My able to spend a month working on the

My name is Tiago, I hold a master’s degree in applied mathematics, an undergraduate
degree in chemical engineering, and my general interest in the mathematical modelling of
complex physical systems, often coming from physical chemistry or chemical engineering
applications. I am also keen on learning and applying new techniques and modelling trends
to these systems.
During high school, I went to a technical and vocational school called ORT, which had a very
solid basic education in science in general. There, I had ample exposure to chemistry
laboratories and experimental procedures, earning a technical degree in biotechnology. ORT
is an international network of schools based originally in Israel, so it had a partnership with
the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rechovot, Israel, a world-renowned institute for higher
education. In this partnership, two students from the senior year would be selected to spend
a short summer term in the institute, under close supervision of a mentor, to work in a
summer project in one of the institute’s laboratories. The selection consisted in a written
exam and an interview, both in english, and through this partnership I was able to spend a
month working on the project “synthesis and applications of conductive polymers” at
Weizmann’s department of organic chemistry.
These experiences consolidated my desire of continuing my study of chemistry in college,
thus, in 2009, I enrolled in a chemical engineering course in the Federal University of Rio de
Janeiro (UFRJ), the oldest and most traditional higher education institution in Brazil. The
chemical engineering course is also very selective, having one of the courses with the lowest
acceptance rate of applicants in Brazil, since the department has strong ties with the
petrochemical sector and with Brazil’s state oil company, Petrobras.
Thanks to the technical education I received at ORT, I was able to excel at the initial
mathematics curriculum of the chemical engineering course. This sparked in me a stronger
interest in mathematics, which made me go beyond the required courses for an engineering
degree. I started taking elective courses in the mathematics, eventually receiving a
temporary stipend from the mathematics department and taking graduate level courses,
while still pursuing my undergraduate degree. I was always a person with broad academic
interests, and so I regarded my undegraduate studies as an opportunity to pursue them,
going beyond what was required.
I often participated in short summer courses (e.g. monte carlo methods for chemical
engineering), and I worked as an undergraduate research assistant in two projects during
my time at UFRJ. One of them was in a theoretical chemistry laboratory, in which I defined
my interest in physical chemistry and numerical simulations, and the other one was in the
mathematics department in the study of the Boltzmann equation of statistical mechanics, for
which I received a bronze medal at the undergraduate research fair in the National Institute
for Pure and Applied mathematics.
Lastly, I was able to participate in an exchange program financed by the Brazilian
government, called “Science without Borders” at the undergraduate level. The program
sought to send high-ranking students to renowned international institutions, and so I spent
two semesters taking core chemical engineering courses at the university of Minnesota (e.g.  Thermodynamics, mass transfer, heat and momentum transfer, and so forth) maintaining a
3.6 GPA, and one short summer term (3 months) taking courses at Stanford Univeristy.
All these experiences motivated me to pursue an academic career, and I believed a degree
in applied mathematics would give me a solid mathematical foundation, which I could later
apply in computational problems in chemistry and engineering. Due to the exchange
program and extra coursework I pursued, I finished my undergraduate studies later than the
usual timeframe, in 2016 with a GPA of 3.4, but since I had already taken some graduate
level courses, I was able to finish my masters degree in august of 2017 with high grades,
which awarded me a merit based scholarship during 2017.
I believe a Ph.D. in applied science, as in chemical engineering, is an opportunity to develop
and my mathematical modelling skills, applying them to relevant industrial problems. Yale
has state of the art facilities for numerical simulations, and its faculty has strong ties to
industrial partners, making it a optimal choice for students interested in this area. One of my
interests would be the modelling of oil reservoirs, which spans physical phenomena in a
wide range of scales, from multiphase fluid flow to the modelling of chemical reactions in
atomistic simulations, and has profound economic and environmental impact on society. A
prospective supervisor for me in this area would be for instance professor Firoozabadi.
To summarize, I have a keen interest in mathematics, and how it can be used to gain insight
in natural phenomena. I also have an interest in physical chemistry, and so a natural
research avenue for me is in the modelling of complex chemical systems, which can serve
both as a motivation for developing new modelling techniques, or as a goal in order to solve
important real-life problems. It would be an honor to study at Yale’s chemical engineering
department, and I have no doubt that the skills acquired during the Ph.D. will prove
invaluable when I return to Brazil and start my work as a researcher.