Maastricht University (UM) is the youngest Dutch university. The UM is centered on the slogan “Leading in Learning” and its most defining factor is Problem Based Learning (PBL). In a PBL environment students are personally responsible for their academic education. In small tutorial groups, they analyze problems that are also central to the research carried out at Maastricht University. They conduct discussions, exchange knowledge and formulate their learning goals as a group. This motivates them to do research themselves.
The UM has been seeing a large and steady growth, and has been selected as one of the best universities in the Netherlands by the Ministry of Education.
Knowledge Engineering (KE) is the engineering discipline that is involved with the integration of knowledge into computer systems in order to solve complex problems which normally require a high level of human expertise. The study is intensely related to subjects like mathematical logic, artificial intelligence, data mining, machine learning, decision support systems, knowledge management and cognitive sciences.
The primary computer languages taught are Java and Matlab. Furthermore, Prolog and C(++) are optional. Also, LaTeX is taught. In contrast to the standard PBL system at Maastricht University, Knowledge Engineering has devised an alternative learning approach, called Project Centered Learning (PCL). PCL is based on the philosophy of working within a small group. Fellow students work together for one semester on different phases of a single project. Some examples of projects include traffic simulation, ECG separation, multi-agent surveillance systems and speaker recognition.
Artificial Intelligence is the discipline concerned with the development and application of intelligent systems possessing abilities such as learning, reasoning and collaborating. Key research areas include machine learning, information retrieval, intelligent search techniques and multi-agent systems.
Operations Research is the discipline concerned with optimization and decision making, using applied mathematical tools and models. Key research areas include signal processing, mathematical modeling and simulation, bioinformatics and evolutionary game theory.