Would you like to confront a tornado in virtual reality and predict its path of destruction? Or understand the behaviour of financial markets? What if you could simulate the outcome of a surgical procedure before it is used on a patient? Or predict how a crowd would behave in the event of a disaster?
What is Computational Science?
Computational Science seeks to explain the complex world we live in using technological simulations. By collecting data and creating computer models, computational scientists can make predictions on varying problems such as how to influence the flow of traffic, how an epidemic will spread or the probability of individuals in society becoming addicted to drugs. The curriculum relies heavily on algorithmic-driven procedures (step-by-step procedure for solving a problem in a limited number of steps), but also involves lots of mathematics and logic. Students will learn to apply this knowledge to different research areas in the natural sciences.
In the Master's you will learn:
- to build computational models from real-life observations;
- to develop skills in turning these models into computational structures and perform large-scale simulations;
- theory that gives you a firm basis for the analysis of complex simulations;
- to analyse the results of your simulations in a virtual laboratory using advanced numerical algorithms;
- to control the power of the largest supercomputers.
To achieve these goals, you will have access to some of the most advanced computing, networking, storage and visualization facilities in the world. When completing the programme, you graduate in one of the many domains Computational Science has to offer, such as Computational Finance, Computational Biology, Numerical Mathematics or Complex Networks.
Joint degree programme with VU Amsterdam
Computational Science is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Courses are taught at locations of both universities. UvA and VU jointly issue a degree certificate to graduates. As a Computational Science student in Amsterdam you benefit from expertise, networks and research projects at both universities and affiliated research institutes.
Three types of courses:
Computational Science is an area of science which spans many disciplines, but at its core it involves the development of models and simulations to understand natural systems. Our Master's programme is designed with this in mind. We define three course types: core, constrained choice and recommended electives. A complete programme consists of 14 courses and a six-month graduation project.
The first year is dedicated to core Computational Science courses covering computing & algorithms, modelling & simulation, massive-data processing and multidisciplinary collaboration.
During the first year, The constrained choice and recommended electives courses are in addition to your core courses and can be chosen freely from an extensive list.
Theconstrained choices also include central concepts in Computational Science, but here we offer some choice. These courses allow students to broaden their knowledge in either computing or modelling & simulation.
The second year is dedicated to elective courses and the Master's project. The recommended electives provide opportunity to deepen your knowledge of core concepts in Computational Science. These courses are selected to obtain a specialty in Computational Science or the different application domains, such as Finance & Economics, Biology, Biomedicine Numerical Mathematics and Earth Sciences.
The recommended electives help you prepare for the Master's project. The Master's project will be conducted in a scientific group at in one of the universities in Amsterdam, but could also take place at institutes at the Science Park, such as CWI, NIKHEF, AMOLF, AMC and the NKI, outside Amsterdam or abroad. Often students who choose Finance & Economics will do their Master's project at a financial institute such as 'de Nederlandse Bank'. The Master's project must be a scientific project with potential to complement the existing body of knowledge in Computational Science.
MSc Computational Science
Regular study programme
120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction