Department of Information Technology

Mathematical and Computational Consulting (mc²)

Coordinator: Elisabeth Larsson

What is it about?

Researchers at other departments of Uppsala University, at SLU, and local companies are invited to submit scientific computing problems that they need help with. (Read more at the advertisement page.) The mc² participants discuss and work with these problems and offer (partial) solutions. If problems require a lot of work (more than what is reasonable within the course), we instead give advice about whether to make it into e.g. an MSc thesis work, a student project, a research project, or to contact a commercial consultancy business.

Areas of expertise

The types of problems that we can help with are typically in the areas of numerical analysis, mathematical modeling, simulation, implementation, parallel computing, and other subfields of scientific computing.


  • Awareness: Participating students should get an understanding of what types of problems researchers and companies who are not experts in scientific computing experience and need to solve. The course should also act as an orientation in the area of computational science.
  • Practical experience: Students are required to solve (or at least work with) real problems without (immediately) known solutions.
  • Networking: Through the course, both students and the department as a whole, get the opportunity to establish contacts with other researchers and companies.
  • Service: The free advise from the mc² group is a service for our community.

mc² events

  • Every week (or when enough new problems have arrived) subscribers to the mc² emailing-list receive a problem update. (This could include both new problems and solution attempts so far.)
  • Every (second) week, after the problem update, the students that are active in the course meet with the coordinator to discuss a selection of problems.
  • After the meeting the problems are assigned to students who will work on them until the next meeting. Team work is allowed and encouraged.
  • When a problem is solved the solution is returned to the owner and if permission is given, the solution is also posted at the web site.

Taking mc² as a course

The course runs continuously (starting in February 2006) and students can join at any time.

Graduate students can earn 2-5 graduate student credit points by participating in the problem solving sessions and working with projects.

All students must participate in at least 6 problem solving sessions. This corresponds to approximately 15 hours of work. Twelve hours in sessions and 30 minutes time for preparation before each session.

In order to earn 2, or more points, students must in addition work independently with problem solving. Each student must keep a record of how much time is spent on the problems. Each credit point corresponds to 40 hours of work. No partial credit points are offered.

Cooperation with Stanford University

mc² is part of the work with establishing a joint Master-program in Scientific Computing.
The course is run in parallel with a similar course at Stanford University. To start with, we will share the problems from both courses. There will also be possibilities for students from both universities to work together on some problems. This course has been given before at Stanford and the old web-page is located at

Learning environment

In all courses we will use a web based learning management system (LMS) for content delivery, student collaboration, and commuication
(teacher-teacher, teacher-student, student-student). We use the Swedish LMS Ping Pong.

Joining mc² as a subscriber

Faculty and students who don't need to take the course are encouraged to join mc² as passive members. They receive the problem updates and are welcome to offer comments and advice regarding problems that pique their interest.

Updated  2015-10-02 13:39:46 by Kurt Otto.