Office of the Registrar
School of Graduate Studies (2008/2009)
19.10 Computational Science Program
  • Professor and Program Chair
  • G. Miminis
19.10.1 Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee, appointed by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, consists of at least one representative of each participating academic unit, and one member external to the University.

19.10.2 Participating Departments and Organizations

This interdisciplinary program offers the Master of Science Degree in both Computational Science and Computational Science (Co-operative). The departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Physical Oceanography and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are participants in this program. Other departments and faculties may be involved, depending on the nature of the thesis or project. External organizations may provide placements for co-op students, jointly supervise students, share computing resources and participate in teaching courses.

19.10.3 Admission Criteria and Procedures
  1. The criteria for acceptance of an applicant are: his or her anticipated successful and timely completion of the program, and the willingness of a participating faculty member to supervise the applicant.

  2. The assessment of an applicant's likelihood of success will be carried out in a variety of ways. Students will normally hold a B.Sc. (Honours) Degree, or equivalent, with a strong computational orientation. A general B.Sc. Degree, complemented by relevant experience, may also be acceptable. At the time of application, the student will be invited to demonstrate his or her background in the field. For example, the successful completion of a suitable B.Sc. which included a number of computer science courses or an undergraduate B.Sc. thesis which involved scientific computing would generally be acceptable, as would work experience which involved computing in a scientific environment.

  3. Admission decisions will be made by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of the Administrative Committee.

19.10.4 Program of Study
  1. The Computational Science Program is designed to train students in the state-of-the-art numerical methods, high performance computer architectures, use of software development tools for parallel and vector computers, use of graphics and multimedia tools and application of these techniques to at least one scientific or engineering discipline.

  2. The Program is offered in thesis and project (non-thesis) versions, with the option of a co-operative education program. It is intended that the overall level of student effort and performance required in each version will be comparable.

  3. The work for the thesis or project will be carried out under the guidance of a supervisory committee appointed by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Administrative Committee. Before submission of the thesis or project report to the School of Graduate Studies for examination, each student must present a seminar suitable for an interdisciplinary audience.

  4. All student programs will contain a core of 9 credit hours in prescribed graduate courses. Additional courses, in an area of scientific specialization must also be completed. The course requirements for each student will be approved by the Administrative Committee on the recommendation of the student's supervisory committee, and will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

    1. The three core courses are: Computational Science 6910, Matrix Computations and Applications; Computational Science 6930, Numerical Linear Algebra for High-Performance Computers; Mathematics 6210, Numerical Solution of Differential Equations. The other courses will normally be taken from the list of approved courses.

    2. The thesis version requires the completion of 15 credit hours in graduate courses numbered 6000 or higher including 9 credit hours in prescribed core courses, and the submission of an acceptable thesis to the School of Graduate Studies for final examination. The thesis is to contain an original scholarly contribution. The two additional courses will normally be chosen from the list of approved courses and be in the same field as the thesis work.

    3. The project version requires the completion of 24 credit hours in graduate courses, including 9 credit hours in prescribed core courses, plus a project and an acceptable project report which must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for final examination. At least 9 credit hours of the additional 15 credit hours will normally be chosen from the list of approved courses. Nine of the 15 additional credit hours will normally be in the same field as the project. The project, which will include an in-depth written report, shall require the equivalent of at least one and no more than two semesters of full time work.

19.10.5 Co-operative Education Option
  1. A co-operative education option will be available. Students in this option may follow the thesis or non-thesis version of the program. It is expected to take up to 24 months to complete. Students will be asked to indicate if they wish to follow this option at the time of application.

  2. Students who are accepted into the M.Sc. program may be provisionally accepted into the co-op option. During their first two semesters, such students will interview with the Co-operative Education Services Centre and with prospective work term employers. Satisfactory performance in this phase of the program will lead to confirmation of acceptance into the co-op option, and allow the student to spend two of the next three terms working in industrial or government settings. Upon completion of each work term, the student must submit an acceptable work report.

  3. Following the completion of the two work terms, each student must complete any remaining course requirements and project report or thesis. Assuming that prior written authorization of the employer and the supervisory committee was obtained and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, students may include material from the work terms in their reports or theses. For students following the non-thesis version of the program, the two work-term reports may be combined into a single, integrated report for this purpose. All other students must write a thesis on a research project which may be based on research completed during the work terms.

  4. Students who are accepted into the co-op option are not guaranteed placements. In the event that a student fails to obtain two semesters of placements, but successfully completes all other requirements of the Degree, he or she will still be eligible for graduation, but without the designation of a co-op degree.


The core courses are:

  • Computational Science 6910. Matrix Computations and Applications
  • Computational Science 6930. Numerical Linear Algebra for High-Performance Computers
  • Mathematics 6210. Numerical Solution of Differential Equations

The following courses are identified as suitable for students in this program. Other courses may be permitted.

  • Department of Chemistry
  • 6301 Quantum Chemistry II
  • 6310 Electronic Structure Theory
  • Computational Science
  • 601W Work Term 1
  • 602W Work Term 2
  • 6900-6909 Special Topics
  • 6910 Matrix Computations and Applications
  • 6920 Scientific Programming
  • 6925 Tools of the Trade for Programming High Performance Computers
  • 6930 Numerical Linear Algebra for High-Performance Computers
  • 6940 Computer Based Research Tools and Applications
  • Department of Computer Science
  • 6713 Software Engineering
  • 6722 Advanced Computer Architectures
  • 6728-6729 Special Topics in Computer Systems - Computer Networks
  • 6731 Topics in Numerical Methods
  • 6738-39 Special Topics in Numerical Methods
  • 6752 Applications of Computer Graphics
  • 6756 Digital Image Processing
  • Department of Earth Sciences
  • 6994 Special Topics in Earth Sciences - Geophysical Inversion and Applications
  • 6171 Advanced Exploration Seismology
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • 6102-6119 Special Topics in Applied Mathematics
  • 6201 Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
  • 6210 Numerical Solution of Differential Equations (required course for Computational Science)
  • 6212 Numerical Methods for Initial Value Problems
  • 6588 Selected Topics in Statistics and Probability - Generalized Additive Models with Applications in Scientific Visualization
  • Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography
  • 6000 Condensed Matter Physics I
  • 6200 Nonlinear Dynamics
  • 6308 Ocean Dynamics I
  • 6309 Ocean Dynamics II
  • 6310 Physical Oceanography
  • 6316 Ocean Measurements and Data Analysis
  • 6317 Ocean Acoustics
  • 6318 Numerical Modelling
  • 6320 Turbulence
  • 6321 Coastal Oceanography
  • 6323 Stability Theory
  • 6400 Statistical Mechanics
  • 6850 Quantum Mechanics I
  • Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
  • 9015 Ocean Engineering Hydrodynamics
  • 9052 Ice Properties and Mechanics
  • 9501 Finite Element Analysis
  • 9713 Stochastic Hydrology
  • 9815 Electromagnetic Propagation
  • 9821 Digital Signal Processing
  • 9826 Advanced Control Systems
  • 9861 High-Performance Computer Architecture
  • 9865 Advanced Digital Systems
  • 9869 Advanced Concurrent Programming
  • 9871 Information Theory and Coding