Application Area

Students of the master's program Scientific Computing study an additional an application area (minor subject) as part of their education. In the application area, 16 ECTS points have to be collected by taking suitable courses, usually from the master's program of the minor field.

Typical application areas include the Biosciences, Physics, Economics, Chemistry and Computational Linguistics. In some fields, also very specialized course packages are available. Remark: Please note that some of these minor subjects are presented in German language at Heidelberg University.

To facilitate the selection, the following list gives prearranged module combinations in two different ways:

  • An Applications Field is a broad topic where students can chose from a larger variety of courses.
  • An Application Focus defines a combination of specific modules that should be taken to understand the research area of specific work groups.

Remark: These packages are suggestions to from the large set of possible courses. In general, any set of master courses that amounts to 16 ECTS in one approved minor subject is fine to complete the application area requirement.

Selecting your modules for the field of application

The presentation of application areas in Scientific Computing is incomplete by definition: Computational methods play an increasingly important role in the research of other scientific fields and the applications for mathematical models and compuational tools increase continuously.

For ease of credit transfer we recommend to students to use the above outlined package deals. The modules mentioned in these packages are specifically selected to complement the education in our core areas.

However, students can also define own fields of application. If you intend to to do so, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. The modules in the field of application should form a coherent teaching plan to understand a particular area of science and research and to get an impression of how to apply Scientific Computing to this field.
  2. Modules in the application area should come either directly from a master's program or have to be elective bachelor modules. Note that the dean of studies takes the final decision on the acceptance of a module for the application area.
  3. The modules you select should have a clear focus on the application. They should not teach mathematics and/or computer science techniques relevant to the application. The methods of our trade are taught in our core modules only, as we aim for sufficient depth of your studies on these methods.
  4. Compare your selection with the white list of allowed modules and the black list of forbidden modules on our page "Study Details". If you have doubts regarding your module selection, write an inquiery to the head of the examination board, Prof. Robert Scheichl and to the counselor of the program.

Application Focus: Biophysics

Theoretical Biophysics (lecture+exercise; summer term; 6 ECTS)
Experimental Biophysics  (lecture+exercise; winter term; 6 ECTS) 
Nonlinear Dynamics (extraordinary course; 2 ECTS)
Stochastic Dynamic (extraordinary course; 2 ECTS)
Research Seminar on special topics of Biophysics (exercise; winter/summer term; 2 ECTS)

Application Focus: Medical Physics

Medical Physics I (4h-lecture; winter term; 6 ECTS)
Medical Physics II (4h-lecture; summer term, 6 ECTS)
Advanced Seminar on Medical Physics (exercise; winter/summer term; 6 ECTS)

Participating researcher: Prof. Jürgen Hesser

Application Focus: Environmental Physics

Fundamentals of Computational Environmental Physics (lecture; winter term; 8 ECTS)
Chaotic and complex environmental systems (lecture; summer term; 4 ECTS)
Seminar Environmental Physics (Prof. K.Roth) (seminar; any time; 6 ECTS)

    Application Focus: Biomedical Informatics and Systems Medicine

    Introduction to Bioinformatics (Einführung in die Bioinformatik) LSF# 350943 (winter term; 3 ECTS)
    Components, Interactions and Networks LSF LSF# 350949 (winter term; 3 ECTS)
    Lab Practical at the Dieterich Lab (individual, upon request; 10 ECTS)

    Participating external researchers:
    Prof. Christoph Dieterich
    Prof. Julio Saez-Rodriguez


    Application Field: Economics

    Economics uses computational methods for a deeper understanding of relationships between economical partners and to derive financial anlysis and forecasts. Students in this area should learn principle theory in micro and/or Macro economics, after which they can further specialize through elective master modules.

    • Master module "Microeconomics" (lecture+exercise; winter term; 8 ECTS)
    • Master module "Macroeconomics" (lecture+exercise; winter term; 8 ECTS)
    • Any elective master module (lecture+exercise; any term; 6 ECTS)

    Elective master modules could include "Public Economics" (summer term), "Environmental & Climate Economics" (summer term), "Behavioral Game Theory" (winter term), "Impact Evaluations for Social Programs" (winter term) and many more.

    Note that you cannot credit courses that mainly teach mathematical or computational methods of economics!

    Link to the master's program in economics.

    Application Field: Computational Linguistics

    Computational Linguistics is a central topic in scientific computing research and therefore a popular application area in the master program. In co-operation with the department we offer the following modules for students to select their educational pathway in computational linguistics.

    • Introduction to Computational Linguistics (bachelor; German; 6 ECTS)
    • Statistical Methods for Computational Linguistics (bachelor; German/English; 6 ECTS)
    • Empirical Methods for Natural Language Processing and Data Science (master level; English; 8 ECTS)
    • Any main seminar (Hauptseminar) in Computational Linguistics (master level; English; 8 ECTS)

    Link to the Department of Computational Linguistics

    Application Field: Biosciences

    • Lectures or seminar modules from the dept. of bioscience (6 ECTS or more). It is best to search for a work group for your internship (see below) and ask the group leader for suitable modules that you can attend.
    • Lab internship [SCLI] (8-10 weeks) (practical lab training; any time; 10 ECTS)

    Remark: Note that the former lab rotation is now replaced by the lab internship which is offered as a module for any application area (10 ECTS). The lab internship has to be planned well in advance. The practical follows the regulations of the lab internship module.

    As short summary:

    • Find a supervisor in your field of application (biosciences, physics, astronomy, economics, computational linguistics, life sciences ...)  to host the lab practical.
    • The lab host defines an internship project for you to work on for the duration of usually 8-10 weeks.
    • The module is worth 10 credits (ECTS); the definition of the final exam/evaluation is up to the host - usually a presentation and a written report are evaluated.
    • The host directly sens the grading of the internship to the master's program (