Applied Mathematics is the discipline of discovering, applying, and promoting the use of mathematics to model and solve practical problems in many disciplines, ranging from physical sciences and biology to medicine and industry.



By nature, applied mathematics research is interdisciplinary. By exploiting the common underlying mathematical framework, we initiate the cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques from one discipline to another. Many of our faculty members are either joint or adjunct faculty in another department. The faculty is widely known for its research leadership and authorship of many research papers, textbooks, and monographs, and activity on editorial boards of leading journals. 

Primary Areas of Research Include

  • Cancer Modeling
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Data Science
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Mathematical Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Mode-locked Lasers and Photonic Devices
  • Molecular Physics of Proteins
  • Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics of Living Cells, Statistical Mechanics
  • Nonlinear Wave Propagation, Water Waves
  • Numerical Methods and Scientific Computing
  • Optical and Atomic Physics
  • Optimal Control and Numerical Optimization
  • Probability and Stochastic Processes
  • Symbolic Computation
  • Systems Biology, Metabolism and Signaling Networks, and Kinetics
  • Theory and Computation of Shock Waves, Interfaces and Free Surfaces


Undergraduate Majors


Students in the UW Department of Applied Mathematics find a culture of excellence and respect within a warm, collegial atmosphere. The Department provides opportunities to its graduate students for significant scholarly activity and original research. Through classes and individual faculty mentoring, our students learn to model phenomena mathematically and to develop combined analytical and computational approaches for problem solving. They learn to communicate using the language of mathematics and the language of various applied disciplines, and to work with others to advance the frontiers of knowledge. They learn to respond to the mathematical needs of others by teaching, by mentoring undergraduates and each other, by working in industrial and government settings, and on outreach projects in local schools. Our students graduate with the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to be leaders in a society that exhibits increasing demands for competence in communication, computation, and quantitative analysis.

Applied and computational mathematics encompasses some of the most diverse and interdisciplinary research in the physical, engineering, and biological sciences. The program has received national and international acclaim, such as being ranked 4th in the nation in applied mathematics by the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index (2007) and tied as the top applied mathematics program in the country by the National Research Council (2010).

The Department offers a broad curriculum of graduate courses in applied mathematics, and our faculty members have written many textbooks that are widely used here and at other institutions.

The Department also provides undergraduate courses for students in our majors, the Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) Bachelor’s Degree program, and teaches undergraduate and graduate service courses in applied mathematics for students from many other departments. The Department offers access to select courses through distance learning.

Degree Options

We offer a broad curriculum of graduate and undergraduate courses in applied mathematics to provide students with the tools they need to succeed, and we offer different degree options tailored to our students’ academic goals.

Nonlinear water waves off the coast of North Carolina during the Perfect Storm of 1991, a subject studied using advanced mathematical tools.
Nonlinear water waves off the coast of North Carolina during the Perfect Storm of 1991, a subject studied using advanced mathematical tools.

Applied Mathematics:

  • BS
  • MS On Campus
  • MS Online
  • PhD

Computational Finance & Risk Management:

  • BS
  • MS On Campus
  • MS Online


Autumn 2023

  • 182 Bachelor of Science students
  • 236 Master of Science students
  • 53 PhD students

Degrees Awarded


  • 47 BS degrees - Applied Mathematics
  • 22 BS degrees - Computational Finance and Risk Management
  • 51 MS degrees - Applied Mathematics
  • 37 MS degrees - Computational Science and Risk Management
  • 6 PhD degrees


Autumn 2021

  • 7 Full Professors
  • 6 Associate Professors
  • 2 Assistant Professors
  • 8 Acting Instructors or Postdoctoral Scholars
  • 7 Emeritus Professors
  • 14 Adjunct Faculty

Faculty Awards

The Department of Applied Mathematics has 14 faculty and 6 emeritus faculty. This small group of faculty has received an impressive collection of awards and honors, including:

Volcanic blast wave simulated by computer using adaptive mesh refinement method.
Volcanic blast wave simulated by computer using adaptive mesh refinement method.
  • 2 Members of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2 Presidential Young Investigator Awards
  • 5 National Science Foundation CAREER Awards
  • 2 Guggenheim Fellows
  • 2 Humboldt Foundation Awards
  • 1 Sloan Foundation Fellow
  • 1 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award
  • 1 CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow
  • 1 President of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • 4 Fellows of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • 1 Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 1 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
  • 2 Fellows of the American Mathematical Society
  • 2 Fellows of the American Meteorological Society
  • 1 SIAM Activity Group on Financial Mathematics and Engineering Early Career Prize
  • 1 Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholar


Department of Applied Mathematics
Box 353925
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-5493


last update: December 2023