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Education and Outreach

Bachelor and Master Education

CBC personnel have been central in the initiative Computers in Science Education (CSE), which is a major computational reform of the education in mathematically oriented subjects at the University of Oslo. To our knowledge, this computational reform, being incorporated in existing student programs in science from the very beginning of the bachelor study, is novel in an international context. The students are exposed to computational tools and thinking from the first semester, making them ready to utilize numerical methods, programming, and simulation in later science classes. For example, the introductory course in physics in the second semester has been completely reworked to apply numerical solution of ordinary differential equation as the primary tool for exploring the mechanics of particles and rigid bodies. Later mathematics courses are already reformed to treat both analytical methods and numerical algorithms.

CBC has contributed to this reform through courses and textbooks. Now that the Norwegian government wants to upscale the reform project to a national level, CBC aims at continuing its involvement in the reform by developing new courses and books. We see this activity as an excellent way of migrating our research tools and exciting problem settings, in simplified form, to students at all levels in the education system. The computer simulation approach to problem solving, which is fundamental in CBC, is also beginning to become fundamental in science education. Representing a modern way of exposing science subjects, CBC personnel may through teaching increase the recruitment base for future master and PhD candidates. Moreover, our books have obtained considerable international recognition and helped to attract attention to the Center in general. Given the considerable amount of books produced by CBC scientists through the last decade, we regard book writing as our primary outreach activity also in the future.

Training of Researchers

CBC has a primary focus on training researchers. Training of PhD students and postdoctoral candidates is therefore a key activity in the center. We also emphasize training beyond the postdoctoral level to help the best research talents qualify for top positions in the academic system.

Most of PhD students and postdoctoral candidates go to industry after their stay at CBC. Although biomedical computing is still not a major area in industry or health care, our candidates have comprehensive experience with mathematical modeling, numerical methods, scientific software development, real-life applications, as well as verification and validation. With a good understanding of these topics, the candidates are very attractive in a wide range of disciplines within industry or the public sector.

Services to the Community

CBC wants to be visible and play an active role in the international computational science community. Several of the scientists in CBC hold positions on editorial boards of leading journals, two have also appointments as Editor-in-Chief, most senior scientists serve on national and international committees for doctoral dissertations and research positions, and CBC has two out of 15 editors of Springer's upcoming Encyclopedia of Applied and Computational Mathematics. Despite the costs associated with such work, we will continue to encourage this type of activity, because we regard it as an important and appreciated service to the community. The mentioned positions are also a direct measure of the visibility of our scientists and their international impact.