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Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF345 - Advanced simulation and machine learning  
Avancerad simulering och maskininlärning
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPHS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Application code: 85138
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: A
Maximum participants: 60

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0120 Project 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs

MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Paul Erhart

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

TIF285 - Learning from data and
FKA121 - Computational physics or equivalent


The course covers a selection of machine learning algorithms and statistical methods for simulating physical systems. The course is based on a set of projects, which are accompanied by lectures, and hands-on computer exercises. During the course, the students will be exposed to advanced scientific research problems, with the aim to reproduce state-of-the-art scientific results. The students will use e.g. the Python programming language and relevant open-source libraries, and will learn to develop and structure computer codes for carrying out scientific and statistical data analyses.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • critically examine the description of systems in the physical sciences by different mathematical models
  • rationalize the numerical representation of such models at multiple levels of sophistication
  • employ statistical inference and machine learning (ML) methods to evaluate and compare models
  • explain, using appropriate terminology, methods from ML and statistical inference
  • analyze data and write code in scientific and ethical fashion


Advanced simulations in the physical sciences can benefit from ML methods in multiple ways:
  • Uncertainty quantification via Bayesian inference
  • Representation of mathematical models via ML models, e.g., neural networks and Gaussian processes
  • Parametrization and selection of ML models via regression techniques
with the following subtopics
  • Dimensionality reduction and descriptors for physical systems
  • Bayesian inference and model selection
  • Generalized linear models including Gaussian processes
  • Advanced regression and regularization techniques
  • Neural networks
All of these aspects will be introduced and examined in the context of modelling in the physical sciences.


  • Lectures
  • Supervised computational exercises (group work on computational projects)
  • Selected number of small hand-in assignments
  • Computational projects with written reports

Examination including compulsory elements

The final grade is based on the combined performance on hand-in assignments and computational projects.

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.