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About me

I am a third year PhD student studying applied mathematics at UCLA.



Geometric Scattering on Measure Spaces

arXiv preprint, 2022

Recommended citation: Chew, J.A.; Hirn, M.; Krishnaswamy, S.; Needell, D.; Perlmutter, M.; Steach, H.R.; Viswanath, S.; Wu, H.-T. Geometric Scattering on Measure Spaces. Submitted for publication, 2022. Online access


Applying to graduate school

My thoughts

One of the most important parts of applying to graduate school is identifying why you want to apply. What areas of mathematics interest you? Why go on to grad school instead of applying for a job elsewhere?
Since I was applying for the NSF GRFP, which was due in mid-October, I prepared my GRFP application first, then modified it for my graduate school applications. This was extraordinarily helpful for me, since it meant that the bulk of my graduate school applications were essentially finished by mid-October.
I found forums such as GradCafe very unhelpful in many respects, including actually putting together my applications and my mental health.

Timing and identifying programs

In August before my senior year, I put together a spreadsheet with all the programs I was interested in, application fees, deadlines, links to the program website and application portal, whether or not the program required the GRE (general or subject), how many recommendation letters were required, and the names of 3-5 faculty I was interested in working for. Looking for faculty in this way helped narrow down my list.


My thoughts

For me, the most important part of preparing to write my application was carefully reading the entire solicitation for the NSF GRFP that year. In my drafts for my personal statement and research statement, I kept key phrases and directions from the solicitation to make sure I was on track.
When writing the personal statement, the key for me was identifying the story I wanted to tell about my career. How did all of my past experiences move me towards what I wanted to do in graduate school and beyond? This was the question I sought to answer in all sections of this statement.
When writing the research statement, I drew heavily upon the REU I participated in during the summer before my senior year. While I think it is true that the NSF “funds the person, not the project”, it’s important to propose a project that is:

  • appropriate for 5-6 years
  • structured enough to have distinct milestones
  • suited to your background (If this is not clear, write a thorough and convincing background section. Actually, do that regardless.)
  • compelling in both intellectual merit and broader impacts
    • how is this work filling a knowledge gap?
    • what applications/future directions could come from this project?
    • who can be involved in this work besides yourself?



Math 151A

Undergraduate course, UCLA, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

Math 31AL

Undergraduate course, UCLA, Winter 2022

Math 31B

Undergraduate course, UCLA, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Math 31B

Undergraduate course, UCLA, Fall 2021