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I’m in a happy mood because here at Chester we are re-introducing a course that we ran a number of years ago - BSc Mathematics and Computer Science. It is close to my heart because my own undergraduate degree is in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Mathematicians have a number of transferrable skills that can work well in the computer science and IT field. Think logically? Tick. Systematic approach? Tick? Attention to detail? Tick.

A bit about the course.

Our new course brings together the areas of mathematics and computer science that have a close association. Students will learn to programme in a number of languages and will also learn some of the underlying mathematical concepts underpinning this, such as logic. We will introduce you to some of the algorithms in optimisation theory that are used for minimising costs and carbon footprints in supply chain work and logistics, and how to implement such algorithms on a computer system. By teaching you the underlying theory we are equipping you to become part of the next generation of researchers, who may develop and code the next generation of algorithms. But if you have not done any programming before – don’t worry. We do not assume any prior knowledge of programming.

What can you do with it?

Let me start by talking about how my undergraduate qualification still equips me for my research and consultancy work. As someone who does a lot of mathematical modelling, I find it invaluable to be able to visualise solutions to my models and to simulate scenarios on the computer to test hypotheses, and to gain insight into how the model behaves – before sitting down to do some mathematics I may well spend a day or two just ‘playing’ with the model on a computer.

A paper I co-authored a couple of years ago looked at a complex mathematical model of tumour growth. The computational simulations were key to understanding how the model worked, which parts of the model were most sensitive to change, and to discovering how robust the model was in dealing with changing scenarios.

Many problems in the real world are ‘messy’ and so textbook approaches to methods of solution with a pen and some paper usually fall short. Sometimes the best we can do is use an iterative approach to approximate the solution, and so mathematics and computer science come together to firstly design the algorithm and then to code the algorithm, test it and implement it. The ‘messy’ problems that exist in our world are extremely diverse and interesting – navigation systems, IT-based healthcare solutions, optimisation of the national grid, CGI effects in the film and games industries, financial forecasting, building complex models and algorithms to understand the effects of climate change – and much more.

And if you are interested in a career in cybersecurity? Well, if you have a background in both mathematics and computer science your future looks bright. This is a growth area, requiring a work force with skills provided by a course that focuses on mathematics and computer science.

Get some more info.

For more information on the University of Chester’s BSc Mathematics and Computer Science course, visit our course page.

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