Faculty and Counselour

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Alex Frenkel

PhD Student, Stanford University

Alex is currently a grad student studying Quantum Gravity and String Theory, primarily based at Stanford University, but also spending a lot of time at the University of Cambridge in the UK. His primary research interests are in how the fabric of spacetime emerges from strongly interacting with chaotic quantum systems, and in the nature of black hole microstates within these systems. At Sigma this year he will teach two semi-labs: one on Cosmology (the study of the History and eventual fate of our Universe) and one on black holes and how people think about them from both a classical and a quantum perspective. Alex is always very approachable, especially if you want to chat about physics or hear him rant about tennis.

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Alexei Tkachenko

Theory & Computation, Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY

Alexei Tkachenko is a theoretical physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory working on nanoscience and in the field called soft condensed matter. He studies problems that range from from living matter (DNA, proteins, membranes) to nanoparticles, plastics and even sand.

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Ali Tahzibi

Full Professor of Mathematics, ICMC/USP

Ali Tahzibi, did his undergraduate in Mathematics at Sharif University of Technology (Tehran) in 1998 and PhD in Mathematics in the field of Dynamical Systems and Ergodic Theory at IMPA (Rio de Janeiro) in 2002. He contributed as one of the coordinators of the IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad) in 2013.
He is a full professor at the University of São Paulo (campus São Carlos) from 2015 and has been an invited visiting professor in Uruguay, Portugal and France. He is also a senior associate member of ICTP in Trieste-Italy. He organized several conferences in Dynamical systems and research experience for undergraduate students. He also has an outreach project "Mathematics for people from 9 to 99 years old" where he tries to involve students and the general public in deep mathematics using simple language.

Ana Carolina de Mattos Zeri

Ana Carolina de Mattos Zeri

Professor, ILUM/CNPEM

Ana received her PhD degree in Chemistry from UCSD (CA/USA) in 2003, after receiving master's degrees in chemistry and physics, from UPenn (PA/USA), and USP (SP/BR) in 2000 and 1997, respectively. Her research work has encompassed hardware development for biophysical studies, with emphasis on optical tweezers and NMR spectrocopy hardware development, and applications of NMR spectroscopy, Xray crystallography and other techniques to biological systems. A researcher at CNPEM since 2006, she has worked at the Brazilian Biosciences and at the Synchrotron Light National Laboratories, and is currently a professor at Ilum Science School at CNPEM. Ana teaches about biophysics and biochemistry, and coordinates the research activities the students perform at CNPEM as part of the school's academic program.


Anar Amgalan

Postdoctoral Researcher at University of South California

Postdoctoral scholar in the University of Southern California, Anar is a neuroscientist. His background in Physics and Mathematics helps him solve computational problems arising in the human brain at scales from a single neuron to the entire brain network. He also tries to predict what happens to our brains as we age. In the past, he taught the Codes and Ciphers semilab. This year he will be teaching a semilab on games and how to play your best against the best possible opponent.

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Andrey Boris Khesin

Graduate Student, MIT

Andrey has been at SigmaCamp since the very beginning. He is working on his PhD in Math at MIT. Andrey is always open to chatting about Math, Physics, or Computer Science! He greatly enjoys board games, puzzles, square dancing, and Contra. He also tries to find time to play guitar, so if you want to jam together, just let him know! Andrey’s research is in Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Theory. He is investigating how to efficiently present quantum error-correcting codes in an understandable manner.

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Arthur Rabello

Undergraduate, FGV

Recent High School Graduate and Science Enthusiast I'm Arthur Rabello, a recent high school graduate with a passion for science and a knack for excelling in competitions. I've proudly earned over 12 medals in various science competitions in Brazil,such as math, physics, astronomy, and more. I've completed courses at UFAL, delving into subjects like linear algebra, abstract algebra, real analysis, and calculus, setting the stage for my academic journey. As part of the "Seleção de Talentos FGV-CDMC 2023" program, I had the privilege of further exploring my academic interests. Languages are another fascination of mine, and I currently speak four fluently. I'm adding Mandarin Chinese to my repertoire as I believe in the power of language to connect and understand the world better. When I'm not immersed in the world of academia, you'll find me practicing Karate-Do Shotokan, a discipline that keeps me physically and mentally engaged. In my free time, I switch gears to music, playing the guitar or bass,. I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and am eager to continue my journey of learning and exploration.

