SEAS to offer graduate secondary field in computational science and engineering

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Beginning in fall 2011, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will offer a secondary field in computational science and engineering (CSE) to graduate students across the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

An exciting and rapidly evolving field, CSE exploits the power of computation as an approach to major challenges on the frontiers of natural and social science and engineering.

In keeping with Harvard’s emphasis on foundational knowledge, the new program will focus on crosscutting mathematical and computational principles. It will emphasize active learning, allowing students to implement and test these techniques in individual and collaborative projects.

“Computation is everywhere today, but huge computational challenges remain unsolved. New algorithms, architectures and techniques for modeling and simulation are vitally needed to advance science and engineering, social science, and medicine,” says Efthimios “Tim” Kaxiras, director of the new Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) at SEAS and leader of the faculty committee that is designing and implementing the new program. “CSE makes for an ideal secondary field option as the concept was expressly introduced to broaden a student’s intellectual reach and highlight our commitment to collaboration.”

The secondary field in CSE will be available to any student enrolled in a Ph.D. program in GSAS upon approval of a plan of study by the CSE Program Committee and the director of graduate studies in the student’s home department. The requirements include newly developed core courses in applied mathematics and computer science.