Note: The Engineering Physics and Mathematics degree programme requires Finnish skills. However, a lot of what’s written below applies to the Quantum Technology programme which is taught fully in English. Quantum Technology students are also under the Guild of Physics. More information about the programme can be from the following two links:
- Aalto Bachelor’s Programme in Science and Technology – Quantum Technology
- Quantum Technology curriculum 2018-2020
Thank you for your interest in engineering physics and mathematics! The Engineering Physics and Mathematics degree programme offers the applicant the in-between of physics or mathematics for university studies and technical fields. The teaching focuses on fundamental basic science and is more theoretical than other technical fields. The objective is to give the students all the necessary skills that they may need in challenging and diverse jobs in various fields of research, product development, and economics. On the other hand, compared to more theoretical university studies in physics, studying is closer to practical applications and the business world.
The core of the program is making models as well as analyzing and developing them. Depending on your major, this could be researching new forms of energy, developing stock price forecasting models, or even inventing new mathematical algorithms. There is a lot of demand for this knowledge both in basic research in mathematics and physics and on the business side in areas such as analytics, software development and management consulting. During your bachelor’s degree, you can choose to focus on your studies in physics, mathematics, or operations research, and there are even more options for majors in the master’s degree program. So, you can customize your degree completely according to your own interests.
The most important thing you will learn in this program is not any particular method in physics, mathematics, or systems analysis. Instead, you get something much more useful – problem-solving and application skills, an analytical mind, perseverance in the face of challenging problems, and confidence in yourself and your ability to learn.
Guild of Physics
The Guild of Physics is the subject organization for students in engineering physics and mathematics that organizes various events, monitors students interests in the university world, and takes care teaching student culture for the freshmen. There is something for everyone in the guild, such as dancing, acting and playing chess. More information about the guild and all the possibilities it offers can be found in the latest freshman guide.
Greetings from two students
“Personally, I ended up in the Guild of Physics, because my friends in the army urged me to apply. I had not thought of applying here after high school. In the end, the “well I guess it is hard to get in” mentality won, and I have never regretted my choice, as the programme proved to be very pleasant from the very beginning.
There was a lot of smart, motivated and otherwise like-minded people in my freshman class, and it took no time at all until all of my free time was taken by my studies and extracurricular activities I got into, but I had a lot of fun (and still do!). In the beginning you can comfortably get acquainted with both physics and mathematics courses, which makes it easier to choose a major when you know roughly what each is all about.
The courses are demanding, but by no means impossible, and experiences of success will be experienced more often than you can count. My own favorites have been Programming Courses, which can be used to solve problems with a computer, as well as partial differential equations and quantum mechanics, both of which start out quite unintuitively, but are neat when it all wraps up nicely. ”
-Aleksanteri Paakkinen (Freshman of 2016)
“I’m in my third year of studying operations research at the engineering physics and mathematics programme. Operations research was a clear choice for my, because the major courses (eg optimization, forecasting and time series analysis ..) were clearly the most interesting for me.
The best thing about engineering physics and mathematics is the opportunity offered by the flexible study plan to find out over time what might interest you in the future. You are given a year to choose a major and whatever you choose, studying at the Guild of Physics opens doors almost anywhere. For example, I develop artificial intelligence at OP and am doing my bachelor’s thesis on the subject.
Definite highlights from my time at the Guild of Physics were the orientation week of the freshman year, when I got to meet so many like-minded friends for the first time, exchange studies in Prague and now working on my bachelor’s thesis at OP. ”
-Satu Salminen (Freshman of 2015)
Career stories from Guild members
The engineering physics and mathematics program offers very diverse employment opportunities during and after graduating. Next, you get to read about the careers of two of our students. Career stories are just a small slice of everything you can get a job in!
“Hello! I am Ose and this is my second summer working in a startup called SellForte, which provides marketing analytics in the retail sector. I ended up working in the company a year ago partly through volunteering at the guild, as I initially negotiated a cooperation agreement between the guild and the company. The negotiations bore fruit for both the guild and I, as I later got a summer job on the project management side. This summer, I was able to continue working on the same assignments. These include, for example, acting as a sales support in the production of sales materials and working on customer projects by producing and presenting comprehensible conclusions. The most common tools on the sales side are Excel and Powerpoint, but of course you can use others according to your skills. Rapid analytical thinking, business intelligence, and resilience under pressure are key, because in my work it is important to find the most relevant of the scattered information crumbs, produce a reasoned conclusion about business developments, and present it as clearly as possible within a tight timeframe. Before Sellforte I worked as a research assistant at the physics department at Aalto and as an employee at Okmetic.
I am a candidate of physics, but I decided to switch to operations research for my master’s degree. A great thing about our degree program is that you can try many different occupations and jobs!”
-Oskari Kivinen (Freshman of 2015)
“I started my studies in the fall of 2015 and during my first year I found an area of interest in operations research. During various project courses, I began to find strengths other than in the field of thermodynamics and differential equations. Gradually, I realized that everyone has their own strengths, and analytical leader types are needed as much as top physics and math experts. In the spring of the second year, I went to visit an interesting company. I decided to try to find more practicality and direction for my studies through my work. To my surprise, I got offered a job and I have been working at the same firm doing interesting things ever since. Although the combination of studies, work and volunteering in guild was tough, I have been able to learn a lot of new things and to increase my self-confidence. It has been great to get to explore what my own career path could be like! In addition to my studies, my job description as an analyst for a software company included analyzing supply chain data and assisting in implementation projects. During the summer, I got more responsibility and even got to spend three months in Atlanta at the company’s US office. After getting my bachelor’s degree done, I started as a full-time data analyst on the sales side. In this task, I have been able to work on fast-moving analysis to look for potential business prospects of the data. Through my work, I discovered the wonderful world of data analytics and a new enthusiasm for my Master’s degree studies. My goal is to improve my commercial skills so that I can act as an expert in the field in the future, both commercially and analytically. In the autumn, I will start implementing my plan and return to my studies in earnest. 🙂 “
-Petra Huttunen (Freshman of 2015)