Bruno Buchberger

special activities

PhD Curriculum for Symbolic Computation / Mathematics for Computer Science / The "Thinking, Speaking, Writing" Course / The White-Box - Black-Box Principle

Special Didactic Activities/ PhD Curriculum for Symbolic Computation

In 1982, I designed an international PhD curriculum specializing in Symbolic Computation and entirely taught in English. This curriculum was the first such curriculum in the world. It consists of approximately 30 special courses that cover all areas of symbolic computation and all aspects of the field (mathematical foundation, algorithmics, software implementation, and applications). I built up a faculty of 8-10 people at RISC (Research Institute for Symbolic Computation) with whom I implemented this PhD program. Starting from 1982, a growing number of PhD students from all over the world took part in this program. At an average, 20-25 PhD students are permanently enrolled in this 3-4 years program. The design of the program and the design of the Journal of Symbolic Computation, which I founded in 1985, reflect my view of what constitutes symbolic computation: The algorithmic treatment of problems in abstract mathematical domains. One of the consequences of this is that, ultimately, the graduates of this PhD program master both the fundamental techniques of mathematics and computer science independent of whether their original major was mathematics or computer science. This PhD program was then also taken as a model for similar programs in the US, Germany, and Japan.