MS Concentration in Materials Theory and Simulation (MTS)

Masters of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a Concentration in Materials Theory and Simulation (MTS)

Computational materials science is a pervasive topic in disciplinary areas of materials science and engineering, as well as in solid state physics, solid state chemistry, earth science, and beyond. The Materials Theory and Simulation (MTS) concentration within the Materials Science and Engineering MS degree program provides students sufficient preparation to begin independent research in this emerging area.

Students approved for the concentration will complete, In addition to the standard 18-credit sequence of required courses for the MS degree in Materials Science, a sequence of nine credits in specialized electives: one course numerical methods of applied mathematics (APMA4300), one course on the theory of electrons in crystalline materials (MSAE4203), and an advanced course on computational methods for electronic structure (MSAE6085). MSAE6085 offers practical training in materials computations, currently with the popular open-source package Quantum ESPRESSO, implemented both on personal computers and on high-performance computing (HPC) resources available through Columbia, such as the Terremoto and Habanero clusters. Students who complete MSAE6085 in their second (typically Spring) semester will be well-prepared to start a computational project using electronic structure methods in the summer or third semester, with one or more of the interested faculty.

The capstone of the concentration will be a minimum of three research units (MSAE6273) on a computational materials science project conducted with one or more of the faculty. Requests to extend the computational project into a fourth semester will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will not be privileged over requests from students who have not opted into the concentration.

Students interested in the MTS concentration should apply to the standard MS program in Materials Science and Engineering, and submit a petition to be considered for the MTS concentration a few weeks before the start of their second semester (typically January 1.) Strong performance in the introductory courses (GPA > 3.2) will be expected for students considered for the concentration.