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Computational Science

© H. Weingärtner

The Master of Science degree programme, Computational Science, trains students to become experts in the computer-aided aspects of the natural sciences. This emerging and highly-demanded field is interdisciplinary, connecting computer science and mathematics with astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics. The programme focuses on computationally relevant aspects of research and data processing in each domain of science.

Current natural science domain-specific problems are tackled by means of scientific and mathematical tools and translated into computer algorithms. Since only computational analysis allows in depth research of complex and highly interconnected systems, Computational Scientists employ "computer experiments" in order to investigate current issues, such as:

  • cosmological models
  • molecular medicine
  • biological neural networks
  • molecular dynamics
  • drug development
  • particle and quantum physics
  • big data analysis and machine learning
  • ...

1) Study Overview
2) After Graduation
3) Contact

1) Study Overview

This interdisciplinary Master of Science degree programme stands out, due to the broad research areas in the MIN-fields (Mathematics, Informatics/computer science, Natural sciences – astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics). These are always discussed from a Computational Science viewpoint:

  • Which research areas are being advanced by computer science?
  • How is the advancement implemented and how can it be improved?
  • Which areas of each natural science are computer-aided and need the supervision of experts?

Students of Computational Science are prepared to address these questions and provide solutions as they are required to acquire the vocabulary of each domain of science due to the interdisciplinary structure of the programme. They learn to implement key concepts in practice through designing and conducting computer-aided research.

The study program emphasizes:

1) Students from the various scientific domains are acquainted with the key concepts and topics of the other domain in the core programme. Thus, their knowledge base is brought to a common level, from which the implementation of computational aspects in the different natural sciences can be developed.

2) The shell programme enables students to focus on one natural science and integrate their computer programming skills to all MIN-fields via supplement modules.

Computational Science nurtures lateral thinking of well-informed scientists with knowledge in computer science and mathematics across all natural sciences. The Computational Scientist offers comprehensive approaches and solutions and may act as competent mediators between experts in particular natural sciences.

Overview of the Study Programme Structure (in German)

Students' Opinion:

"I study Computational Science as a supplement to the master programme in Molecular Biology, because I want to concentrate on and specialize in aspects of bioinformatics.

Building on my biological background knowledge I gain a deeper understanding of mathematical methods and computer science. It's also greatly fascinating to study other fields of natural science.

The high extent of interdisciplinarity is definitely the main distinguishing characteristic of Computational Science. Students gain insight into four different fields of natural science as well as mathematics and computer science. Hence, this programme is exactly suitable for students, that rather be 'polymaths' than 'blinkered specialists'."

- Roman Feldbauer, BSc

"This programme introduces us to up-to-the-minute concepts and methods, that are applied in practice of the largest scientific research projects (CERN, HBP, etc.) at the present time.

To me, using high performance computing for simulations of physical and biological systems is most interesting, since they facilitate pioneering technologies.

The Computational Science programme excels in the modular structure that allows one to focus on several areas of interest (physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics). This enables the student to carry out research in interdisciplinary areas after graduation."

- Jan Siever, BSc

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2) After Graduation

This study programme trains graduates that are competent and well-informed at the intersection of natural science, mathematics and computer science. While basic education in the bachelor programmes is often focused on experimental and empirical aspects, the Master of Science programme Computational Science adds computer-scientific approaches of determination, acquisition and implementation of computational issues in the single research, scientific and economic areas. Thus, the specialist competence acquired in the bachelor programme is broadened and deepened. This accommodates for the ever-increasing demand for interdisciplinary experts in universities, research facilities, private enterprise and public service.

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3) Contact

For questions about the programme content please contact:
physik.spl@univie.ac.at

For questions about the programme’s organization and how to apply please contact:
ssc.physik@univie.ac.at

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