Applied Mathematics is oriented to technology and practical applications. Applied Mathematics teaches you to construct mathematical models to solve mathematical problems and to analyse the results.
Mathematics is a multifaceted subject. Applied Mathematics
focuses on using mathematics to model and simulate
practical situations. If you are interested in calculations
that are placed in a technical context, this is the degree
programme for you.
Whereas the Mathematics degree is concerned with abstract matters, the emphasis in the Applied Mathematics programme is on the mathematics behind practical applications. One example is computing the flows of water, air or blood. Other examples are operating systems for robots, aeroplanes and satellites. The ability to think in an abstract way is still important – when you study Applied Mathematics, you also learn how to structure your reasoning and draw conclusions.
The University of Groningen offers degree programmes in Mathematics as well as Applied Mathematics. Year 1 is largely the same for both Bachelor's programmes. You gradually work towards your specialisation.
I like doing puzzles!
'Before I started this programme, I also considered Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics. I chose Applied Mathematics because I didn't want to spend too much time behind a computer.
I actually only wanted to do one thing: work with mathematical formulae! Mathematics and Applied Mathematics both involve some programming subjects, but the degree programme is so broad that it never gets boring. Alongside mathematics and the exact sciences you can also choose other course units, such as philosophy.
My favourite subject in applied mathematics is the study of optimisation, which involves questions such as How do you calculate the most efficient delivery route? and How can you optimise a study timetable, taking all sorts of factors into account? I like solving puzzles like these! That's also why I am so looking forward to my coming work placement: I am going to work with a company that makes timetable software for schools!’
Mirjam de Vos - student of Applied Mathematics
I've got to know a lot of companies that I might happily work for later
'There's so much to do in Groningen! And there's plenty to do at our Faculty too. Mathematics and Applied Mathematics are interesting enough as it is, but I also did the Honours College, where you follow additional lectures and projects outside your own specialist area.
I am also an active member of the FMF, the study association for students of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Applied Physics, Computer Science and Astronomy. You can learn a lot, experience how an educational or commercial organization works, and you get to meet a lot of people. The highlight for me was a year on the board of the study association, which was exhilarating and enlightening. Each year, the FMF organizes lectures, site visits and excursions, as well as get-togethers and film evenings, which all help strengthen the bond between you and your fellow students. It’s fun and a good way to prepare for life after university. For example, I’ve got to know a lot of companies that I might happily work for later!'
Maike Jaspers- Master's student of Applied Mathematics
Studying ice caps
Leo wanted to do practical work after graduating in Applied Mathematics. He spent two years with Alten, a technical and engineering consultancy, where he developed software in Fortran and C++ for Shell. Last year he set a new course and he now works at Utrecht University where he is studying the changes in the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps using climate models
Dit heb ik met veel plezier gedaan, maar het begon op een gegeven moment weer te kriebelen en ben ik iets nieuws gaan zoeken. Tegenwoordig ben ik promovendus aan de Universiteit Utrecht, waar ik onderzoek doe naar veranderingen in de Groenlandse en Antarctische ijskappen in het recente verleden (1850-nu). Voor dit onderzoek doen maak ik gebruik van data-assimilatie technieken en klimaatmodellen.
In beide banen heb ik veel profijt van mijn goede wiskundige basis en de programmeervaardigheden die ik tijdens mijn studie Technische Wiskunde heb opgedaan. Verder heb ik één jaar van mijn master doorgebracht in Zürich, Zwitserland. Ik heb daar verschillende interessante dingen geleerd, maar het is tevens een terugkerend gespreksonderwerp geweest bij sollicitatiegesprekken. Het is, vermoed ik, op veel plaatsen een pre als je cv niet helemaal standaard is.'
Impressed by the computing part
I decided to study mathematics when I first succeeded in a local olympiad in high school, in Chisinau, Moldova and got more confident in my mathematical skills. I chose Groningen, because of the universities' alumni as Wietse Venema, and famous physicists.
Most of all I appreciate the consistency of the programme and I was impressed by the computing part, which rests on the simplest but complex pieces of code.
Living in this city makes me curious about its kind people. The architecture shows its history very nicely, that always makes the eye wonder and find beauty in shapes and structure. I do yoga by myself in the mornings, it helps to keep the pace for a disciplined study.