ECMI Educational Programme Mathematics for Industry

During the academic year 1986-1987, representatives of the Universität Kaiserslautern (D), Johannes Kepler Universität (Linz, A), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (NL), University of Oxford (UK), Università di Milano (I), Norges Teknisk Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (Trondheim, N) and Rolf Nevanlinna Instituutti (Helsinki, SF, acting as coordinating centre for several cooperating Finnish universities) formed the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry (ECMI) and initiated two year postgraduate programmes, where industrial problem solving using mathematics is a prominent aim.

The purpose of these industrial mathematics programmes is expressed by the mission statement of ECMI:

  • To promote the use of mathematical models in industry.
  • To educate industrial mathematicians to meet the growing demand for such experts.
  • To operate on a European scale.

The main instruments in obtaining these goals are collaboration on the development of course curriculum in mathematical disciplines relevant for applications in Industry. The educational coordination is conducted by the ECMI Educational Committee with representatives from each participating university. The ECMI Educational Committee is subordinate to the ECMI Council.

Exchange of students and teachers between the ECMI partner universities is strongly encouraged.

Organization of the international student workshops, the ECMI Modelling Weeks, are a fundamental part of the educational programme.

Quality assurance of the local implementation of the programme is guaranteed first by a review from the Educational Committee and then by a local inspection of two reviewers appointed by the ECMI council.

The participating students finish their studies with a thesis, preferably conducted on a problem in collaboration with a company.

A diploma supplement in the form of an ECMI certificate is issued to graduating students who followed the programme in an ECMI Teaching Centre.

Aims and structure of the ECMI Educational Programme

The aim of the ECMI Educational programme in Industrial Mathematics is to develop a student’s mathematical and computational skills to solve industrial problems and development tasks in innovative ways. Fundamental capabilities to be trained are:

  • modelling and analytical skills,
  • knowledge of numerical methods,
  • skills in programming and simulation,
  • experience with mathematical models in industry and/or economy,
  • ability to handle huge amounts of data by integrating mathematical, numerical and statistical methods,
  • team working, cooperation, communication with and presentations for mathematicians and engineers.

The ECMI educational programme is international. The education is given in English.

Various implementations of the ECMI educational programme are available at the ECMI partner universities, typically in the form of a two year master programme (120 ECTS) that can be entered after a bachelor degree in mathematics or applied mathematics. Other educational backgrounds can qualify for entry but should be based on a minimum of three years undergraduate study at university level.  Students can choose between two lines of study, one being in techno-mathematics and the other being in econo-mathematics.

Technomathematics covers subjects related to modelling of technical subjects as encountered in mechanics, pharmacy, electronics, chemistry, physics, bioengineering, civil engineering, biotechnology, etc.
Economathematics on the other hand deals with problems like e.g. planning and scheduling, operation analysis, quality control, statistics, distribution management, financial decision processes, data communication, etc.

The general policy is that the two branches have to be linked closely together. In any case, students from the different branches in the Programme must be able to “talk to each other”. In order to achieve this, the conditions for admission to the Programme have been made almost the same for the two branches. Certain subjects are part of both sets of Core-courses; in these cases, the universities are free to select illustrations in accordance with the branch of the students. Moreover, each branch contains a Core-course that deals with elements that provide typical mathematical tools of the other branch. In this way, both branches will be broad in mathematics, but allow emphasis on a certain field. The International Modelling Week is organized for both branches together.

The ECMI educational programme comprises of  3 blocks of courses:

Block A: Preparatory phase/ Prerequisites for admission

Block B: Common Core

Block C: Elective courses

Courses of Blocks A and B are regularly offered by all the ECMI Educational Centres.

Courses of Block C may differ from centre to centre, depending on the special local expertise.

Time Schedule of the Programme

Each branch of the Programme consists of courses and problem-solving activities from its Common Core, courses of a specialist nature, and a project, and is planned to extend over a two year period. The Preparatory Phase contains the range of knowledge which a student entering the Programme should posses. However, it is recognised that the backgrounds of different students will be very varied and that most students will not have covered all the Preparatory Phase topics before commencing the Programme. Thus in each individual case it is expected that some topics in the Preparatory Phase will be studied during the Programme, and conversely that exemption of some courses of the Programme can be given when they are proved to be known from the previous university study. Further, there is no need for a strict order in time between the core courses and the specialist courses.

Please visit this page if you want to apply to become an ECMI Educational Centre.

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