Secondary Field in CSE

Graduate students across Harvard can complete a Secondary Field in Computational Science and Engineering

SEAS welcomes applications for the Secondary Field in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE). This Secondary Field is available to any student enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, upon approval of a plan of study by the CSE Program Committee and the student’s home department Director of Graduate Studies.

Next deadline for Secondary Field applications is October 1, 2014

CSE is an exciting and rapidly evolving field that exploits the power of computation as an approach to major challenges on the frontiers of natural and social science and all engineering fields. In keeping with Harvard's emphasis on foundational knowledge, our program will focus on cross-cutting mathematical and computational principles important across disciplines.

Completion of the Secondary Field will equip students with rigorous computational methods for approaching scientific questions. These approaches include mathematical techniques for modeling and simulation of complex systems; parallel programming and collaborative software development; and methods for organizing, exploring, visualizing, processing and analyzing very large data sets.

Admission


Admission into the CSE Secondary Field is by application, which must be submitted to the SEAS Student Affairs Office. Students interested in the Secondary Field should consult with their departmental Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) no later than the first semester of the third year of study. Applications may be submitted twice a year, in the spring semester (deadline, March 1) and fall semester (deadline, October 1) for the following academic term. The application, which will include a proposed Plan of Study, must also be approved by the home department DGS. The DGS in CSE will respond to all applications within one month.

A domain elective is a computation-intensive course outside CS and AM. A student wishing to earn Secondary Field credit for a proposed domain elective or 299R course must propose these courses in the Plan of Study and receive approval of the CSE Program Committee.

Requirements


Each student's plan of study for the Secondary Field will include:

  1. at least one Applied Mathematics and one Computer Science core course
  2. one or two CSE electives (chosen from the Suggested Electives lists), or additional core courses
  3. as a substitute for one of the courses in (2.), either a “domain elective”—an approved computation-intensive course within the Ph.D. domain—or a semester-length independent research project
  4. as a final requirement, an oral examination by a faculty committee

Course requirements at a glance:

Secondary Field requirementminmax
1.Core courses2*4
2.Applied Math electives02
3.Computer Science electives02
4.Domain elective0

maximum

of 1

total

1
299r research course01
AC 298r seminar01
Total4

*must take at least one AM and one CS core course

A domain elective is a computation-intensive course outside CS and AM. A student wishing to earn Secondary Field credit for a proposed domain elective or 299R course must propose these courses in the Plan of Study and receive approval of the CSE Program Committee.

Advising and Academic Mentoring


A faculty member on the CSE Program Committee will serve in the role of Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the Secondary Field. The DGS will be assisted by Daniel Weinstock, the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies (ADGS) who will be responsible for frontline advising of students, helping to create a meaningful program sensitive to the student’s needs. The ADGS will actively work to develop independent research projects and external research opportunities for all IACS students to maximize learning and skill acquisition and will help with the design of individual projects. All students will participate in the activities of the IACS community, which will include technical and interdisciplinary colloquia and skill-building workshops.