What is Mathematics?
Mathematics is the science of patterns and structures with which humans order the image of the world in their minds. As the science of how our mind functions, it is actually the central science of the humanities. The Dutch word “wiskunde,” a direct translation of the Old Greek “mathematike,” tells us plainly: mathematics is the study of knowledge (“wis” is “knowledge” and “kunde” is “study”). Nowadays, wherever science is pursued one invariably comes across mathematics. Mathematics is the basis of all scientific progress.
What is Applied Mathematics?
Many scientists have to learn areas of mathematics as an aid to completing regularly appearing standard reasoning tasks quickly, and above all correctly, using a standard set of mathematical techniques appropriate to their science. Because of this, they like to call mathematics an “ancillary science.” Being helpful is no insult to mathematics. On the contrary, applied mathematicians learn how to make the pool of mathematical knowledge more accessible to other sciences. They come to the rescue when mathematical problems in applied sciences cannot be solved by standard techniques. There are very many different sciences that all need “wiskunde,” and mathematics is as large and as broad as the entire world of science. Therefore, any idea one may have had in school that after studying mathematics one would have a command of “mathematics” is totally naive. No mathematician has a command of mathematics. All are either pure mathematicians expert in areas within mathematics, or specialists in certain application areas that on the one hand are studied as subsidiary subjects with a relative low work input, but on the other help to determine the choice of mathematical disciplines when studying math as a major.
What is Technomathematics?
Technomathematicians are applied mathematicians who apply their knowledge of mathematics to help engineers and technicians when complicated mathematical problems arise. They work everywhere where engineers are working on more complex tasks. According to the German Federal Employment Agency,
“Technomathematicians work mainly in mathematical research institutes and development departments of companies in various business sectors, e.g. in the field of biotechnology, vehicle manufacturing, IT, or the electronics industry. They may also work in management consultancy, at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), or in universities.”
The Agency mentions only a very small area of technology that now shapes our world. Yet it is not surprising that technical innovations in particular have a close affinity with mathematics. Products result from new ideas, and thinking always involves mathematics. So no new aircraft, no car, no train, no bridge, no building, no wind turbine, no artificial hip, no cardiac pacemaker, no smart phone, no refrigerator, no computer, no washing machine, no artificial vein, in fact no truly new product made by industry comes into being without a great deal of mathematics.
How do you study Technomathematics in Hamburg?
The technomathematics course of the joint Bachelor’s program at the TUHH and the UHH starts out like a normal math course with foundation courses in analysis and linear algebra. As in other universities, basic programming techniques are taught from the outset, in the first two semesters.
In addition, from the first semester on students are confronted with the contents of engineering foundation courses in mechanics and electrical engineering. The teachers of all technomathematics courses for beginners work together and coordinate their lectures, so our mathematics students come to grips with applications more easily. In mathematics courses they are given sample tasks that cast light on mathematical problems in mechanics and electrical engineering and illustrate the practical use of mathematics.
From the fourth semester, students are expected and trusted to assemble their own curriculum within the framework of prescribed minimum outputs in the individual fields. The idea is to allow creative minds to be creative and to encourage creativity. Progress lies in changes to the traditional or conventional. Our aim is equip scientists for tasks of the future.
Who will support you in studying Technomathematics?
Technomathematics students are students of both universities, the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the University of Hamburg (UHH). The TUHH is responsible for administering the Bachelor’s program in technomathematics, while the UHH administers the subsequent Master’s program. Registering at either of the two universities gives you access to the resources of both. In particular, the academic staff of the mathematical institutes of both universities will guide you through your studies.