Mathematics and Operations Research degree programme committee meeting 2/2022

Mathematics and Operations Research degree programme committee meeting 2/2022


A plenty of topics were covered in the second Math&OR committee meeting of the year. The most important ones (along with master’s thesis topics and grades) were approving the curriculum, minors, and courses offered for the academic years 2022-2024. Also, some other topics were covered a bit more briefly at the end of the meeting.

Approving master’s thesis topics and grades

The first matter of the meeting was once again approving master’s thesis topics and grades. All were approved without opposing voices. However, a concern regarding theses graded by supervisors not from the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis (MS) was brought up. It was discussed that to ensure consistent grading it would be good to agree on some common practices - for example, it could be a requirement to have someone from the MS department as a supervisor to achieve a certain grade. However, this was but a tentative remark; nothing was decided nor was the matter discussed further in the meeting.

Curriculum of Math&OR Master’s Programme for the academic years 2022-2024

Next discussion item was the new curriculum of the programme. New and deleted courses were discussed in a previous Fiirumi post written by Joel, and the changes from 2020-2022 consisted mostly of removing discontinued courses from the curriculum and correspondingly adding new courses. Also, there were some changes to teaching periods and recommended years for the courses, and several new courses organized by the CS department were added to the recommended courses of Applied Mathematics.

The only structural change was that in the Systems and Operations Research major one can now choose to take either Nonlinear Optimization or Dynamic Optimization; before both were listed as mandatory courses of the major.

The new curriculum was approved (with some corrections that were brought up in the meeting) and can now be found in Into.

Minors offered by Math&OR Master’s Programme

Math&OR Programme offers 3 Master’s level minors: Mathematics, Systems and Operations Research, and Futures Studies (the last is taught in Finnish).

Changes to minors were also mostly removing discontinued courses and adding new courses in the curriculum. In Systems and Operations Research minor Nonlinear Optimization is no longer a mandatory course. Minors were approved with some corrections that were brought up in the meeting, and information about them can be found in Into.

Courses in the study programme 2022-2024

Most course additions and deletions for 2022-2024 were discussed in the previous committee meeting. Some new deletions were brought up:

  • MS-E199x Course with Varying Content, MS-E199701 Commutative Algebra Reading Course, MS-E2136 Special Topics In Decision Making, MS-E2144 Special Topics In Optimization, MS-E2194 Research Course in Systems Science, MS-E2195 Web-based Courses in Systems Analysis.
    • These are replaced with new course codes of form MS-EVxxxx. Each implementation of the courses will have a unique code and name.
  • MS-E1981 Independent Studies in Mathematics, MS-E2193 Independent Studies in Systems Analysis
    • Independent studies can still be completed by agreeing about it with a professor. The credits will be marked in SISU with the name and extent but without course code.

There are many courses that a student can repeat and get the credits for the completion more than once – for example seminar courses and special assignments. To better accommodate this need within SISU the MS department is adopting a new custom: each implementation of these courses will hereafter get a course code of its own, and possibly also a unique name.

It was brought up in the meeting that this will in the long run create pollution of course codes - i.e., if a student searches for “Seminar on Optimization” in SISU there would be matching results from several different years. The problem was acknowledged, but it was agreed that this is a necessary compromise until SISU allows some workaround.

The list of course additions and deletions was approved by the committee.

Other discussion items

After the main topics were covered and approved, several smaller topics were discussed and/or gone through:

  • It was proposed that it would be handy if there was an up-to-date table of ongoing master’s theses and their supervisors. This would help in allocating supervisors for new theses, benefiting both students and professors. It was agreed that this is a good idea, and such a document will be made. (However, it will be visible to staff only.)
  • Course feedback from Autumn of 2021 was reviewed. It was agreed that it looked good overall, and there was nothing alarming about any single course either. It was brought up by hallopeds that at least one course should have had a more comprehensive list of prerequisites. This was acknowledged and it was stated that attention will be paid on getting prerequisites right in the future. One last conclusion was that some of the courses had a low number of responses, and it would be good to find a way to motivate more students to answer the feedback form on those courses in the future (for example by giving bonus points).
  • Statistics about Exchange applications from SCI 31.1.2022 were reviewed. A total of 169 people had applied, out of whom 158 were accepted. The numbers were significantly higher than in the previous years: 2021 (130 applicants, 118 accepted), 2020 (111/108) and 2019 (100/97).
  • SCI Master’s thesis awards from 2021 were also reviewed. A total of 4 awards were granted, one of which went to a Math&OR major – congratulations!

The next meeting of the Math&OR committee is held on 17.5.2022. Until then!

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