Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

About

The Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science of the University of Pennsylvania offers a full graduate program in mathematics, conferring the degrees of Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) . The educational aim of this program is to provide well-rounded training for  careers in research, teaching or industrial work in  which  advanced mathematics, or large scale computation is used in an essential way. In addition to providing a solid conceptual foundation for the application of mathematics, students also do an internship in a "wet lab" environment in a laboratory pursuing research related to their field of study in Applied Math and Computational Science.

Graduate Study in Applied Math and Computational Science

The graduate group offers introductory courses in applied mathematics, with a great number of courses on relevant subjects offered by other departments and graduate groups throughout the University. Doctoral students in AMCS typically work on interdisciplinary research projects drawn from  image analysis, robotics, machine learning, mathematical biology, bioinformatics, and genomics, as well as more traditional applied math fields like materials science, fluid mechanics, numerical analysis, inverse scattering, finance, and condensed matter physics. Several sample Programs of Study can be found under the "Academics" menu item above.  A significant difference between pure mathematics and its applications is the central role now played by large scale computation in  applied math.

The AMCS Graduate Program is structured so as to guide each student, year by year, in the transition from having been an undergraduate to becoming a professional applied mathematician/computational scientist. During the first year in the AMCS graduate program at Penn, students typically take courses in applied algebra, applied analysis, and probability and statistics, as well a course emphasizing computational tools.  First year students are also required to attend the AMCS colloquium, where internationally recognized leaders present talks on the frontiers of applied math and computational science. By the end of their first year, AMCS students are expected to have settled on the general field in which to pursue their dissertation research.  In the second year, students begin to take more specialized courses in mathematics as well as courses relevant to the areas of empirical science connected to their research interests.  PhD students typically begin work in the area of their thesis by the third year (though masters students often complete their thesis in the second year). In addition to taking courses, students attend seminars related to their research interests, which are offered in a broad spectrum of topics and levels by departments and institutes throughout the University. 

Financial support is available for Ph.D. students, including a non-teaching fellowship for the first year. Most Ph.D. students serve as teaching assistants  in their second year. In connection with an assistantship or fellowship, students ordinarily receive a full tuition scholarship and a stipend. Most PhD student can expect to have summer research assistantships. Some grad students also choose to teach over the summer, for which they receive an additional stipend. In conjunction with their support, Ph.D. students also receive university-provided health coverage. In their third and fourth years, AMCS students are usually supported by research assistantships. Fifth year students, who have made significant progress in their research, are usually supported by either teaching or research assistantships. Terminal masters students do not ordinarily receive financial support, though they may be eligible for teaching assistantships, which provide a stipend, but no tuition.

The AMCS grad group is located in David Rittenhouse Laboratory (DRL), which it shares with the Departments of Mathematics, and  Physics and Astronomy. Facilities include the Mathematics Reading Room (with a non-circulating mathematical book collection, computers, and pleasant surroundings including lounge chairs and stained glass windows), the Math-Physics-Astronomy library (a circulating library of books and journals), and computer labs (in addition to computers in each office).  The buildings housing the Engineering School and Chemistry department are across the street from DRL. Adjacent to DRL are tennis courts, an athletic center, the Palestra basketball arena, and the university stadium. DRL is at the eastern end of the University of Pennsylvania campus, a few blocks from downtown Philadelphia.