Program Overview

The AMCS program expands set of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s technical offerings to give a curriculum that provides rigorous training in both mathematics and computing.  This curriculum is especially well suited to the needs of engineering and scientific companies.  Graduates of the AMCS program will have unique interdisciplinary qualifications to allow them to compete successfully for the many industrial positions that call for strong mathematics backgrounds supplemented by good computing skills. They are also likely to be well-qualified for many positions typically taken by graduates with normal computer science or mathematics degrees. Evidence of the demand for AMCS graduates can be found in national and regional statistics and from assessments from a variety of sources. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that several million people are employed in computing-related job categories for which AMCS graduates will be well-suited, and significant employment growth is anticipated in all technical categories.

There is demand for more and more sophisticated use of computers and mathematical analysis to achieve new product designs and to discover new science.  To keep up with tremendous improvements in computational power a significant number of students must be knowledgeable in both computing and mathematical analysis. Each of these disciplines tends to produce graduates qualified for one or the other field, but usually not both. Yet it is critical in many fields of science, economics, business, and engineering to have people who understand the broader outlines of applicable analysis, a quality that graduates of the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science program will possess.

Employers recognize that mathematical and computational tools are excellent preparation for work in technical areas. Specific applications can be learned on the job when a student has been trained in rigorous thought and analysis.  According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) (

 Mathematicians are valued because they can see and understand the inner nature of a problem; determine which features matter and which do not; and develop a mathematical representation that conveys the essence of the problem and can be solved numerically.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, under career category “Mathematicians” states:

 Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders with extensive training in mathematics and a related discipline, such as computer science, economics, engineering, or operations research, should have good employment opportunities in related occupations.

The same handbook also states:

 Much of the work in applied mathematics is done by individuals with titles other than mathematician. In fact, because mathematics is the foundation upon which so many other academic disciplines are built, the number of workers using mathematical techniques is much greater than the number formally designated as mathematicians.  For example, engineers, computer scientists, physicists, and economists are among those who use mathematics extensively.

According to advisors at the University of Washington:

 In recent years, the application of mathematical modeling and computation has paved the way for great strides in our understanding of basic biological phenomena. A solid training in mathematics is rapidly becoming essential for modern research in a wide variety of biological and medical disciplines, including developmental biology, genetics and genomics, biostatistics, ecological modeling, physiology, and biomechanics. This Option focuses on basic techniques of mathematical modeling and computation that are employed in the life sciences.