Master Testimonials

This page contains testimonials of students who followed master courses/specializations. Testimonials published here are from master students from either MSc Applied Mathematics or MSc Computer Science. Please keep in mind that the setup of a course can change over the years and check the study guide for factual information.

If you want to contribute to this page, please send an email to with your name, what elective you did in what year, and a summary of your experience of around 300 words. Or you can download one of the templates and e-mail it filled in to

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MSc Applied Mathematics Specializations

Computational Science and Engineering

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Financial Engineering

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Discrete Mathematics and Optimization

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Mathematics of Data Science

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Partial Differential Equations

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Mathematics of Quantum Technology and Computation

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MSc Computer Science Courses

Quarter 1

Web Science & Engineering (S1)

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

This was one of the first course I took in the master programme of Computer Science. After a hectic year before this, I had chosen to do my MSc in 2.5 years and start off with only 2 courses per quarter. However, since WSE is a semester course, it’s still 5 ECTS extra on your study planning, without the added pressure of an entire course per quarter. That’s the main reason why I chose it. The other reason is that one of the teachers is Christoph Lofi, who is an absolute amazing teacher.

The course work consists of lectures, which are non-mandatory but can be useful to the exercises, essay-exercises and a final paper. The essay-exercises are questions that hve to be answered in roughly 100 words (so total 300-400 words per week) with a final deadline for half of them at the end of Q1 and half of them at the end of Q2. I tried to keep up with this, but in the end had to do three weeks at once of course. The final paper is a paper of 3-5 pages about a topic that you can choose yourself, which I really like, as long as it can be linked to the course topics.

Overall, I really liked the course. If you are not good at self-discipline and self-pacing, I wouldn’t recommend you take this course. It can also be quite difficult to fit into a ‘normal’ study planning with 15 ECTS per quarter, but if you have a different planning just like me, than I would recommend taking this course! The workload was totally manageable and I really liked practicing my writing skills before having to do the thesis. The only point of improvement is the fact that we did not get much feedback on our writing, but I heard it is something they are working on for the next edition.

Advanced Algorithms

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course in my first quarter of the MSc Computer Science next to Conversational Agents and the semester course Web Science and Engineering. I had expected this course to be the most difficult and had planned my schedule accordingly.

The course consists of two parts: Optimization (Karen Aardal) and Exact Algorithms (Matthijs de Weerdt). Both parts have two lectures per week and supporting WebLab exercises. If you’ve done the BSc at the TU Delft, you might recognize this structure from courses like ADS.

As for prior knowledge, on the Brightspace page, a quiz is offered to see if you have the required knowledge for part 2. It consists of trees and recursion, divide and conquer, dynamic programming, complexity theory and proving techniques. Now before I scare you off: I remembered next to nothing of everything I learned in Algorithm Design in the BSc, and I had no trouble with this course. Yes, it was difficult at times, but overall I had a great time. You do have to like algorithmics of course.

This course teaches you how to structure and then solve an optimization problem, such as maximize the value in my knapsack while minimizing the weight. There are different techniques that you’ll see in this course, such as approximation or exact solving.

Overall, I really liked this course, it has been one of my favorites throughout the MSc programme. Matthijs his lectures are good, but Karen is really amazing at explaining even the most complex concepts. And while the course does take up the full 14 hours per week, the workload is not disproportional. The exercises are suited for making sure you understand the material and I really felt like I learned something during this course.

Conversational Agents

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course in my first quarter of the MSc Computer Science next to Advanced Algorithms and the semester course Web Science and Engineering. I thought it would balance well: A difficult theoretical course (AA), a self-paced writing course (WSE) and a project course (CA). I’ve not taken many ML or AI courses, as that is not my cup of tea, but I thought this course would be fun to add to my portfolio.

The course teaches you about conversational agents, as the name suggests. This means you’ll learn about emotions, speech patterns, verbal and non-verbal cues etc. You will make an agent come to life yourself in the project using Furhat.

One thing you should know before taking this course: You should really attend all lectures to understand the material. The slides do not contain much information and the only way the expectations of the course and course material is really conveyed is orally in the lectures. Personally, I am not a big fan of this. Even the written assignment sheets and rubrics did not reflect the expectations of the course well. Each group also got a TA assigned, which was very useful, but the expectations of the teachers weren’t well aligned with the TA either.

This experience of not knowing what’s expected from you made the course a bit confusing and while I do think we adhered to the requirements, our project grade does not reflect this. I do think I learned more about conversational agents and the inner workings of robot software and the workload was somewhat balanced, similar to other project courses, but I would still not really recommend this course unless you are really into AI.

Quarter 2

Distributed Algorithms

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course at the same time as the self-paced course Software Verification and the semi self-paced semester course Web Science and Engineering. It seemed interesting to me, I had heard some good reviews, did my BSc thesis with this research group, and I am generally into algorithmics so this fit right up my street.

During the first lecture the course structure was presented. Interesting to note is that the combination of this course, Blockchain Engineering in Q3 and Security and Cryptography in Q1 earns you a blockchain certificate. As for the course work, it’s divided in a paper summary that counts for 25% of the grade and an exam that counts for 75%. Furthermore, there’s three lab work assignments that you have to complete in duos which are pass/fail.

Overall, the course material is quite broad and covers many algorithms. You do have to be good at remembering for the exam. Though the content of the exam has changed quite a bit in recent years. It used to be remembering all the way, now it’s mainly applying algorithms. Still you have to be able to distinguish all the algorithms and remember what they’re used for. If that is not one of your strong suits, I would not recommend this course.

Personally, I really liked it. The study load was well-balanced and I really learned a lot of new stuff. This course gave me some intuition how to handle real-life problems when working with distributed systems. I would recommend this course if you think the material is interesting!

Software Verification

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course at the same time as the Distributed Algorithms and the semi self-paced semester course Web Science and Engineering in the second quarter of the first year of my MSc Computer Science. SV is one of the smaller courses. Something you should definitely know before starting this is that it’s mostly self-paced. There is a proposed schedule and there are two lab sessions per week in a flipped classroom style. Personally, flipped-classroom does not work for me and I just studied the course fully self-paced with the book and the assignments, which are both really good. The workload was around 14 hours per week, sometimes more, sometimes less.

The material of the course focuses on proving theorems in a similar way as we’ve seen in the Reasoning and Logic in the BSc (if you’ve studied that at TUD). It uses a language called Lean to do this (which is inconvenient for searching on Google). If you’d like to take a look at the material, the book is open-source and can be found here.

So to study this course, I would recommend curiosity, a fondness for puzzling and self-discipline. That will make sure you can keep up with the material, which you will need for the final project, which is an individual assignment. There’s multiple projects available and you can choose yourself. Per project there’s also different levels of difficulty with corresponding grades, up to an 8. Bonus points can be earned with the report.

During the course, you can ask questions to TAs, the teacher, and fellow students through Mattermost. I recommend to make ample use of this, it’s really valuable to help you understand what you are doing. This is one of the courses where you can get stuck at one problem for hours, and then suddenly progress a lot. I personally really liked this, this entire course was like a puzzle to me and, like Stefan, I like puzzles!

Quarter 3

Software Architecture

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

In the third quarter of my master, I only took two courses, of which Software Architecture was one. Software Architecture is a core course for the Software Technology track, which is one reason why I chose it.

The course mainly consists of a project that you carry out in groups of four students. In this project, we had to choose a big software platform that wasn’t open-source, like Twitter or Spotify. Our project focused on Uber ride-hailing. We had to dissect the inner workings of the platform to discover which architecture was probably used to design it. Then, we had to come up with four alternatives for this, using the course material.

Overall, this wasn’t my favourite course in terms of the material and I did not learn a whole lot of new theory. However, the project was nice to do and to me the expectations were clear. This did depend on your TA though, as I heard not everyone has had the same experience as me.

As for study load, the project was not too difficult. We had to keep track of our hours in a personal log and I reached somewhere between 10 – 18 hours each week, with an average of 13,5 hours per week. This is roughly equivalent to the 5 ECTS (14 hrs/week) that the course should take!

Overall, if you need an extra (core) course in your study planning or want to take a project course that does not take more time than it should, I would recommend this course. If you want a challenging course and want to learn a lot of theory, I would not say this one is for you.

Sustainable Software Engineering

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

In the third quarter of my master, I only took two courses, of which Sustainable Software Engineering was one. Since both of these courses are project courses, I did not have any exams this quarter, which is a nice extra.

