AMEP: Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics
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AMEP Program description (OUTDATED!)
AMEP Degree Requirements (OUTDATED!)
AMEP advisors (OUTDATED!)
AMEP is a unique, interdisciplinary four-year undergraduate
program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The purpose of the program is to provide a strong foundation in mathematics
and physics with a substantial introduction to engineering
science. AMEP is a small and challenging program. It is
recommended only for those students who have a strong ability and
great interest in mathematics and the physical sciences.
The program is particularly appealing to students who want to
have a good overview of the various areas in the physical sciences
and of various career options before making major decisions that will
affect their entire career.
Two AMEP graduates are now on the faculty at UW-Madison: Prof. Cary Forest
(AMEP 1986) in Physics and Prof. Chris Hegna (AMEP 1986) in Engineering
Physics. Prof Forest is the AMEP Physics advisor.
Read what AMEP students are saying about the program:
- AMEP sophomore (2001-2002):
I started out as an engineering major with a broad interest in the math
and sciences. Unfortunately the engineering program seemed too
restrictive for me to be able to truly explore all of my interests.
AMEP has allowed that flexibility while still being able to have an
applied perspective to the sciences that I wanted out of engineering. I
feel that the AMEP is a program that serves students who have a broad
interest in the math and sciences and want to explore that interest.
This is in my opinion one of the greatest aspects of the program, its
flexibility. I do not think that I would have been able to satisfy my
thirst for knowledge in the math and sciences without a program like
this. The combination of the variety of advisors and the plethora of
opportunities definitely make this program worthwhile.
- AMEP sophomore (2001-2002):
(i) I like the structured variety of my schedule, and its flexibility. If
I were purely an engineering student, I would
not have this much freedom to broaden my curriculum.
(ii) I am still somewhat unsure of industry's interest in graduates with
this degree. I intend to make use of the programming offered by
Engineering Career Services (ECS) to find out more. Any data that the
advisors are able to provide would be of interest also.
(iii) This appears to be a useful major for students who wish to attend
graduate school, simply because it prepares the student for several
- AMEP graduate (2001):
As far as I am concerned I consider the AMEP program an excellent field of study. I came to UW with
the intention of studying mathematics, but
soon after I found out about this program I immediately switched majors.
Being a more science oriented person, the fact that the non science
courses required by this program were considerably
less than in the math major, was enough to convince
me to make that change in majors.
Although a bit more demanding than any of the three disciplines
it covers (Math, Engineering and Physics), it gives us a firm grasp of the
various concepts covered in each of them.
Having three advisors, each for every field, is in my opinion,
very advantageous, since with their help
we can organize our course of study to meet our needs and interests.
I believe that this program gave me adequate preparation to attend
graduate school at any of those areas, since
in addition to the required courses, I had also the option
to take classes to further concentrate to my
preferred field of study, mathematics. Finally, I would suggest
that in a program like that some computer science courses should also be
compulsory as a replacement of Chemistry 103, which despite being a very
informative course, I could not see its connection with any of the
other courses I took .
- AMEP graduate (2001):
I have formally accepted an offer to work for Motorola
in Dearborn, MI in their Automotive and Industrial Electronics Group upon
graduation in May. It's great to know that they are still looking for fresh
new qualified candidates at a time when job cuts and layoffs are the norm
for this company.
I'm glad that I have chosen this major. Many professors say that it is a
better preparation for grad school in engineering than an actual undergrad
engineering degree. I'd go a step further and say that, coupled with a
hands-on student project, like FutureTruck, the AMEP student is actually
better prepared for a full-time engineering position in industry, compared
with a typical ME, EE, etc. It has to do with the ability of being
versatile and being able to adapt to new applications and concepts, using
the same principles. Understanding where the governing equations come from,
(where one derives them in 300 level and above math and physics courses) and
seeing them applied in real-world situations on these student design
projects, puts the AMEP student at a definite advantage. This level of
understanding is usually only seen at the graduate level in engineering
AMEP graduate (1979):
I feel that the AMEP program is very good program especially for
those students who intend to work in industry. The emphasis on fundamentals
in math and physics with practical application in engineering develops a
solid foundation for a successful career. It is also good for the student
who does not want to be limited to one area of study early in their college
career, whether they will be following the industrial or academic tract.
While I was at the university I did not see much direction or support for
the AMEP program. There was little mention of the program to incoming
students, no guidance while you were in the major, and little interaction
with other AMEP majors: I almost decided not to study AMEP because one of
my high school teachers told it was too difficult of a major. While I was
studying in the AMEP program there was little direction or guidance received
from the administration or faculty. Determining what courses to take,
developing a plan to meet the requirements for graduation, signing up for
job interviews was something I did myself with some help from fellow AMEP
majors (and some friends in engineering). I only met a few other AMEP
majors since we were in the same courses together, at graduation we finally
saw who the other AMEP majors were. Nearing graduation I was only
approached by engineering regarding graduate school (may be this was due to
my performance in my math and physics courses?). In order to secure
interviews for a graduate position and industry jobs I had to use the
programs engineering had. I did find that the faculty that knew about the
program supported it well. Without this the AMEP program may not still be
For those students who persevere the AMEP program reaps great rewards.