Next Generation Scholars in Applied Mathematics

The Next Gen. SAM project provides outstanding seniors and graduate students from low-income  backgrounds critical resources to earn a Masters degree in Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics. This includes financial support in the form of scholarships, personalized academic mentoring and counseling, peer support, and professional development advice.

Information for prospective SAMs
What is Applied Mathematics?

Applied Mathematics is the branch of Mathematics that is concerned with solving "real-life" problems arising in the context of research & development in the industry and in academia. It begins by casting the questions in a mathematical framework (a "model") and then uses various mathematical (and computational) tools to study the model. From that, we can make predictions, or infer some non-trivial properties of the real-life problem. 

The various mathematical tools used in Applied Mathematics include topics taught at the lower-division and upper division undergraduate level, such as ordinary and partial differential equations, linear algebra, probability theory, dynamical systems, numerical analysis, visualization, and many others. At the graduate level, applied mathematicians usually specialize in various sub-disciplines, including (but not limited to) mathematical finance, mathematical biology, control theory, fluid dynamics, numerical analysis, optimization, stochastic modeling, high-performance computing, etc.



Why pursue a graduate degree in Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics

Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics are becoming integral components of any state-of-the-art quantitative investigation in biology and medicine, business, finance, engineering, Earth sciences, physics and astrophysics, chemistry, and many other related areas. A graduate degree in Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics opens the doors to a variety of careers (e.g., research, teaching, finance, research and development in the industry, national research labs), as described in this informational page from SIAM.


Students pursuing a graduate degree in Applied Mathematics have a much higher chance of successfully securing interesting, well-paid careers than students with a B.S. only. This video describes the Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics MS. program at UCSC, and possible career paths this could open the door to. 


The Next Gen. SAM program

The Next Generation Scholars in Applied Mathematics program is designed to help low-income students succesfully complete the SciCAM MS program, and launch them in their desired career. This video describes the Next Gen. SAM program and the holistic approach it takes in helping students realize their goals. 


For more information on the program, please contact Pascale Garaud (

The 4+1 pathway to SciCAM

This pathway enables students currently working towards undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics, to take preparatory courses as juniors and seniors that ideally prepare them for the MS degree in Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics (SciCAM). With this preparation, students can complete their MS in just 1 year. 

The Next Gen. SAMs

The Next Generation Scholars in Applied Mathematics (Next Gen. SAM) program provides outstanding students in the 4+1 pathway to SciCAM with scholarships totalling up to $10,000 per year in their senior year and MS year to help them overcome any financial barrier they may have towards completing their graduate degree. The program also provides professional counseling, mentoring, career placement advice, and many other forms of support to ensure that every SAM thrives at UCSC and beyond. 

Information for current SAMs

During their tenure as Next Gen. Scholars in Applied Mathematics, students will be automatically be members of the MESA Engineering Program (MEP) at the Baskin School of Engineering. The MEP provides a variety of academic and personal support to encourage the academic success of aspiring engineering students many of whom are first in their family to attend college, or from family backgrounds of limited financial resources. 

More resources

Navigate the tabs below to find various resources for existing SAM students (note that some of these are only accessible to scholars of the program).