Aarhus University Seal

Strategic Goals for the Department of Mathematics 2020–2025

Improve gender balance at the department

Women are severely underrepresented at the department, in partuclar at the level of permanent scientific staff. To start rectifying the situation, the department has set as a goal to hire 5–6 female researchers over the period 2020–2025. Hires should be in Tenure Track Assisting Professor/Associate Professor/Professor positions at the the Department of Mathematics.

Improve the Associate Professor/Professor ratio.

The Department has too few professors compared to the number of Associate Professors, both compared to other departments at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and to other comparable departments in Scandinavia. Over the period 2020–2025, we intend to have regular broad professor calls in Mathematics and Stochastics, increasing the professor ratio from 1 out of 5 to 1 out of 4.

Increase the number of PhD students and Postdocs

During the period 2020–2025, the department aims to increase the ratio of junior staff (PhD plus Postdoc) from 1.15 to 1.35 junior staff members for each permanent scientific staff member. This increase should be achieved by improving the quality of grant applications and supporting new hires in obtaining talent grants in order to secure a good career start. Furthermore, Centers of Excellence should contribute significantly towards the goal.

Expand in areas of mathematics and stochastics relevant for teaching and research collaboration with Computer- and Engineering Sciences

Aarhus university is currently undergoing a dramatic expansion in academic engineering programmes as well as in the intake of students in the Computer Science study programme. As a consequence of this expansion, the Department of Mathematics is faced with new teaching obligations and new possibilities for research collaboration with Computer and Engineering Sciences. Therefore, we are looking to hire 3–4 new people with a relevant interdisciplinary profile over the period 2020–2025, in order to meet the new teaching obligations and take advantage of the new possibilities for collaboration.

Strengthen research and teaching in mathematical aspects of Data Science and Mathematics-Economics

The Department of Mathematics houses two bachelor programmes run jointly with other departments, namely Mathematics-Economics (with the Department of Economics and Business Economics) as well as Data Science (with the Departments of Computer Science, Economics and Business Economics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering). The Data Science study programme was launched in 2019 and the department is expanding in staff in order to cover new teaching and research obligations in Data Science as well as strengthening existing areas in Mathematics-Economics and Statistics.

Expand in areas of applied statistics with a view towards interdisciplinary collaboration across Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences at AU

The department houses aStatLab, a small applied statistics laboratory that deals with engaging in teaching, research, as well as consultation. Currently this is primarily in connection with units located in the Faculty of Technical Sciences. The demand however is far greater than than aStatLab can cover. Therefore the department would like to add 1–2 permanent staff in applied statistics with a skillset that emphasizes interdisciplinary activities towards experimental aspects of natural and technical sciences. 

Increase recruitment of international students at Master's and PhD level

As part of the broad Faculty plan, we aim to ensure that 40% of the students enrolled in the Master's degree programmes in mathematics, statistics and natural science are recruited outside Denmark in 2025. Study programmes are currently being revised in order to meet this goal. Challenges are predictability in course offerings and ensuring the necessary flexibility to accept students with a background different from our own students.

Improve retention across bachelor programmes

The department aims to improve retention across our bachelor programs, the goal being a 65% retention rate or better. Three initiatives are being implemented to achieve this goal:

  1. Restricting the intake into the study programmes.
  2. Developing a robust mentor programme to ease the transition from high school to university.
  3. Ensure prospective students have a better understanding in advance of what it means to be a bachelor student at the department.

Obtain Centres of Excellence in Mathematics and Stochastics

In the period 2020–2025, we aim to secure two Centers of Excellence, one in Mathematics and one in Stochastics. Work is underway to secure funding from outside sources, e.g. DNRF, Villum, and/or NNF.

Organize recurring international events at the AU-campus

In order to increase the visibility of both Aarhus University and Aarhus City, the Department has decided to host annual Master Classes in Mathematics and Workshops in Stochastics, as well as biennial conferences in Science Studies. (Corona has presently put this initiative on pause.)