Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics

Faculty

  • Director

    • Peter Constantin
  • Executive Committee

    • Emmanuel A. Abbe
    • Noga M. Alon
    • René A. Carmona
    • Maria Chudnovsky
    • Peter Constantin
    • Weinan E
    • Paul Seymour
    • Amit Singer
    • Howard A. Stone
    • Jeroen Tromp
    • Ramon van Handel
  • Associated Faculty

    • Amir Ali Ahmadi
    • Yacine Ait-Sahalia
    • Michael Aizenman
    • William Bialek
    • Mark Braverman
    • Carlos D. Brody
    • Adam Burrows
    • Roberto Car
    • Bernard Chazelle
    • Yuxin Chen
    • David Dobkin
    • Jianqing Fan
    • Jason Fleischer
    • Mikko Haataja
    • Greg Hammett
    • Isaac Held
    • Sergiu Klainerman
    • Naomi Leonard
    • Simon Levin
    • Luigi Martinelli
    • William Massey
    • Assaf Naor
    • H. Vincent Poor
    • Warren Powell
    • Frans Pretorius
    • Jean-Herve Prevost
    • Herschel Rabitz
    • Peter Ramadge
    • Jennifer Rexford
    • Clarence W. Rowley III
    • Szymon M. Rusinkiewicz
    • Frederik J. Simons
    • Yakov Sinai
    • Jaswinder Singh
    • K. Ronnie Sircar
    • John D. Storey
    • Sankaran Sundaresan
    • Robert E. Tarjan
    • Corina Tarnita
    • Salvatore Torquato
    • Olga Troyanskaya
    • Robert Vanderbei

Program Information

There has never been a better time to be a mathematician. The combination of mathematics and computer modeling has transformed science and engineering and is changing the nature of research in the biological sciences, data science, and many other areas. Students seeking to pursue an academic program with a strong focus on applied mathematics may concentrate in mathematics with a course of study geared towards applications, or may concentrate in the sciences or engineering and enroll in the certificate Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM).

Requirements for a concentration in the Department of Mathematics are a minimum of eight upper-level courses in mathematics or applied mathematics, including four basic courses on real analysis, complex analysis, algebra, and geometry or topology. It is possible to design a course of undergraduate study aimed more strongly toward applications. Applied and computational mathematics faculty have developed core courses in applied mathematics where the emphasis is on computational methods and mathematical modeling. The latter is central to applied mathematics where it is not only necessary to acquire mathematical techniques and skills, but also important to learn about the application domain.

The PACM certificate is designed for students from engineering and from the physical, biological, and social sciences who are looking to broaden their mathematical and computational skills. It is also an opportunity for mathematically oriented students to discover the challenges presented by applications from the sciences and engineering. Students interested in the undergraduate certificate must contact the program's undergraduate representative on or before February 1 of their junior year to discuss their interests, and to lay out a plan for their course selection and research component.

Program of Study

The requirements for the certificate in applied and computational mathematics consist of:

  1. A total of five courses normally 300 level or higher (requires letter grade; pass/D/fail not accepted), at least two of which are not included in the usual requirements for the candidate's concentration;
  2. Independent work consisting of a paper in one of the following formats: (a) a project that you are working on with a professor; or (b) a summer research project. However, the independent work may not be used to satisfy any requirements of your concentration or of any other certificate. In particular, you may not use your junior paper or senior thesis to satisfy the independent work requirement for the certificate. A significant extension of the senior thesis or of a course project may however be used to satisfy the requirement, subject to approval of the PACM undergraduate representative.
  3. Students are required to participate during the spring semester of their junior and senior years in a not-for-credit colloquium offered by PACM. This will provide a forum for presentation and discussion of independent work among all certificate students and will introduce them to a broad range of areas within applied mathematics.

The course requirement may be satisfied by a broad range of courses that place a particular emphasis in applied mathematics, which are offered by the mathematics department and by science, engineering, and economics departments. The five required courses must be distributed between the following two areas, with at least two from each area: 

  1. Mathematical foundations and techniques, including differential equations, real and complex analysis, discrete mathematics, probability, numerical methods, etc. 
  2. Mathematical applications in diverse areas offered by the applied and computational mathematics program and by science, engineering, and economics departments.

An extensive list of advanced undergraduate and some graduate courses that meet the certificate requirements can be found on the program website.

Courses that do not appear on this list may be approved by the PACM undergraduate representative. Specific programs should be tailored in consultation with the PACM undergraduate representative to meet the individual needs and interests of each student.

The independent work requirement is typically done under the supervision of a PACM core or affiliated faculty member, but external advisors are regularly accommodated. In the latter case, a second reader from PACM is asked to verify that the paper contains enough applied mathematics to satisfy the certificate requirements. In any case, plans for independent work must be approved by the undergraduate representative.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all requirements of the program will receive a certificate of proficiency in applied and computational mathematics upon graduation.

 

Courses

APC 192 An Integrated Introduction to Engineering, Mathematics, Physics (See EGR 192)

APC 199 Math Alive (also
MAT 199
) Spring QR

An exploration of some of the mathematical ideas behind important modern applications, from banking and computing to listening to music. Intended for students who have not had college-level mathematics and are not planning to major in a mathematically based field. The course is organized in independent two-week modules focusing on particular applications, such as bar codes, CD-players, population models, and space flight. The emphasis is on ideas and mathematical reasoning, not on sophisticated mathematical techniques. Two 90-minute classes, one computer laboratory. Instructed by: Staff

APC 321 Numerical Methods (See MAT 321)

APC 323 Topics in Mathematical Modeling (See MAT 323)

APC 345 The Efficient Universe (See COS 345)

APC 377 Combinatorial Mathematics (See MAT 377)

APC 441 Computational Geophysics (See GEO 441)

APC 486 Transmission and Compression of Information (See ELE 486)