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What is Informatics?

Informatics is the study of the structure, the behaviour, and the interactions of natural and engineered computational systems. At its simplest, informatics is computer science, but it is also a much wider discipline covering:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Cognitive Science

By studying informatics, you will look at how information is exchanged in its widest sense, both artificially; in computers, but also in nature through the human mind.​

How much mathematics is there? Why?

There is a fair bit of Mathematics, both explicitly and implicitly. Informatics uses more discrete mathematics (eg logic, sets, graphs, algebra probability etc) than many other disciplines. Continuous mathematics (analysis, calculus) has important applications too.

Discrete mathematics is important both because its specific content is sometimes needed in computing science topics (eg analysing algorithms, proving things about programs, modelling real problems (eg with graphs)) and because good ability in and familiarity with careful manipulation of symbolic information is crucial.

What is the difference between this program and the MIRI?

The MIRI program is four semesters long, whereas the MAI program is three semesters long and requires a written thesis. Both programs only admit students with outstanding academic records. Compared to the MIRI program (about 100 students) the MAI program is much smaller (50 students). There will typically be about 100 MAI students at any one time.

Why is the MAI program so small?

The program is small because the necessary resources are limited and the numerous clausus is set to 50 freshmen per academic course.

How does this program relate to the AI PhD program?

The MAI is considered a stepping-stone to the UPC AI PhD program. Undergraduates who are interested in PhD work at UPC are invited applying to that program. However, we are aware that there will be MS students who discover after a semester or two that what they really want is a PhD. By taking rigorous courses and writing a strong Master’s thesis it is possible to put together a strong PhD application during the second year of study as an MS student.

What can I do as a UB/UPC/URV undergraduate to make my MAI application strong?

Here are four things that strengthen your case. (1) Take a graduate-level course and do well. (2) Develop a common interest with a CS faculty member of any of the three participant universities (3) Emphasize your skills as a speaker, researcher, and leader. (4) Include a letter of recommendation from someone who can attest to your research skills.

Is there an “Early Admit’’ possibility for undergraduates who are entering their last semester?

There is no early admission option. All degree requirements must be satisfied by coursework completed after you have completed your Bachelors degree.

Some Masters programs allow students to substitute a large project for the written thesis. Why isn’t that an option at MAI?

Master Thesis is a compulsory official requirement.

Can I graduate in fewer than 3 semesters or use one semester for a co-op/internship?

No. It is the policy of the Graduate School that Graduate students must be enrolled in 3 semesters in order to earn the MAI degree. One aim of the program is to establish an elite core of stellar graduate students who are very interested in both applications and research. Should your center of gravity shift towards the research end, then you should simply opt for a 18-credit thesis which would give you a whole term to devote towards research. Carefully executed, this can set the stage for PhD study in a top program after the MAI.

You can use one semester to go abroad for an ERASMUS exchange or an internship.

Can I graduate in more than 3 semesters?

There is a slow track for the MAI. Please contact the administration to know the regulation.

Which are the possibilities for ERASMUS exchanges?


What is a "thesis committee"?

This is a three members committee that evaluates each Master Thesis. This committee may change every semester.

How do I find a thesis advisor?

Take a course in your area of interest and get to know the professor. Attend seminars and conferences. Knock on doors!

Who serves as my advisor before I form my Thesis Committee?

The Director of the Master of Artificial Intelligence serves as your faculty advisor and assigns a tutor that will be helping you with course selection and other academic issues.

What would a “typical” 3-semester schedule look like?

Requirements are given in terms of credit hours, not courses. But if you assume a reasonable mix of 3-Credit, 4-credit, 4.5-credit, 5-credit and 6-credit courses, then you can ``model’’ what a semester looks like in terms of courses.

15 courses plus 18-credit Thesis
  • Term 1- 6 MAI Courses (5*6) Compulsory
  • Term 2- 6 MAI Courses (3*4+3*6)
  • Term 3- 3 MAI Courses, Thesis Research (3+ 4.5*2+18)

There are certainly many other possibilities. In reasoning about your overall schedule, keep in mind that the minor field course requirement depends on the field.

Can I take classes taught at the other campi?

You are allowed to enrol in any course that is advised by your tutor and is within the limits of the number of external credits. UB/UPC/URV master courses are preferable.

How do MS students spend their summers?

There are no specific summer requirements. (You would be free to go work at a company for the summer).

Why are the TOEFEL (or equivalent) requirements so high?

The teaching component of the MS program is extremely rigorous and requires fluency in English.

Is financial support guaranteed while I am a student in the program?

No. There is a list of available scholarships.