The Departments of Botany, Computer Science, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering,  Statistics, and Zoology & Physiology have united to offer an  interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Interdiscplinary Computational Science (ICS).  The ICS minor will help prepare undergraduate  science, math, and engineering students to play leading roles in their professions.



The undergraduate minor ICS is based on the following requirements:

  • The student must earn 18 credit hours in specified courses.
  •  Within the 18 credits, the student must earn 9 credits at the upper-division level (3000 or above).
  • Within the 18 credits, the student must earn 12 credits outside of her/his major.
  •  Only a grade of C or better will be accepted for a course towards the minor.
  •  For all students, the 18 hours of coursework will be divided into 9 credit hours of required courses and 9 credit hours of electives.


Course Offerings

The minor will be based on the following courses (this list will become more comprehensive and address a broader scope as the program develops.)


Core Courses

  • Numerical Analysis (Math 4340/COSC 4340), 3 hrs.
  •  High-Performance Computing (a new course in CS), 3 hrs.
  •  Programming for Scientific Applications (a new course in MATH/CS), 3 hrs.
  •  Statistical Computing and Modeling (STAT 4460), 3 hrs.


Elective Courses

  • Computational Biology (BOT 4550/5550), 4 hrs.
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (COSC 3020), 3 hrs.
  • Mathematical Modeling (MATH 4300), 3 hrs.
  • Scientific Computing (a new course in MATH), 3 hrs.
  • Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (a new course in ME), 3 hrs.
  • Introduction to Finite Element Methods (ME 4040), 3 hrs.
  • Principles of Database Systems (COSC 4820), 3 hrs.


Frequency of course offerings The required courses will be taught on a regular basis starting during the Fall of 2009.  The electives will be offered at least once every two years, but in many cases more frequently.


Learning outcomes:

  • The following are the expected learning outcomes of this program:
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use current techniques, skills and tools in computational science.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to apply computational techniques to problems arising in a variety of disciplines.
  •  Students will have an understanding of the role of computer simulation and its relationship with theoretic and experimental science.
  •  Students will demonstrate the ability to orally communicate ideas and concepts clearly and in an organized manner.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write clear system documentation, user documentation and research reports.


Organization: The minor is housed in the Mathematics Department, and is overseen by the advisory committee comprised of  the Math Department Head (Farhad Jafari), Dan Stanescu (Math), Alex Buerkle (Botany) and Dimitri Mavriplis (Mechanical Engineering).


Students and faculty who are interested in the ICS undergraduate minor should contact

any member of the advisory committee.

                                            2010 UW Interdisciplinary Computational Science Program