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Why does one car have more air resistance than another? How can the frequency of the electric power smart grid be kept constant under external disturbances?

Applied Mathematics is concerned with the development and application of mathematical tools for the analysis and design of dynamical systems that appear in modern technology. Mathematical modelling of the problems appearing there plays a basic role, followed by (numerical) analysis, (computer) simulation, and design of controllers to make the systems behave according to the desired specifications. Interaction with other disciplines and with specialists in the fields of application is essential.

During your 2-year Master's programme you will be embedded in one of the Applied Mathematics research groups of your choice. Your research project you will be supervised by staff members. The research project can be taken in the form of an internship in the research division of a company as well. The Master's degree programme in Applied Mathematics offers two tracks.

Two tracks

  • Systems and control

This track is concerned with the analysis, design and optimisation of complex dynamical systems. In particular it deals with the mathematical tools behind large scale networks, like electric power networks, water distribution networks, the internet, platoons of cars, formations of robots, and networks of systems in general. A central issue is the design and synthesis of controllers and protocols to make these networks behave in an optimal way. The specialisation Systems and control deals with mathematical systems and control theory, and the emphasis of this specialisation is on the mathematics behind various technological applications, rather than on the applications themselves.

  • Computational mathematics

The computational sciences have revolutionised the process of scientific discovery by adding a new mode to it, the virtual laboratory, often complementary to theoretical, observational, or experimental means. The mathematical contributions to this research methodology are twofold -- a computational model of the phenomenon of interest needs to be constructed, and secondly, algorithms for solving the governing equations are to be developed. The master track Computational Mathematics focuses on both mathematical aspects, computational modelling and numerical algorithms. The main application area is fluid dynamics. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has a rich tradition in the Netherlands, which has led to a strong chain from basic research to application.

Why study this programme in Groningen?

  • Typical for Applied Mathematics 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
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.

After your studies

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

  • Universities
  • Research institutes
  • Engineering bureaus
  • Industrial companies

Visit the Applied Mathematics MSc page on the University of Groningen website for more details!

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