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.
- Systems and control
This track is concerned with the analysis, design and optimization 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 specialization Systems and control deals with mathematical systems and control theory, and the emphasis of this specialization is on the mathematics behind various technological applications, rather than on the applications themselves.
- Computational mathematics
The computational sciences have revolutionized 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 modeling 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 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 Specializations ==
== Systems, control and optimization ==
This specialization 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 specialization 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 build ships, harbours and dikes.