*
In our presentation we will discuss the ideas behind this new study, the
perspectives for students with respect to carreer, and we will report on
our experiences during the first two years of existence of the new
curriculum.
*

- MAVO (low to medium level)
- HAVO (medium to high level)
- VWO (high level)

The education at the University consists of two phases:

- The first phase takes in theory
**4**years, but in practice often more than**5**, and ends with a so-called `Doctorandus (drs)' degree. This degree can be compared to the American Masters Degree.

- The second phase takes again
**4**years and ends with a PhD (Dr)-degree.

The Computational Science Curriculum starts right at the beginning of phase 1, so when the students are at an age of about**18**years old.

- Department of Mathematics, with chairs in Algebra, Analysis, Numerical Analysis, Statistics & Probability, and Mathematical Pysics. For Computational Science the chairs in Numerical Analysis and Statistics & Probability are the most relevant ones. The chair in Mathematical Physics became vacant in the last year and it is to be expected that the new professor will also be involved at least partly in the Computational Science curriculum. The Numerical Analysis section consists at this moment of one full professor, three associate professors, four postdocs, and a small number of PhD-students. This section played a key role in the start of Computational Science, warmly supported by the other mathematicians (including the pure mathematicians; in Utrecht there is no clear separation between pure and applied).
- Department of Informatics. Although this Department played an active role in getting Computational Science started in Utrecht, it became more deeply involved only very recently. At this moment, July 1995, it is very active in the participation as well as in the design of new courses. The Department of Informatics is currently active in Algorithms and Algorithmic design, Information Technology, Programming, and Software Technology.
- Department of Physics. This department has different subgroups, among which we see Theoretical Physics, Experimental Physics, Astronomy, Oceanography, and Informatics of Physics. The last one was most actively involved in Computational Science, but the courses in Physics for the new curriculum are not restricted to this group.

In 1990 a contact group was established, which acted as a forum for discussions on Computational Science matters and for mutual help with large scale computational work. This group has organized Symposiums and it has also made a list of all those courses that have strong emphasis on Computational aspects. Students in various Departments are encouraged to select courses from this list.

Furthermore, we received also warm support, in writing, from key industries and large research laboratories. Some of these groups were willing to help finance PhD positions (in fact, Philips Electronics is participating in a program for financing PhD positions in Utrecht, as per September 1995).

This has culminated in the official approvement by the State Department of the Computational Science curriculum as an independent study, of which the name is privileged. This status becomes effective as per September 1995, and from then on we are allowed to grant a Doctorandus title in Computational Science.

The program of the first year leads to a `Propedeuse'-degree. Without this degree students are formally not allowed to take 3-rd and 4-th year courses. This first year program consists of the following elements:

- Calculus (+/- 20%)
- Linear Algebra (+/- 16%)
- Introduction to Statistics (+/- 8%)
- Principles of Programming (+/- 10%)
- Algorithms & Datastructures (+/- 10%)
- Mechanics (+/- 10%)
- Electrodynamics (+/- 10%)
- CS Practical Work (+/- 16%)

The program of the second year includes

- Advanced Calculus (differential equations, partial differential equations) (+/- 22%)
- Introduction Numerical Analysis, and
- Numerical Linear Algebra (together (+/- 18%))
- Introduction to Probability theory (+/- 8%)
- Knowledge Technology (+/- 8%)
- Parallel Programming (+/- 8%)
- Quantum Mechanics, and
- Waves
**+**Optics (together +/- 16%) - Coputational Science Practical Work (+/- 20%)

The 3-rd and 4-th year are rather diverse and we give here only an impression of the most important elements:

- Numerical Algorithms for super and parallel computers
- Nonlinear PDE's and Dynamical Systems
- Theory of Programming
- Operations Research
- Artificial Intelligence
- A Project (in which the students work in small teams)
- Computer practice
- A seminar, in which the students have to give at least two presentations of two times 45 minutes each.
- A selection upon choice from a list of courses in Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Hydrodynamics, etc.
- Thesis work (6 months)

- special brochures with information on the program, the purpose of the program, career perspectives, and telephone numbers for further information.
- Utrecht University organizes each year in November two special days, during which students in the final year of secondary school, get all sorts of information on the various programs. Example lectures are given, computer demonstrations, special introductions, and students have an opportunity for contacts with staff. These days are usually very lively events that are rather popular for young students and their parents. Free lunches are provided. Of course, also Computational Sciences presents itself at these occasions with introductions, example courses, and videos.
- Our postdocs and some of our younger students present introductions at schools (or at meetings where students of several schools attend). It turns out that it is often more efficient to let younger persons do this kind of propaganda.
- Since 1993 we have prepared, with professional help of editors of a popular scientific journal, special inlays in full color for this magazine. A significant number of the students in our program became aware of the program through these inlays.
- Occasionally we give special lectures for secondary school teachers.
- We are in the process of providing information through WWW.

It is our impression that the best students are those with an interest in physics.

After two years we are now building up the necessary courses for the third year and the involved Departments are willing to adjust their courses, or to develop special variants for the Computational Science students. This leads to further improvements in the program and it also leads to a better identification of the curriculum.

The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has started a program in Massively Parallel Computing and Networking. We got a fairly large proposal granted, and this includes research in Plasma Physics (Tokamak modeling), Earth Mantle convection, and studying the influence of the Oceans on the long term climate.

Cray Research has also set up a grant program in the Netherlands from which we received a grant for research on BSP-models for linear algebra.

Other projects, amongst others with Philips Eelctronics, are anticipated, and this includes simulation studies for circuits and integrated circuits.

This paper is also available as a [ps-file, 90 kB].