Published: Mon 16 Sep 2013.

Mathematics courses at Chalmers receive top grades

The Chalmers bachelor’s and master’s courses in mathematics have been adjudged as being of ”very high quality” by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. Proximity to engineering courses is assumed to be one explanation.

The Swedish Higher Education Authority has evaluated the quality of all mathematics courses at Swedish universities. The judges have read master thesis work, taken in self-evaluations from universities and interviewed students and teachers via video links.
The grading of the bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Chalmers was adjudged as of ”very high quality” for three of the five degree objectives. The equivalent result for the master’s degree was the highest grading with four out of six degree objectives .
"This means an enormous amount to Chalmers, and is very pleasing for several reasons. The evaluation model is entirely new and the result was not a given. Further, it’s still more gratifying to earn top marks for teaching maths. Mathematics is essential to industry and to our own efforts in working for a sustainable society," said Maria Knutson Wedel, Vice President for the undergraduate and master programs.

The Chalmers civil engineering degree in engineering mathematics is new and was not evaluated on this occasion.
"Although in practice the program is a combination of the two evaluated degrees and so the assessment can be said to cover engineering in my opinion. Great to be able to get it right from the start, because this is a new program. The first batch qualified this year."
Of 30 mathematics courses examined in Sweden, 25 have been judged as being of ”very high quality” or ”high quality”. Chalmers, KTH and Linköping University top the list with “very high quality” awarded to all their maths courses. Five courses in Sweden were adjudged to be of unsatisfactory quality.
"Many of the courses adjudged as being of “very high quality” are run in an environment closely connected to civil engineering programs. The result can be taken as an indication that maths courses can benefit from being related closely to engineering programs," said judge group foreperson Kathryn Hess Bellwald, professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

The Swedish Higher Education Authority will be presenting evaluations of other Chalmers courses, exception Shipping and Marine Technology,  within a few weeks.

Text: Christian Borg
Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell

More women are reading mathematics at Chalmers 
There are a total 45 places for the civil engineering program in engineering mathematics, which has attracted a successive increase in demand since start-up 2008. In autumn 2013 there were more than two first hand applicants for every place. The number of women accepted increased from 30 percent last year to 43 percent this year. Only the architecture, engineering design and industrial economics programs require higher average grades for acceptance.

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2013.