Target group

Members of the Doctoral School of (Bioscience) Engineering and Natural Sciences


All PhD students which are faced with involved scientific computations, data manipulations and visualizations within the framework of their research. Preferably, participants should preferably have some experience in programming in either low-level (C, C++,...) or high-level (MATLAB, Python, R,..) programming languages, but also students without programming experience are welcomed. No prior knowledge of Mathematica is required to attend the course.


dr. ir. Jan Baetens (Department of Mathematical Modelling, Statistics and Bioinformatics)

prof. dr. Bernard De Baets (Department of Mathematical Modelling, Statistics and Bioinformatics)

prof. dr. Peter Dawyndt (Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Statistics)

Course description

Mathematica is an environment for scientific computing, used in many scientific, engineering, mathematical, and computing fields ( It is based on the programming language, the Wolfram Language, named after Mathematica’s original developer. The Wolfram language is a general multi-paradigm programming language designed to be as general as possible and embracing procedural, functional, parallel and rule-based programming paradigms.  As opposed to MATLAB, it can employ arbitrary structures and data, and it enables both numeric and symbolic manipulations, as well as hybrid numeric-symbolic computations.
Besides, it comes with built-in access to extensive curated data, such as weather, geospatial and financial data (, and it brings the deployment of interactive interfaces and graphics within reach of everyone.

Aim & Format

This specialist course consists of six seminars on important features of the scientific computing environment Mathematica, which are introduced by experts in the field. Topics include the Wolfram language, interactivity (GUIs), advanced visualizations, animations, software development, and parallel computing. At the end of the course, there will be a short evaluation session during which students will have to give a ten-minute presentation on the functions/code they have written to solve two problems that have emerged within the framework of their research using the features that were introduced throughout this course as much as possible.  Students are expected to submit their documented scripts and/or notebooks.
Building upon the topics addressed during f this specialist course, PhD students should thereafter be capable of exploiting Mathematica for their own research and reach an expert level.
PhD students that are already familiar with Mathematica may subscribe for the last three/four sessions only, but priority will be given to those that do not yet have experience with the software.

About the lecturers

Prof. dr. Fred Simons was born in Amsterdam. He worked at the University of Amsterdam and the Eindhoven University of Technology where he promoted on Markov processes. He was also a member of the Dutch Education Committee for Mathematics and chairman of the Mathematics Working Group of SEFI, European Society for Engineering Education.

Dr. Rolf Mertig is a long term (web)Mathematica programmer, trainer, consultant and a Wolfram Education Group certified instructor.


Sandwich lunches are included at the workshop locations.

12 October 2016 Mathematica Basic principles I - Prof. dr. Fred Simons (10h00 - 17h30) - PC Hilo-GUSB -Watersportlaan 2
13 October 2016 Mathematica Basic principles II - Prof. dr. Fred Simons (10h00 - 17h30) - PC Hilo-GUSB -Watersportlaan 2
26 October 2016 Programming in Mathematica - Prof. dr. Fred Simons (10h00 - 17h30) - PC Hilo-GUSB -Watersportlaan 2
27 October 2016 Interactivity in Mathematica - Prof. dr. Fred Simons (10h00 - 16h00) - PC Hilo-GUSB -Watersportlaan 2
9 November 2016 Parallel Programming in Mathematica - Dr. Rolf Mertig (10h00 - 17h30) - PC Hilo-GUSB - Watersportlaan 2
10 November 2016 Mathematica development using Wolfram Workbench - Dr. Rolf Mertig (10h00 - 17h30) - PC De Stere Alan Turing (S9)
30 November 2016 Evaluation - Jan Baetens (10h00 - 13h00) - PC Hilo-GUSB - Watersportlaan 2


Number of participants

Maximum 30 PhD students



Course material

  • Lecture notes, additional reading and other teaching material will be made available through Zephyr.
  • Participants are invited to bring their own laptop computer for the hands-on sessions

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Active participation

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools of (Bioscience) Engineering and Natural Sciences. External participants pay €95 registration fee per session.


Please use following registration link: