Meet KAUST prospective student: Miguel Ángel Álvarez Ballesteros

KAUST AMCS M.S./Ph.D. student Miguel Ángel Álvarez Ballesteros.
-By Taruna Rapaka

Miguel Ángel Álvarez Ballesteros is a physics graduate from the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. Miguel will join KAUST this fall as a M.S./Ph.D. candidate and member of the KAUST Computational Probability research group under the supervision of Professor Ajay Jasra.

What was your main subject during your undergraduate degree? Why did you choose it?

My main subject during my undergraduate was cosmology; I chose it because one of my biggest passions is related to the fundamental laws of physics. And cosmology offers an optimal frame of work to find them.

Why have you chosen to study M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?

I have several reasons for choosing KAUST; one of them is the excellent faculty members, the best I have seen in my relatively short experience. The other reason is the balance between study, work and recreation, which is impressive. The University provides all kinds of facilities, activities, courses and amenities to enjoy a pleasant experience.

When did your interest in applied mathematics and computational sciences arise? What are your research interests?

With the help of science, I am amazed by how different processes can be optimized and improved greatly with so little effort Modeling different systems, learning from them and predicting different outcomes is exciting for me. My research interests include Monte Carlo algorithms and exploring its applications.

What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?

I have several hobbies, including reading, watching movies, hiking, swimming and playing videogames, among others. I also enjoy long walks and exploring new fields of knowledge and science.

What is your future outlook?

In the near future, I plan to use all of the resources that KAUST offers to grow as a person and a scientist. In the mid future, after finishing my Ph.D., I want to pursue a track obtaining jobs related to investigation. I also do not entirely rule out the possibility of working in the industry and applying my knowledge directly.

Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?

Scientific investigation in KAUST is developed in many areas, which makes exploring the University’s different projects and research an easy task. If you find something that you are passionate about it that will help you in getting accepted to KAUST.