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The Future of Modern Technologies

About CE


The Computational Engineering (CE) degree programme is collaborative between MIT, NUS, NTU, and the Research Institutes for Microelectronics (IME), High Performance Computing (iHPC), and Defense Medical Environment (DMERI). It is one of the most technologically advanced and critically acclaimed computational engineering programmes available in the world today.

Intensive computation for simulation and optimization has become an essential activity in both the design and operation of engineered systems, where the terminology “engineered systems” includes (but goes well beyond) complex systems in engineering science (micro-machined devices, guidance/control systems, imaging systems, etc.) as well as man-made systems (distribution networks, telecommunications systems, transportation systems, etc.) for which simulation, optimization and control are critical to system success. In applications as diverse as aircraft design, materials design and micro-machined device design/optimization engineers need computationally-tractable modeling systems that predict and optimize system performance in a reliable and timely manner. Effective computation allows for shorter design cycle times, better product quality and improved functionality. One cannot overstate the importance of computational engineering and optimization in the global industrial economy, particularly as the systems we use grow more necessary and more complex (cellular telephone telecommunications systems, the electric power grid, the internet, air transport systems, etc.). Revenues from simulation and optimization software products for such systems are only in the billions of dollars, but the overall economic impact of these tools is trillions of dollars. Substantial improvements in numerical methods and dramatic advances in computer hardware have generated vast opportunities for Computational Engineering. We expect that the next decade will experience an explosive growth in the demand for accurate and reliable numerical simulation and optimization of engineered systems. Computational Engineering will become even more multidisciplinary than in the past and a myriad of technological tools will be integrated to explore biological systems and sub-micron devices (for example), which will have a major impact on our everyday life.

The customized numerical algorithms in the latest generation of commercial engineering design software points to a significant trend: researchers and professionals in computational engineering will need a strong background in sophisticated numerical simulation and optimization, but must also be skilled in marrying the application formulation to the numerical methodology. In addition, the ever-accelerating rate at which new technology becomes available is generating an additional demand: that computational engineers be discipline-flexible in their skills. methodology that is of growing importance, while also providing tools for overcoming the manufacturing yield issues that have hindered BioMEMS commercialization. Finally, our educational programme combines applied general methodology courses, discipline-specific electives, and industrial experience in a way that, inparallel, trains professionals for industry while preparing doctoral students to participate in the flagship and interuniversity research projects.

The Computational Engineering educational programme is focused on educating the professionals who will model, simulate, optimize, and design the important engineered systems of the next decade.

Career Paths

The SMA programme in CE is the first of its kind to deliver a unified perspective on simulation and optimisation techniques in the domains of engineering science and systems optimisation. Students learn to develop and apply advanced techniques for a diverse range of applications in:

Courses are primarily for people with an interest in, and passion for, modern and sophisticated high performance computation tools as the means to improve product and systems design. Careers might include employment in companies or research institutes in which modeling, simulation, design, and optimisation play a critical role. With a unified perspective on simulation and optimisation techniques, graduates are poised to accept high-level professional or research positions with thriving industries or entrepreneurial businesses around the globe.

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Course Descriptions

NUS Master of Science in Computational Engineering
Core: Computational Linear Algebra, Computing Technology and Tools, Cluster And Grid Computing Technologies For Scientific Computing.
Electives: Two courses from a list of restricted electives. The restricted electives are grouped into several categories and students are required to take a concentration of at least two courses from one category for specialization. This structure serves two purposes: allow students to pursue their passion and field of interest, and respond to the ever-changing priorities of industry and job demand.
The (tentative) list of course categories is: Fluid Dynamics, Mechanics, Electromagnetics, Bioengineering, and Biology.
Thesis: 36 unit thesis. The thesis can be either self-contained, or an extension of the thesis submitted to fulfill the MIT S.M. degree. This thesis includes a one-semester internship at a Singaporean company.

MIT Master of Science in Computation for Design and Optimization
Core: Students will be required to take, at least, two of the following courses: Introduction to Numerical Simulation, Optimization Methods, Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations.
Electives: One or two courses from a list of approved graduate subjects.
Unrestricted elective: One course from the MIT Catalog.
Thesis: 36 unit thesis

NUS (or NTU) PhD with SMA Certificate
Coursework: The course work for the NUS (or NTU) PhD with an SMA certificate will include the courses required for the NUS S.M. in Computational Engineering, but in addition, a personalized programme designed to meet the appropriate research needs, will be elaborated between the student and the two academic advisors (one from NUS (or NTU) and one from MIT). Admission into this programme is contingent upon the student passing a doctoral qualifying exam.
Thesis: The PhD thesis will be required to satisfy the NUS (or NTU) requirements. Each student in this programme will have two co-advisors: one from NUS (or NTU) and one from MIT. Students will be required to spend two semesters at MIT working on research.

Pathway into the Programme

The programme will offer three degree options:

These degrees however will not be offered independently under this programme but under the following combinations:

I. Dual NUS/MIT Master of Science

II. MIT Master of Science with NUS (or NTU) PhD

III. NUS (or NTU) PhD with SMA Certificate

An MIT Masters AND an NUS Masters (Dual Masters)
The dual Masters degree (option I) is aimed at the education of students in the formulation, analysis, implementation, and critical application of computational approaches to understanding, predicting, optimizing, and designing engineered systems. The programme emphasizes breadth through introductory courses in the areas of numerical simulation, optimization, probability and statistics; depth in the areas of optimization methods and numerical methods for partial differential equations; integration and multidisciplinary aspects; hands-on experience though numerous exercises, projects and assignments; and the option of a significant thesis or two smaller separate thesis projects. A component of this degree is the one-semester internship at a company in Singapore. The degree programme will provide graduates with familiarity with state-of-the-art numerical tools as well as specialization in many of these tools. Based on our experience from the SMA I – HPCES programme, we anticipate that graduates will experience excellent job placement opportunities in industry.

