About the Experimental Mathematics Lab
The Experimental Mathematics Lab (EML) was created in June 2014
within the Mathematics Research Unit and the FSTC.
It is a light structure designed to:
- allow students of various levels (Bachelor, Master and PhD) to participate in
computational mathematics projects, helping them to develop their understanding
of mathematics but also their programming and modeling capabilities,
- develop new visualization tools and new images (or even movies or 3d printouts)
of mathematical objects,
- develop modules for computing on mathematical notions, to be used
either independently or as libraries for existing mathematical computing environment,
- make advances in mathematical questions, when progress can be made by
applying computational tools --- for instance for classification, for finding patterns
or when a counter-example can be searched for.
We believe that participating in such computational mathematics
projects can be an important addition to the ``traditional'' teaching
of mathematics. One reason is that it gives students the opportunity
to interact in a very practical way with elaborate mathematical notions,
to the point where it often allows them to discover a new way to do
and think about mathematics. Another is that it helps them develop
programming skills that are useful well beyond their studies.
Among the students who could be involved we can single out for instance:
- third-year mathematics students, who could participate in such
a project in the setting of their Bachelor thesis,
- first-year master students who could be involved as a part of
their student project,
- second-year master students whose Master thesis could be linked
to the EML,
- other students, at various stages of their studies, who have good
academic results in their ``traditional'' courses, could be
involved for additional credits.
Our project is based on a number of successful experiments conducted,
over the years, in a number of universities. For instance:
The concept of Experimental Mathematics is nowadays a well established one,
connecting Mathematics, Computer Science and Communiciation Technology (see, for instance,
the Institute of Experimental Mathematics
of the University of Duisburg-Essen).