Master of Mathematical Sciences
AIMS offers an intensive one-year Structured Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences in partnership with the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. World-leading scientists and educators have volunteered to teach at AIMS. Their participation ensures an education of the highest international standard.
AIMS tuition, study materials and housing are funded through full or partial scholarships, awarded to all accepted students. AIMS’ residential nature allows more contact time between lecturers and students than is available in a typical university setting. Students study two subjects for three weeks each, with each day typically comprising morning lectures followed by problem-solving and computing sessions each afternoon. Additional tutorials and special lectures are held in the evenings when students also usually complete their assignments.
With outstanding visiting lecturers from renowned institutions and laboratories worldwide, the courses are broad in scope and employ the latest pedagogical methods to stimulate critical and creative thinking. To facilitate student participation and follow-up, each centre offers a Tutoring Fellowship, which permits Postdoc and doctorate researchers to work as dedicated teaching assistants, providing capacity building for the students 24/7. The institute’s unique residential character allows for optimum interaction between students, lecturers, and tutors in a harmonious environment at all hours.
The program is divided in three semesters:
Skills and Courses Phase
These are designed to provide introductory and foundational material to the students, and are structured to achieve predefined outcomes, with little flexibility in their content. All courses are compulsory.
Review Courses Phase
These are fundamentally different in that they include a wide range of topical issues and are more flexibly designed. Students are required to complete 2 out of the 3 available review courses in each time slot, a total of 12. The 3 choices in each time slot will be balanced with respect to focus on mathematics, physics and interdisciplinary topics such as computer science, biomathematics, financial mathematics, and more.
During the eight-week-long essay phase students work on a research topic with a supervisor. Students are encouraged to produce essays which could for example be publishable in a journal, or form an outstanding introduction to the field that could be used by other students entering the area. There is an oral defense of the research project at the end of the academic year followed by a graduation ceremony.
The purpose of the essay phase is:
- To give students the opportunity to work with an expert supervisor on a non-trivial project;
- To go through the process of independently reviewing, understanding and explaining scientific or mathematical material;
- To optionally (usually) do experiments – on a computer or otherwise – and report the results;
- To write a scientific report.
The residential nature of AIMS allows far greater contact time between lecturers and students than normally available in a university setting. Courses are student-centred but very demanding. Students study two subjects at a time every three weeks, with morning lectures and related afternoon problem solving and computing sessions. Each course consists of 30 hours contact time (10 per week).
Additional tutorials and special lectures are often held in the evenings, when students complete their assignments. No special preparation for the course is needed on a student’s part. However, the working language is English and foreign students are advised to take an English language course before arrival.
The course also carries a large component of scientific computing, and many hours are spent in the computer lab; students who have improved their touch typing skills before the programme will have a distinct advantage.