Applied Mathematics

Mathematics is one of the oldest branches of science. Applied mathematics or – as we like to call it – Engineering Mathematics distinguishes itself from pure mathematics in that it derives inspiration for its own development from ‘contact’ with such related fields as physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, economics, computer science and many more. As a matter of fact, mathematics – and certainly applied mathematics – has in large part developed in response to the need to be able to formulate and solve questions in those fields. In short, it is the language for communication par excellence.

The Department of Applied Mathematics offers an environment where you specialize in modern mathematical techniques. The aim then is to use those techniques in a variety of applications and fields. An external traineeship is therefore considered an essential part of the curriculum of the two-year Master’s programme. The program is a natural continuation of the bachelor Applied Mathematics (Technische Wiskunde), but, not exclusively so. Indeed, AM is a realistic and attractive option for all students with a technical BSc and an interest in mathematical modeling and analysis.

Right from the start, every Master’s student is a junior researcher in the chair of his or her own choice. In addition to a common curriculum, specialized courses are offered by each chair of the department. During the final phase of the programme, students conduct research under the supervision of one of the members of the chair.

A Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics will open a great many doors in your future career. Regardless of whether you are eventually

Jan Willem Polderman

employed by a private company, a research institute or a university, a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics represents a crucial step in your development, making you a highly prized professional.

Dr. Jan Willem Polderman (Programme Director)


Since 2002 Applied Mathematics is a department in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS). The department is organized into chairs, each covering a distinguishing part of the broad field of applied mathematics. In addition to being involved in scientific research, the Applied Mathematics Chairs are also responsible for the curriculum of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) mathematics programmes (design and teaching) and service teaching in mathematics, which amounts to a substantial part of all teaching at the University of Twente.


The programme has the following aims.

  1. To teach students modern, advanced mathematical knowledge with an emphasis on its application to problems in their chosen field of specialization;
  2. To give students an understanding of the methods and techniques of their field and of the position their field occupies within the broader fields of science;
  3. To help students acquire the skills and develop the attitude necessary to function at the academic level. This includes the skills that are needed to be able to communicate effectively and to collaborate with researchers in flanking disciplines both individually and as part of a team;
  4. To raise students’ awareness of the social context and social impact of research and developments in their field;
  5. To give students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, attitude and skills that will enable them to continue on an academic path leading up to a doctorate programme and degree (if willing and able);

In working to achieve these aims, attention is explicitly focused on alignment with both national and international standards, on reflection on science, technology and society (this is explored in the internship, for example, when students are expected to reflect on the working environment), on presentation and on the feasibility of the programme from the student’s point of view.

Final attainment targets

The knowledge, understanding and skills students must have acquired upon completion of the programme are as follows:

  • Graduates have an in-depth knowledge of mathematics and an insight into its application in different fields such as engineering, health sciences, ICT and business sciences.
  • Graduates are able to answer complex research questions with the help of different methodologies. When formulating and solving problems, graduates are capable of determining whether the mathematical tools at hand suffice, and, if not, they are able to extend theories and methods themselves or otherwise are able to find such extensions in the professional literature.
  • Graduates are able to transcend the boundaries of their selected mathematical specialization to a reasonable degree so that they can collaborate on interdisciplinary projects and also are able to formulate new problems in a scientific manner and to arrive at verifiable solutions.
  • Graduates are able to function in an engineering environment. Most importantly, they are able to apply mathematical methods and techniques and they have the capacity to integrate components from mathematics and different areas of application.
  • Graduates are able to search through, select, analyse the available literature independently and critically and use them in his or her research.
  • Graduates are capable of effective written and oral communication with others in the field as well as with laymen.
  • Graduates have an adequate comprehension of the development of applied mathematics, its place in society and are aware of its ethical aspects.
  • Talented graduates are able to choose to continue their studies by going for a PhD or another postgraduate programme (possibly abroad).