Passion for mathematics: science changed the life of an FGV EMAp student who received a Top España scholarship

João Lucas has been fascinated by mathematics since he was a child. What most captivates him about this science is the way it changes one’s way of thinking, living and establishing fundamental connections that permeate all human knowledge. His great passion has resulted in countless awards that he collected throughout his adolescence
Mathematics
17 December 2020
Passion for mathematics: science changed the life of an FGV EMAp student who received a Top España scholarship

João Lucas Duim grew up in a rural area of Minas Gerais, excelled in several mathematics Olympiads in his youth, passed one of Brazil’s toughest university entrance exams and is now set to study in Spain. This 18-old-year has just completed his second semester at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ School of Applied Mathematics (FGV EMAp) and he has won a scholarship from Santander, giving him the opportunity to study for three weeks at the University of Salamanca.

“I’m extremely happy to have been awarded the Santander Top España Scholarship. My trip is scheduled for July 2021. It’ll be my first time abroad. I look forward to having this new experience, learning about the Spanish language and culture, and making friends from around the world,” he says.

João Lucas has been fascinated by mathematics since he was a child. What most captivates him about this science is the way it changes one’s way of thinking, living and establishing fundamental connections that permeate all human knowledge. His great passion has resulted in countless awards that he collected throughout his adolescence.

“In the sixth year of elementary school, I was introduced to the world of the Science Olympiads. My first contact was with OBMEP and OBA. That year, I won bronze at OBMEP and was invited to participate in PIC at UFJF the following year. I had the opportunity to delve into a very attractive and fun type of mathematics, but in that first year, I had no internet at home and to submit the tasks I had to go across the field to get a phone signal. That same year, my dream came true when I won gold at OBMEP,” he says in his letter of introduction sent to Top España.

At the end of this trajectory in student Olympiads, João Lucas won awards in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, the earth sciences, astronomy and robotics. His talent caught the attention of Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Center for the Development of Mathematics and Sciences (FGV CDMC). Founded in 2017, this center aims to identify young talents with a special ability to learn mathematics in order to offer them the possibility of taking FGV’s undergraduate and graduate courses.

“I got to know FGV EMAp when I was offered a scholarship by CDMC, which invited me to take the entrance exam because of the medals I won at the Brazilian Mathematics Olympiad for Public Schools (OBMEP). CDMC provided me with a full scholarship and also financial aid so I could live in Rio de Janeiro,” João Lucas says.

The undergraduate student explains that his experience with mathematics led to an interest in various other areas of knowledge, and that made his decision to study at FGV EMAp natural. According to him, the school balances pure mathematics subjects with applications in a wide array of areas, many of which have not even been discovered.

“I am absolutely sure that everything I have achieved to date has been due to my passion for mathematics. I can’t imagine myself any other way. Mathematics completely changed my life! It’s impossible to put into words how these opportunities shaped my personality, my experiences, my way of facing life’s problems and seeking solutions, and above all my way of dreaming and seeking to make my dreams come true. I am one of countless witnesses to how dedication to studies can transform lives in unimaginable ways, and my gratitude for everything and everyone involved in this trajectory, which made so many dreams possible, is immeasurable. In particular, I am grateful to FGV EMAp and CDMC for allowing me to dream and achieve,” he says.

The objective of the Top España Program is to provide opportunities to experience a foreign culture, offering participants the chance to take a course at the University of Salamanca, thereby enhancing academic relations between Brazil and Spain. As well as João Lucas Duim, Professor Thomaz Wood Junior of the Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP) also received a scholarship and he will participate in the program in 2021.

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