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Fundamentals of Modelling and Data Analysis


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree Leiden University and TU Delft).


Industrial ecology relies on mathematical models and involves the processing of potentially large datasets. Modelling is the art of developing a simplified description of a problem that is complex enough to capture its relevant features and yet simple enough to be manageable and yield measurable predictions. Data analysis is the art of collecting information and processing it to return meaningful visualizations and model results. The language of modelling is mathematics and the tool of data analysis is programming. Both go hand in hand and are essential skills that will help you in your life as an industrial ecologist.

Throughout the course we will cover various types of models and tools and illustrate their application to problems such as: Will the world run out of oil? How many people can the earth support? Have some countries faked their GHG inventory reports? A computer language is not only an interface to control the computer, it is also an unambiguous description of the data structures and algorithms applied in research. In this course, you will learn to use the programming language Python for scientific work, especially for analysing and visualising datasets that are relevant for Industrial Ecology. You will need a laptop and Python, which is available for all operating systems. The IDE Spyder is advised, but any alternative will do.


Because this course is part of a joint degree between Leiden University and TU Delft, students (also guest and exchange) have to be enrolled in both universities.

All students have to enrol for the course via Brightspace, TU Delft (before the start of the course) and for the exam via uSis, Leiden University. (see:

Students who are not enrolled for the MSc Industrial Ecology, have to ask for permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology to join this course, at least one month before the start of the course.

Exchange students can only enroll for this course if their home university has an Exchange agreement with both Leiden University and TU Delft. Exchange students have to ask permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology as soon as possible, preferably six months before the start of the course.


More information and the description of the course is published in the e-studyguide of TU Delft.