Computer Simulation in Sciences and Engineering

The Department of Computational Science and Engineering is glad to offer a new program, Computer Simulation in Sciences and Engineering” that is unique and is considered the first in Palestine and the region.

The program is undertaken full time over a period of four years with summer sessions, with 130 credits required for graduation, in which 75 are program courses, 21 are general science courses, and 34 are university-required courses.

The first two years are devoted to courses in mathematics, physics, and computer science that will form the foundation of the courses given in the third and fourth years. The third and fourth-year courses are the core of the simulation and modeling process. A summer internship course will enable students to apply the theoretical material to real-life problems.

A distinctive and unique feature of the program is the final graduation project, which provides the student with the opportunity to have hands-on solving real-life problems that require simulation. Moreover, the students will have the opportunity to do the project in universities that are pioneers in this area, mainly in Germany.

There are several examples where simulation can have a major impact.  Simulation is used in the design of engineering prototypes for vehicle manufacturing, civil and aerospace engineering, crowd and traffic management; design of new materials, effects of the administration of a drug on a patient, design, and preparation of surgery before actually running it, the behavior of complex systems, modeling of chemical reactions, weather forecasting using physics climate models or climate change modeling, applications in finance and in the social sciences, testing of different scenarios in all kind of disciplines, are but examples where simulation can have a major impact.

The General Objective of the program is to educate our students to become highly qualified individuals in cutting-edge and future-oriented technology, who engage themselves as professionals and citizens to the benefit of society. Individuals who are curious and eager to participate in the process of research and discovery. Having undergraduates in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is critical for sustaining growth and creating job growth at a time of strong global competition.

The Specific Objectives

  • To have graduates that possess the computational, scientific, and mathematical skills necessary for participating effectively as members of the scientific simulation and data analysis community both nationally and internationally.
  • To have graduates who can generate economic growth for Palestine by becoming involved in cutting-edge technologies.
  • To have graduates who are highly qualified to be able to pursue a career in the broader area of research and so contribute towards improving the international standing of Palestinian universities by helping to put Palestine on the map of international research and discovery.
  • To acquire knowledge and develop skills in a variety of occupations as individual citizens.
  • To provide world leadership in modeling and simulation education and research.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Knowledge

  • Understand and solve scientific (Math and Physics) and engineering problems using simulation tools.
  • Read and understand commercial software package-handbooks
  • Understand Mathematical language reasoning hypothesizing, questioning, and logical and mathematical thinking
  • Write codes for scientific computing.

Skills

  • Participate in cutting-edge computer-based research in Math and Science.
  • Modify and customize available commercial software towards its own specific needs by adding user-defined subroutines to it.
  • Transfer the mathematical and physics knowledge to other courses and to real-life problems
  • Plan, execute and report the results of a complex extended experiment or investigation in Physics.

Attitudes

  • Appreciate the contribution of Mathematics and Science in solving real-life problems
  • Work independently and within a team with confidence

Career Opportunites

Classical engineering areas: Graduates could become active as structural analysis expert in Civil, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Analysis of mechanical and thermal stresses for buildings, machines and chemical plants, which includes the analysis of a design developed by a classical civil or mechanical engineer. They are not Civil or Mechanical Engineers per se but could cover areas common to all engineering disciplines:
a) Structural analysis of solids,   b) Fluid flow and fluid dynamics.

  • Non-classical engineering areas: Analysis the performance of robots and smart structures including the analysis of electro-magneto-mechanical interactions, analysis of biological structures as in biomedical engineering and medicine etc.
  • Software development: While graduates are likely to use commercial software to address questions brought to them by classical engineers of scientists, in newly developed or niche areas, commercial software could be unavailable in the first place. Hence, codes must be developed and their use and reliability supervised.  Graduates could be employed in software companies or engineering consultants to do just that.  To be a code developer they can’t be pure software engineers who lack background in the physical phenomena and the mathematical equations governing them. In contrast, graduates of the program will acquire fundamental knowledge in both: coding skills and mathematical schemes for the treatment of certain physical phenomena.
  • The program touches on the important theme of Artificial Intelligence and could expand on it upon further development of the program towards postgraduate studies. Indeed, optimization methods such as neural network methods as well as topics related to pattern formation and to smart structures are expected to be on offer in a postgraduate program.   These methods combined with statistics of large data are very relevant to Artificial Intelligence.  An advanced course on statistics is already part of the undergraduate course.
  • Teaching at Schools: those who are interested in teaching can teach Maths, Physics, and even computer-related courses
  • Research- and teaching-related activities: Graduates can opt to pursue an education at a postgraduate level possibly followed by a career at a university or research institution.

To learn more about the program, please see the following videos:

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