Gareth Wyn Jones

Lecturer in Applied Mathematics/Industrial Modelling and Director of Applied Mathematics MSc

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones

The course units are taught by leaders in their field who can link the material with exciting, current research problems.

What are the course highlights for you?

As highlights of the M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics, I would point to the breadth of topics taught in our modules; the training in practical programming, presentational and writing skills; and the opportunity to interact with industrial partners to understand the value and application of mathematics in the real world.

What distinguishes this course from similar ones in other institutions?

From the start of the programme in 2012, the strong links between the School of Mathematics and our industrial partners has been a fundamental part of the M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics. The School is also highly-regarded as a research centre in applied mathematics, especially in numerical analysis and continuum mechanics. This expertise feeds directly into our taught modules. It's important to us that our students not only acquire this technical knowledge, but also develop the soft skills needed to apply this knowledge in their future career. There are opportunities to develop these skills through writing exercises and presentations at several points during the year.

How do you make sure the course meets the needs of industry and business?

Many of our staff have active research links with individual companies, and the lessons that are learnt through these interactions are fed directly back into teaching. We invite several industry speakers to talk to our students at various times during the year, giving an insight into the practical realities of using mathematics in a real- world setting. Many of the dissertation topics offered to our students are proposed by our industry partners, are backed up with a generous bursary, and have a continuous interaction between the company and the student during the dissertation writing process.

Why do graduates from your course stand out in the job market?

The M.Sc. course incorporates many of the transferable skills that employers find valuable. These include working together in groups to solve a variety of mathematical modelling problems, presenting these results to an audience, practicing writing skills, and developing knowledge of programming languages including C++. The strong links with industry throughout the course mean that our graduates come away with a better understanding of how their mathematical skills can be used in real-world applications.

What kind of balance do you strike between teaching facts and developing skills?

Both are important. A good working knowledge of the underlying mathematical theory is essential to be able to solve applied mathematics problems. But actually solving these problems also requires a toolbox of problem-solving techniques, or a knowledge of programming languages. Our degree covers both aspects. Furthermore our transferable skills module covers a ‘softer’ skill set associated with dissemination of these ideas, including opportunities to hone presentational, writing, and research skills.

How does research feed into the syllabus?

All our lecturers on the M.Sc. course are active researchers who are recognised experts in their field. The taught modules on our course are therefore informed by the latest developments in those areas. We also offer a wide range of dissertation topics that are drawn from the staff's research interests and touch on open questions in their field.

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