Studying Mathematics with High Performance Computing


We use computers to simulate and make predictions about systems ranging from weather forecasts to the aerodynamic performances of a car in a flow of air or to extract valuable information from big data clusters. Supercomputers allow us to obtain dramatic scientific insight and competitive advantage in existing problems and let us attack problems that were previously impossible such as the vast amounts of data available from social media. Since it is impossible to create ever faster processors a different way to obtain high performance computer (HPC) systems has been invented. Supercomputers are nowadays built by combining a large number of small systems and such systems require special methods to program them. Everyday life is influenced by this trend, for example every smartphone is nowadays equipped with a multicore processor. Experts in high performance computing are required to exploit the properties of this innovative hardware and to define the algorithms able to take advantage of such computational power.

Your learning, year by year

The first year of this research-led degree equips you with a solid base in calculus, linear algebra, numerical methods, pure mathematics plus probability and statistics. Professional software, such as MATLAB and R, is introduced and you will master numerical techniques and programming skills. In the second year you will learn a modern, high level object oriented programming language, write macros in Excel and Simul8, an industry standard software in operational research. In the final year you will programme on our own supercomputer.

Research and careers

The course is taught by world leading researchers with allocations on supercomputers across the world. They develop and regularly revise our wide range of final year options which allow you to model and simulate topics ranging from finance to engineering. This degree equips you with valuable skills in mathematics, programming and data analysis. This gives you excellent career prospects as well as the possibility to progress to a research degree.


Our degrees feature a variety of final year project modules. Recent project topics include: 

  • Lasers cutting metal: a high performance computing (HPC) investigation
  • Modelling the stock market using statistical field theory
  • HPC modelling of electric fields around metallic objects 
  • Speech recognition: speech signal processing, pattern matching and the hidden Markov model in speech recognition
  • Chladni patterns: a comparison of plates and membranes
  • HPC simulation of heat dissemination in biological tissue
  • Numerical methods for solving partial differential equations 
  • Criticality of the two dimensionality Ising Model


During this degree we use a variety of assessment methods depending upon the material being taught. This includes both individual and group coursework, in-class tests, computer practicals, projects and reports (including, for example, a first year essay on the social and ethical implications of the mathematics underlying cryptography). Some first year coursework is also designed to get you talking with other students in the course about mathematics.