fields of application is essential.

Two specialisations

- Systems and control
This specialisation deals with the mathematics behind designing stable controllers for satellites, purification plants or more general technical processes. Questions that arise include: is it possible to suppress perturbations in a system? Or, how can one stabilize and control a system without causing shocks?

- Computational science and numerical mathematics
This specialisation emphasizes modelling, analysis and the simulation of fluid flow problems. Although the applications can be quite diverse, the basic mathematical methods are much the same. If you are capable of computing the flow of air, you are able to predict the weather, and to design cars and aeroplanes. People who can simulate the flow of water can compute the optimal shape of ships, harbours and dikes.

Why in Groningen?

- Typical for Applied Mathematic in Groningen: the connection between mathematical theory and real-life problems
- You can combine courses from both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
- Courses include related fields, e.g. Econometrics and Physics
- Internship and research opportunities

Job perspectives

A Master's degree in Applied Mathematics opens up many job opportunities. During the Master's programme you will learn to think in a logical, systematic, and problem-oriented way in a multidisciplinary environment. After having finished the programme you will be able to apply mathematics to a technical problem, and hence to work at the interface between theory and practice. These qualities are highly appreciated by employers.

Job opportunities are available in industrial companies, research institutes, as well as in universities. Examples of companies looking for applied mathematicians include Gasunie, Philips, Stork, Shell, Corus, KPN and small engineering bureaus. Examples of research institutes are the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR, the picture on these pages comes from the NLR), WL/Delft Hydraulics, KNMI and TNO.You can start a university career by working as a PhD student, which means working for four years on a research project and writing a thesis. After having successfully defended this thesis, you will be awarded a PhD degree. Afterwards you can continue an academic career or start a career in industry.

Job examples

- Research institutes
- Engineering bureaus
- Industrial companies
- Universities

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Working at a frontier of mathematics that intersects with cutting edge research in physics. Mathematicians can benefit from discoveries in physics and conversely mathematics is essential to further excel in the field of physics. Read more
Working at a frontier of mathematics that intersects with cutting edge research in physics.

Mathematicians can benefit from discoveries in physics and conversely mathematics is essential to further excel in the field of physics. History shows us as much. Mathematical physics began with Christiaan Huygens, who is honoured at Radboud University by naming the main building of the Faculty of Science after him. By combining Euclidean geometry and preliminary versions of calculus, he brought major advances to these areas of mathematics as well as to mechanics and optics. The second and greatest mathematical physicist in history, Isaac Newton, invented both the calculus and what we now call Newtonian mechanics and, from his law of gravity, was the first to understand planetary motion on a mathematical basis.

Of course, in the Master’s specialisation in Mathematical Physics we look at modern mathematical physics. The specialisation combines expertise in areas like functional analysis, geometry, and representation theory with research in, for example, quantum physics and integrable systems. You’ll learn how the field is far more than creating mathematics in the service of physicists. It’s also about being inspired by physical phenomena and delving into pure mathematics.

At Radboud University, we have such faith in a multidisciplinary approach between these fields that we created a joint research institute: Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP). This unique collaboration has lead to exciting new insights into, for example, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry. Students thinking of enrolling in this specialisation should be excellent mathematicians as well as have a true passion for physics.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mathematics/physics

Why study Mathematical Physics at Radboud University?

- This specialisation is one of the few Master’s in the world that lies in the heart of where mathematics and physics intersect and that examines their cross-fertilization.
- You’ll benefit from the closely related Mathematics Master’s specialisations at Radboud University in Algebra and Topology (and, if you like, also from the one in Applied Stochastics).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups. This ensures that at Radboud University you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with your thesis supervisor.
- You partake in the Mastermath programme, meaning you can follow the best mathematics courses, regardless of the university in the Netherlands that offers them. It also allows you to interact with fellow mathematic students all over the country.
- As a Master’s student you’ll get the opportunity to work closely with the mathematicians and physicists of the entire IMAPP research institute.
- More than 85% of our graduates find a job or a gain a PhD position within a few months of graduating. About half of our PhD’s continue their academic careers.

Career prospects

Mathematicians are needed in all industries, including the industrial, banking, technology and service industry and also within management, consultancy and education. A Master’s in Mathematics will show prospective employers that you have perseverance, patience and an eye for detail as well as a high level of analytical and problem-solving skills.

Job positions

The skills learned during your Master’s will help you find jobs even in areas where your specialised mathematical knowledge may initially not seem very relevant. This makes your job opportunities very broad indeed and is why many graduates of a Master’s in Mathematics find work very quickly.
Possible careers for mathematicians include:
- Researcher (at research centres or within corporations)
- Teacher (at all levels from middle school to university)
- Risk model validator
- Consultant
- ICT developer / software developer
- Policy maker
- Analyst

PhD positions

Radboud University annually has a few PhD positions for graduates of a Master’s in Mathematics. A substantial part of our students attain PhD positions, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our research in this field

The research of members of the Mathematical Physics Department, emphasise operator algebras and noncommutative geometry, Lie theory and representation theory, integrable systems, and quantum field theory. Below, a small sample of the research our members pursue.

