Fit for the challenges of the future
New master’s degree programmes offered at Ulm University in data science and artificial intelligence

Ulm University

The new master’s degree programmes at Ulm University in “Mathematical Data Science” and “Artificial Intelligence” train specialists to stand at the front in the job market of the future. The first students in these programmes will be picking up their studies in the 2021/2022 winter semester. Further information is available now and interested students may apply or register between 1 June and 15 July.

Big data and artificial intelligence are the leading technological trends of our time. These include intelligent systems that quickly analyse large data sets in order to “learn” from them – whether for knowledge generation or automatic decision-making and action planning. The areas of application for these technologies are diverse, ranging from the development of medicines to language recognition, from autonomous driving to Industry 4.0. “With the new master’s degree programmes ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Mathematical Data Science’, Ulm University would like to do its part in training specialists who are not only able to apply, but also methodically develop, such technologies”, explains Professor Olga Pollatos, vice president for teaching at Ulm University.

Mathematical Data Science

“We are surrounded by data. Data shapes the world in which we live and work”, explains Professor Stefan Funken from the Institute of Numerical Mathematics at Ulm University. Students at Ulm University can learn how this data is understood and how to gain sensible insights from it with the help of mathematical methods in the new master’s degree programme “Mathematical Data Science”, which will be starting in the winter semester. This new programme was set up by the Faculty of Mathematics and Economics. “This programme focuses on numerical methods, ie mathematical algorithms and models which are being used for data analysis and pattern recognition”, says Funken, vice dean of this faculty. The career perspectives are excellent: data experts with mathematical skills like these are needed in virtually all economic sectors. What makes the Ulm programme so unique? “We concentrate on the basics and fundamental principles that will still be important in ten or twenty years. We provide our students with the knowledge and skills that will place them at the forefront in the fields of tomorrow”, explains the mathematician from Ulm. Students with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, computer science or physics can apply for this programme, providing that they have an in-depth knowledge of mathematics.

Artificial Intelligence

For anyone who is interested in the development of autonomous (underwater) vehicles, anyone who would like to work on the architecture for deep neural networks or anyone who envisions themselves doing research at the interface between humans and intelligent systems, “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) is just the right master’s programme to pursue. This new programme is just as research-oriented as it is application-related. “Students learn about AI in its entire breadth. We teach them the basics that they need to help shape this technology of the future”, explains Professor Birte Glimm from the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at Ulm University. As a scientific discipline, AI combines knowledge-based and learning-based approaches. While models of machine-supported learning play a large role in the rapid analysis of large volumes of data, logic-based approaches such as automatic reasoning and action planning help to derive good decisions from these models. The Ulm AI master’s degree programme in Ulm covers both of these areas. Ethical and legal aspects of AI are also covered in the curriculum. Students can choose their own specialisation in this modularly-structured programme, thus lending their degree a custom design. The prerequisites for application are a bachelor’s degree in computer science or at least 30 ECTS credits in mathematics and computer science.

Trained specialists for research and business

Both master’s programmes – Mathematical Data Science and Artificial Intelligence – train students for conducting scientific research– eg within the framework of a doctoral degree – but also for pursuing a career in business. For this reason, our students have many opportunities to collect practical experience in companies. These opportunities include internships, general projects and thesis projects as well as activities as a student trainee. “In the new programmes, students apply knowledge of mathematics and computer science in the context of cutting-edge technologies of the future”, says Vice President Pollatos. Both new programmes are starting in the 2021/2022 winter semester.

More information can be found at

Text and mediacontact: Andrea Weber-Tuckermann

symbolic image
Fit for the challenges of the future! The new master’s degree programmes Artificial Intelligence and Mathematical Data Science are starting in the 21/22 winter semester. Symbolic image: Shutterstock
graphic representation of a principal component analysis
Mathematical Data Science helps uncover valuable data treasures. On the left of the screen: graphic representation of a principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA identifies data patterns based on varying degrees of correlation between features. The areas of applications are varied, from the stock market to bioinformatics. The demonstration example is from the field of text recognition. The right side of the screen shows a mathematical function, programmed in Python (Photo: Prof Stefan Funken / Uni Ulm)
autonomous driving simulation
Experts on artificial intelligence are also in demand for developing highly-automated vehicles. Pictured: an autonomous driving simulation. The vehicle uses sensory data and high-resolution maps for automatic driving manoeuvres. The maps are enriched with further “knowledge” via rules and are checked for errors (Image: Prof Birte Glimm / Uni Ulm with material from BMW)
Prof. Birte Glimm and Prof. Stefan Funken
Computer scientist Prof Birte Glimm (Photo: Dr Yevgeny Kazakov / private) and mathematician Prof Stefan Funken (Photo: Ulm University)