Texas A&M University mathematician Paulo Lima-Filho points to himself as evidence that Americans more frequently will find themselves competing for jobs with a global population. Although a U.S. citizen, the newly named associate dean for international programs in the Texas A&M College of Science is a native of Brazil.

Lima-Filho, who joined the Texas A&M faculty as an assistant mathematics professor in 1993, has been serving since July 1 in his new role focused on strengthening and expanding the international experiences of undergraduate students and faculty members throughout the college.

"There is intense global competition in the scientific arena," he said. "Being able to see how other countries and cultures focus on the same area of expertise can be instrumental to the success of our students. Especially with the push we have seen recently toward globalization, our students will certainly benefit greatly by seeing how things are going elsewhere."

Lima-Filho said the college already has an impressive international reputation, claiming nearly half of Texas A&M's distinguished professors, the highest faculty rank bestowed to researchers who are considered to be among the elite in their fields worldwide. In addition to having a diverse faculty representing countries throughout the world, the college boasts graduate students who frequently have experience working as key members of international collaborations, Lima-Filho noted.

But in his new role, Lima-Filho is charged with expanding that chance to connect globally to the college's undergraduates, primarily through study-abroad programs and promoting joint initiatives with foreign institutions, according to Dean of Science H. Joseph Newton. The college's effort is in the spirit of a university-wide plan to provide Texas A&M undergraduates with richer and more plentiful international experiences, Newton said.

"We are indeed fortunate to have a person of Paulo's knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to help the college's efforts to provide international experiences to students at all levels," Newton added.

Beyond undergraduates, Lima-Filho also hopes to better facilitate and connect the college's faculty members with research opportunities at institutions worldwide. In his native Brazil, for instance, he said the government has extensive research incentives for international researchers who collaborate with its institutions.

"That needs to be broadcast better to the faculty here," he said. "Texas A&M also has a long history of collaborations in Mexico and KAUST in Saudi Arabia. Those are pretty well-known. But we want to make sure our faculty get that information even for opportunities that aren't as well-known."

Lima-Filho said he is looking forward to speaking with the college's faculty or anyone else who has ideas about any international efforts for the college.

In addition to his new college-wide role, Lima-Filho has served since 2012 as the associate head for operations and undergraduate programs in the Department of Mathematics. He also had been a graduate adviser for the department from 2006 to 2012.

Born in the Brazilian state of Pernambruco, Lima-Filho earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics before coming to the U.S. to earn his doctorate from Stony Brook University in New York in 1989. He was a member of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University and a Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago prior to his appointment in Texas A&M Mathematics.

To learn more about his teaching, research and service, visit http://www.math.tamu.edu/~paulo.lima-filho/.


Contact: Vimal Patel, (979) 845-7246 or vpatel@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Paulo Lima-Filho, (979) 845-1981 or lima-filho@tamu.edu

Patel Vimal

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