What is the MathMods Programme?
MathMods is a two-year (120 ECTS credits) Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) run by 5 European universities, which aim to provide students with a cross cultural education while they get acquainted with both theory and applications of mathematical modelling in engineering.
What is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD)?
- Foster quality enhancements, innovation, excellence and internationalisation in higher education institutions;
- Boost the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA);
- Improve the level of competences and skills of Master graduates, and their employability.
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees programmes are integrated study programmes delivered by consortia of organisations from Programme and (optionally) from Partner Countries. Erasmus+ funds scholarships for students, as well as grants for academics or guest lecturers to teach or research in the Master degree programme
Since its establishement in 2008 MathMods has been funded by the EU Commission firstly through the Erasmus Mundus programme action 1 A (project no. 2008-0100), and later through the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 programme, project no. 2013-0227
Mathematical modelling lies at the heart of most current technological innovations and has become a fundamental tool in many fields of engineering. Essentially multidisciplinary in its applications, mathematical modelling and simulation is in its own right a key technology which is bound to increase its presence within efficient industries and business innovation departments. The proposed programme reflects this multidisciplinarity, drawing on the unifying mathematical aspects from the various and often separate engineering disciplines. This allows the development of an essentially unified methodological approach to modelling and simulation of real engineering challenges.
Mathematical modelling refers to the use of mathematics and related computational tools to bring real-world, challenging and important socio-economic and industrial problems into a form simple enough so that a good solution can be found in a reasonable time, while keeping the relevant features of the problem. Constructing models requires knowledge of enough mathematical theory, methods of solution which are really effective and efficient, computational tools at hand to do it, some knowledge of the field of application, and communicative skills to understand the important elements from experts in that field. Our master's programme tries to put together all these elements to produce professionals able to work in different relevant fields with the highest intellectual level and state-of-the-art tools.
Effective modelling and simulation is an art that require a lot of practice, so that problem solving, project development and team work are aspects that should be highlighted in any training programme, as our Consortium knows perfectly. On the other hand, the abstraction behind the specific application is necessary to realise that the same base tools can be applied, with the needed changes, to very different situations in various engineering fields.
The MathMods Consortium is coordinated by the
- University of L'Aquila in Italy (UAQ)
and involves other four leading institutions in Europe:
- Autonomous University of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain (UAB),
- Gdansk University of Technology in Poland (GUT),
- University of Hamburg in Germany (UHH),
- University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis in France (UNS).
The MathMods Consortium has recentely been enlarged with the collaboration of three associated academic institutions:
- Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic (BUT)
- Ivan Franko National University of Lviv in Ukraine (LNU)
- University of Maryland, College Park in USA (UMD)
and can count on the effective support of several companies, research institutes and non-profit organisations in different aspects of the project.
The geographical profile of the consortium covers South, Central and East Europe, bringing an air of diversity that contributes to the complementarity in the cultural aspects, in the teaching tradition, and in the expertise topics. The departments involved have a common topic in the key expression "application of mathematics", but from quite different perspectives. We believe that we have found in this partnership an interesting equilibrium between theory, computation, and application of the science and art of abstract modelling of real phenomena.
Study programme, mobility scheme and study paths
The MathMods Master's degree course consists of a cycle of four semesters starting each September and awarding 30 ECTS credits each (thus 120 ECTS credits in total). The mobility scheme involves two different locations, at least, over the whole programme. The first year is common for all students: this is meant to provide for a homogeneous knowledge platform across the whole group. The second year is divided into six study paths (aka specialisations, branches or tracks), which reflect our partners' field of research and excellence. Students will eventually spend their fourth semester on preparing their Master's Thesis.
1Semester 1: Theory at UAQ, Italy
2Semester 2: Numerics at UHH, Germany
3Semester 3: Applications at one of our 5 partners
» Mathematical models in life and social sciences (UAQ, Italy)
» Mathematical modelling and optimisation (UAQ, Italy)
» Stochastic modelling and optimization (UAB, Spain)
» Advanced computational methods in material science (GUT, Poland)
» Modelling and simulation of complex systems (UHH, Germany)
» Mathematical modelling applications to finance (UNS, France)
The language of the whole course is exclusively English at each of our five universities. Students must also attend (and acquire the relating credits of) a course of basic Italian language (first semester) and German language (second semester). Students will also have the opportunity to attend local language courses during their second year (spent at one of the five partners).
Applicants must have earned a recognized Bachelor's Degree (BS, BSc, SB, etc.) – or a degree at the level of a Bachelor's Degree, for instance its equivalent from a college, university, or technical school of high standing, or 180 ECTS credits in the European system – in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Engineering with a large background in Mathematics.
All applicants whose native language is not English are required to prove a satisfactory level of spoken and written English, certified by TOEFL (550 points), IELTS (6.0 points) or equivalent.
Several Erasmus Mundus scholarships are offered by the European Commission to both non- European and European students. These scholarships amount to a maximum of EUR 47,000 to cover the two-year expenses and are granted to the most promising applicants.
Master degrees awarded by the MathMods Consortium
When students have successfully completed all the activities of the MathMods programme (i.e. they have gained 120 ECTS credits minimum), and they have also successfully defended their thesis, students will be awarded a Joint or Double MSc Degree, depending on the place where they spent their second year, as explained on this page.
The area of applied mathematics on which this project is focused is a fundamental scientific field for a number of key technologies and sciences. The areas of the proposed tracks connect very well with various branches of the European high-tech industry, and one of the goals of the project is to enhance these connections by means of the release of well prepared professionals and researchers.
What can be said as a general learning outcome is that an engineer and modelling specialist will be able not only to properly select a model of the mathematical accuracy required for the given complexity of a physical system, but also – as an expert in the mathematical aspects of the problem – to design new models of his/her own, combining suitably the theoretical, numerical and applied points of view. There is a strong need for the offered training, as it combines the two pillars of applied mathematics: (1) Modelling and (2) Numerics/ Simulations. And this, across several fields of applications where the same methodological approach (based on hierarchies of models) is applied.
All our nodes have long-lasting contacts and collaborations with industry, and the students of MathMods can base on these contacts when seeking employment opportunities outside the academia. But in fact we want their competitiveness be based on the MSc degree awarded, which we would like to become a reference worldwide. Up to now, all MathMods graduates, as far as we know, are occupying the type of positions they sought.
Career opportunities for graduates will typically arise in research and development laboratories, especially those defining and testing numerical models and procedures, either working for an specific sector or with a broader scope. Also, in big or medium size enterprises possessing their own research department or a division with an orientation towards research, in public or privately held Sector Technology Centres, and at computing centres involved in data processing or the creation of numerical codes for the industry.
Click here to view the results of a recent survey taken by our graduates about their overall experience in our MSc and their work experience after having graduated.
The graduates will be able to apply successfully for PhD programmes if they wish so, as has happened for the three already completed cycles. In all the countries of the Consortium members, the programme has been validated as enabling the holder of the MSc degree to enter a local PhD programme. A good percentage of our students seem indeed to prefer pursuing a PhD before going to the industry or returning to their countries of origin. The intended level of the programme, together with the initial selection of the students, allows affirming that most of them could follow a successful academic career, after a suitable PhD.