-By Taruna Rapaka
Cristian Felipe Jiménez Varón is an applied mathematics graduate who will join KAUST from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales (UNAL), Colombia. He also holds dual bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering and chemical engineering from UNAL.
Jiménez Varón will join KAUST in the fall of 2020 as a Ph.D. candidate in the KAUST Environmental Statistics research group under the supervision of Professor Ying Sun. KAUST's world-class faculty researchers, its high-level research centers and multiculturality encouraged Cristian to pursue his Ph.D. at the University.
What was your main subject during your master's degree? Why did you choose it?
My major during my master's was applied mathematics. From there, I worked on dynamic models by using non-smooth dynamical systems. I chose dynamical systems because I noticed that many existing mathematical models use this mathematical field of study. Models found in economic problems, bioinformatics, energy and climate attracted my attention.
When did your interest in statistics arise? What are your research interests?
While pursuing my master's degree, I noticed how the correct understanding of data is a very relevant input in the mathematical modeling of significant world problems. After finishing my master's degree, I joined research projects at Universidad Autónoma de Manizales (UAM), where I worked as an auxiliary professor in the department of physics and mathematics. I also took part in research projects related to mathematical and statistics, including bioinformatics, economic growth, and mechanical systems.
My current research interests are the analysis of large volumes of data, statistical modeling and environmental statistics.
What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?
In my spare time, I enjoy sharing time with my family and meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds. My greatest passion after mathematics and statistics is languages. I love learning new languages and the cultures they introduce. I am not a very sporty person; however, I like activities at sea.
What is your future outlook?
I'm delighted to move to KAUST and Saudi Arabia. I feel that the next few years will be quite enriching for my career and professional future. There are many exciting challenges ahead and many opportunities to be part of high-level teams. I am sure this opportunity will be a crucial step in my academic and research future.