This course, as the name implies, focuses on sustainability, which is something that is becoming more and more important in the world, but sometimes lacking within computer science. This is one of the main reasons I chose the course, since sustainability is something that concerns me in daily life. By definition, sustainability covers five main perspectives: environmental, social, individual, economic, technical. This course focuses on the first three [course website].

The grade of the course is determined by a few things: The essay for the first project (30%), software and essay for project two (60%) and presentations (15%). This is what it said on the website of the course, but I am not sure where the final 5% went. The projects and their content can be found on the course website as well (linked above).

The study load of the course was not too high, but it wasn’t a super easy course either. Overall, I really liked it, especially since it has a bit more societal impact than other courses. I would recommend this course to everyone.

Quarter 4

Seminar Cyber Security

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course next to a multimedia course that has been discontinued by now and Evolutionary Algorithms. I did not do any other Cyber Security courses, but I needed a seminar course and had a spot in Q4 in my study planning. This course is suitable to take if you do not have any cyber security experience, and was actually quite fun.

The grading is done by an essay (60%), assignments (30%), and presence and level of participation (10%). The essay is the most important and is a short paper about a cyber security research topic, it’s basically a research proposal. You have to present it at the end of the course, which leads to your grade. Something to mention: The lectures are (semi-)mandatory, you get a grade for participation, so asking questions will improve it.

I quite liked the course, it did not take too much time and was quite doable. The only remark I have is that the communication from the teachers about the assignments and essay was quite bad and took a long time, which lead to more workload during the last weeks. This has been discussed with the teachers and should not happen again.

Evolutionary Algorithms

Merel Steenbergen, MSc CS, 2022-2023

I took this course next to a multimedia course that has been discontinued by now and the Cyber Security Seminar course. I would definitely recommend some prior knowledge about algorithms, as the course is quite high-paced.

It consists of lectures, WebLab exercises, a project and an exam. The project and exam count for your grade. I really liked the lectures of this course. Usually, I cannot concentrate for that long on someone presenting, but during this course, I had no trouble concentrating at all. The lectures were also very useful for gaining more insight in the material and understanding it better.

This was one of my favourite courses so far, I might even want to do my thesis in this area. The only part I did not necessarily like was the project, as it increased the workload massively towards the end of the course. The exercises and exam were great for testing knowledge and the material was really challenging and fun to work through.

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone that is still in doubt!

Systems Security

Sven van der Voort, MSc CS, 2022-2023

My name is Sven van der Voort and I followed the Systems Security course in Q4 of the 2022/2023 academic year. This was one of the final courses that I took as part of the master Computer Science, at the end of my second year as a master student

The prerequisites listed for this course are Security and Cryptography, Network Security and a bachelor level Operating Systems course. I agree with the first and the third requirement, however I started the course without having done Network Security and this posed no problems, as long as you have a solid (bachelor) background in computer networks.

The Systems Security course discusses several security considerations when developing embedded systems, for example IoT devices. Concepts like physical security, architectural security, encryption, secure data storage and reverse engineering are discussed during the lectures and practiced with during the lab sessions. In the lab sessions you get hands-on experience with the aforementioned topics, usually by implementing a real attack on a dummy device or web service (e.g. an ESP32 device). The lab is done in pairs and has weekly deadlines and most assignments take at least 8 hours to complete, even with two people per team so don’t start too late! At the end of the course there is a written exam that assesses your knowledge of the lectures and the labs.

The course is taught in collaboration with University of Technology Twente meaning that half of the lectures and labs are taught in Delft and half of them in Twente. The labs and lectures in Twente can be followed online and it is not necessary to travel to Twente.

Personal experience Personally I found the labs to be the most valuable part of the Systems Security course, since you actually have to implement the attacks and run into all sorts of nitty gritty details. Besides, it is actually a lot of fun to hack the dummy devices and very fulfilling when you finally manage to break the system. The workload of about 16 hours per week is accurate for a 5EC course.

The main pain point of the course was the poor organisation and communication. Since the course a collaboration between Delft and Twente, we needed to register as ‘bijvakstudent’ (extra courses student) with UTwente, which took a lot of extra time at the start of the course. Furthermore the lab assignments from Delft were a lot more vague/open-ended than labs from Twente. However don’t let this discourage you from taking the course.

Systems Security is an interesting course with lots of opportunities to learn, especially from the weekly lab assignments.


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