The MIT Master of Science degree in Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO) requires students to take at least 2 out of 3 compulsory courses, 1 or 2 restricted electives out of 16 MIT courses, 1 unrestricted elective from MIT Catalog and one thesis. The NUS Master of Science (CE) degree requires the student to take 3 NUS core modules, 3 or 2 compulsory MIT courses and 1 NUS elective module. In addtion, a student must complete a thesis project through the intership.

An MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU PhD
The MIT Masters with NUS (or NTU) PhD (option II) includes essentially the same coursework as the dual Masters programme (option I), but additionally it involves specialization courses and a significant research component emphasizing the formulation, analysis and implementation of new computational methods for the simulation and optimization of problems of emerging practical and strategic interest.

The PhD students must pursue coursework courses which consist of 4 compulsory courses, 1 or 2 restricted electives out of 16 MIT courses and 1 elective from NUS. They will undertake practical work and pass the relevant PhD Qualifying Examinations.

An NUS/NTU PhD degree with SMA Certificate
We will also allow a small number of qualified students, who already have an S.M. degree, to enter the PhD programme at NUS (or NTU) with an SMA Certificate (option III), thus not being required to complete the MIT Masters programme.

The intended audiences for our programmes are scientists and engineers who wish to further develop their skills in the rapidly evolving field of numerical simulation, modeling, design, and optimization. It is expected that students will have a strong foundation in a core disciplinary area such as engineering, materials science, physics, biology, or mathematics.

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Degree Offerings

CE is not accepting applications for the September 2011 intake.

Since the degrees offered are awarded by different institutions, students will have to satisfy the requirements dictated by each university independently. Below we outline the degree requirements for each of the degrees separately, as well as the timing and residency plans for each degree.

NUS Master of Science in Computational Engineering
This is a programme which includes at least 7 courses and a 36-unit thesis. Out of the 7 courses 4 are required, 3 core courses and 1 elective. The remaining 3 courses are MIT courses (core courses and/or restricted elective) that are counted towards NUS masters degree. This degree will be followed in conjunction with the MIT masters. This degree includes an immersion programme that will take place during the first summer (June-August), in which foundation subjects will be reviewed, and a one-semester internship at a Singaporean company that will take place during the second year of the programme (while students are attending courses at NUS). Each student will have an industrial thesis advisor in addition to his/her academic advisor.

MIT Master of Science in Computation for Design and Optimization
This is a 108-unit course which includes 6 H-Level courses and a 36-unit thesis. Out of the 5 courses, students have to take at least 2 core courses and either 1 or 2 electives from an extensive list of restricted electives as well as 1 elective selected from MIT catalogue (unrestricted). Upon arrival at MIT in September the students will carry out their coursework as well as start work with their MIT research advisor during the Fall and Spring semesters. They will then complete their research during the subsequent summer semester.

NUS (or NTU) Philosophy Doctorate with SMA Certificate in Computational Engineering
Students in this programme will have to satisfy all the NUS (or NTU) doctoral degree requirements, and in addition, will have to spend two semesters at MIT. During the time the student spends at MIT the main focus will be research but based on individual student research needs he/she may be required to register for MIT courses as a special student. Each student will have two academic thesis co-advisors, one from NUS (or NTU), and one from MIT.

PhD students are required to attend seminars and present their current research to faculty members, graduate students and visitors as part of the Graduate Seminar requirement.

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Graduate Fellowship

Singapore-MIT Alliance Objectives
SMA is an unparalleled and exciting distance-technology enabled educational and research opportunity – a compelling new value proposition – that attracts and retains the very best engineering and life sciences graduate students and researchers from across Asia. SMA develops talented human capital for Singapore’s industries, universities, and research establishments; provides a platform and vehicle for organizational and institutional learning that will raise the general level of all partner institutions; creates world-class educational programs and high-impact research initiatives in areas crucial to the growth of the Singapore economy; and fosters strong academia-industry-Research Institute collaborations, providing the basis for an enduring and viable partnership. SMA is characterized by quality, diversity, integrity, commitment, and service – both to Singapore and to the global knowledge community.

Graduate Fellowship Program
Students who receive a SMA Graduate Fellowship will receive full support for tuition, stipend and travel. The students will be eligible, depending upon the programme they are accepted into, for the following degrees: an MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU Masters; an MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU PhD; or an NUS/NTU PhD.

SMA has established a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the most able applicants become SMA Graduate Fellows.

The following conditions apply:

  1. Only applicants who will have received a Bachelor’s degree by the time that a programme’s academic year commences are eligible. Applications will also be accepted from students who have already received a Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Only applicants who have been independently and separately admitted to both MIT and NUS/NTU are eligible. Applications will be accepted from students who are awaiting confirmation of admission into each of these universities.
  3. Evidence of past accomplishments, academic potential, leadership potential, the potential for producing innovative research, creativity, and moral and ethical values are some of – but not exclusively – the characteristics that the Fellowship committee will consider.

In addition to your application, you must submit:

  1.  A one-to-three page summary explaining your aspirations for applying for an SMA Graduate Fellowship, what you intend to do upon completion of your studies, and your future career goals. Please include your name (family name in capital letters first, followed by given name in lower-case letters) in the top right corner of each page.
  2. When received, you must send a copy of your acceptance letter from MIT to the Singapore-SMA Office (located at E4-04-10, 4 Engineering Drive 3, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576).

Learn more about MIT's Computational Engineering graduate degree programme.

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