Gert Heckman's research concerns algebraic geometry, group theory and symplectic geometry. His work in algebraic geometry and group theory concerns the study of particular ball quotients for complex hyperbolic reflection groups. Basic questions are an interpretation of these ball quotients as images of period maps on certain algebraic geometric moduli spaces. Partial steps have been taken towards a conjecture of Daniel Allcock, linking these ball quotients to certain finite almost simple groups, some even sporadic like the bimonster group.

Erik Koelink's research is focused on the theory of quantum groups, especially at the level of operator algebras, its representation theory and its connections with special functions and integrable systems. Many aspects of the representation theory of quantum groups are motivated by related questions and problems of a group representation theoretical nature.

Klaas Landsman's previous research programme in noncommutative geometry, groupoids, quantisation theory, and the foundations of quantum mechanics (supported from 2002-2008 by a Pioneer grant from NWO), led to two major new research lines:
1. The use of topos theory in clarifying the logical structure of quantum theory, with potential applications to quantum computation as well as to foundational questions.
2. Emergence with applications to the Higgs mechanism and to Schroedinger's Cat (aka as the measurement problem). A first paper in this direction with third year Honours student Robin Reuvers (2013) generated worldwide attention and led to a new collaboration with experimental physicists Andrew Briggs and Andrew Steane at Oxford and philosopher Hans Halvorson at Princeton.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mathematics/physics

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This Joint Degree between HEC Paris and Ecole Polytechnique will equip students with both the technical skills and the strategic mindset to lead successfully any business career requiring a strong expertise in Big Data. Read more
This Joint Degree between HEC Paris and Ecole Polytechnique will equip students with both the technical skills and the strategic mindset to lead successfully any business career requiring a strong expertise in Big Data.


Ecole Polytechnique (https://www.polytechnique.edu/en) and HEC Paris are both world leading academic institutions, renowned for the quality of their degrees, faculties and research (see HEC rankings http://www.hec.edu/Masters-programs/About/Rankings).

Their association within this Joint Degree represents the best Business/Engineering combination Europe could possibly offer, with extraordinary added value for the students who will follow this program in Big Data and Business.


Big data marks the beginning of a major transformation of the digital economy, which will significantly impact all industries. There are three main challenges to face:

> Technological: dealing with the explosion of data by managing the spread of vast amounts of information that is often very disorganized (IP addresses, fingerprinting, website logs, static web or warehouse data, social media, etc.)
> Scientific: replacing mass data with knowledge,i.e. developing the expertise that makes it possible to structure information, even out of tons of vague or corrupt data.
> Economic: managing data both to control risks and benefit from the new opportunities they offer. On the one hand, it is absolutely vital to be able to control the flow of information, anticipate data leaks, keep the information secure and ensure privacy. On the other hand, it is also essential to come up with solutions capable of transforming this flow of data into economic results and, at the same time, discover new sources of value from the data.


Exploiting this vast amount of data requires the following:

> A mastery of the sophisticated mathematical techniques needed to extract the relevant information.
> An advanced understanding of the fields where this knowledge can be applied in order to be in a position to interpret the analysis results and make strategic decisions.
> A strong business mindset and an even stronger strategic expertise, to be able to fully benefit from the new opportunities involved with Big Data problematics and develop business solutions accordingly.
> The ability to suggest and then decide on the choice of IT structures, the ability to follow major changes in IT systems, etc.

Therefore the program has three objectives:

> To train students in data sciences which combines mathematic modelling, statistics, IT and visualization to convert masses of information into knowledge.
> To give students the tools to understand the newest data distributing structures and large scale calculations to ease decision-making and guide them in their choices.
> To form data ‘managers’ capable of exploiting the results from analysis to make strategic decisions at the heart of our changeable businesses.


Students will benefit not only from the close ties that HEC Paris has developed with the business world but also those of Ecole Polytechnique, through various networking events, conferences and career fairs.

The HEC Alumni network alone, consists of more than 52,300 members in 127 countries.

Program Details





As “Big Data” affects all kinds of companies and all sectors, students will have a very large range of career options upon graduation, from consulting firms to digital start-ups, not to mention very large multi-national companies.
In fact, as can be seen in all areas of cutting-edge innovation, there is a growing demand for high level managers who can combine strong technical skill with business know-how.

This is especially true when it comes to Big Data topics, and students graduating from data science and Big Data programs are therefore highly sought after on the job market.




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