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Daniel Salkinder

Undergraduate, Harvard

Daniel is a college freshman intending to study Pure Math and Physics (in that order), but he also loves to learn new things in Linguistics, Chemistry, and Computer Science, debate Psychology, Philosophy, and Technology. Daniel has been at Sigma forever, and around the camp he can be found helping with the board games, running original escape rooms, or poorly playing the saxophone in the chamber concert. He cannot wait to be a counselor again and meet everyone at Sigma 2024!

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Daniil Lukin

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

Daniil’s PhD work was related to making nanoscale optical structures and manipulating quantum states of individual atoms, with the goal of contributing to the worldwide effort of making optical quantum computers. He is currently continuing along the same lines as a postdoc. When he goes to Sigma, Daniil likes to bring with him various tech contraptions so we can take them apart. He doesn’t know yet what campers will be breaking into this year. Together with Melissa Guidry, I teach the Optics semilab. This year, we will be using light to do measurements and computations, in particular, image processing using Fourier transforms.

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Dimas Ferreira

Academic Director at ESEG – Etapa Group College

With a career spanning over 40 years, he's made his mark across various sectors, teaming up with both global corporations and family-run businesses. His wide-ranging experience goes from engineering functions to leadership roles, including that of a CEO. Plus, he's got experience in some interesting fields like making electric cables, the petrochemical industry, machinery for the food industry, graphic packaging, consulting, and education. He is Electrical Engineer from UNIFEI, MBA from FIA/USP and Executive Development from Wharton School. Top Hobbies? He's a marathon runner and enjoys cooking.

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Edmilson Motta

Academic Director at ETAPA

My name is Edmilson Motta. I have been involved in Science Olympiads for 35 years. I was in 18 IMOs (International Mathematical Olympiad), the most traditional academic competition in the world for high school students, as one of the leaders of the Brazilian team or as one of those in charge of grading the papers. In particular, I was chairman of IMO 2017 - Rio de Janeiro. I have a great interest in the connection between such events and the highest level of scientific research, being one of team responsible at a global level for analyzing the topics that should be explored at IMO. In my lecture, I will talk about my reflections on this trends. In fact, I am passionate about Education at its various levels - I am currently the academic director of the Sistema Etapa. In my free time I follow chess tournaments and try new board games. The connection between puzzles and Mathematics also delights me. My interest in the area ended up getting me involved in the organization of the Rubik's Cube World Cup in Brazil in 2015. I also love running (not maratons!) and watching volleyball games.

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Eduardo Quintella Florêncio

3D printing and 3D modeling specialist and PhD Student, PPGMateriais, UFAL

Eduardo is currently pursuing a doctorate in materials, with research focused on additive manufacturing with lightweight concrete. He also collaborates at the UFAL’s Technology Innovation Center (EDGE) in design for additive manufacturing for industrial automation applications, participating in various projects in different areas such as health, agriculture, visual inspection, among others. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in 3D modeling, rendering and animation and is currently working on the creation of scenes and props for cinematic and interactive environments in game engines.

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Elena Yakubovskaya

Research Scientist, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University

Lena is a molecular biologist. The primary subject of her interest is the protein-DNA interactions, and Lena has studied many of them using such state-of-the-art techniques as X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and various spectroscopic methods. However, during her work, Lena came to the conclusion that even the most sophisticated device does not make you smarter: Despite the stunning technological progress, humans’ own brains are still their most powerful tool. The thing Lena likes the most is the company of intellectually like-minded people. Lena and her friends got together every summer to talk about science, art, and music. Then they realized that their group would be incomplete without a young generation, so they invited motivated and talented kids to join their company, which they called Sigma. We are inviting you to become a part of our community!

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Fernanda Andrade

High school senior at Colégio Etapa

This year I'm applying to Brazilian, American and Canadian universities as an electrical engineering major. I spend most of my time in the robotics lab, developing new robots for robotics competitions or developing social good projects. In my free time, I love to solo sail around.

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Fernando Fernandes


Fernando Fernandes Neto is a Senior Researcher in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Founded Indrema in 2014, a Brazilian AI/big data company and one of the leaders of the OpenSource Group "Cognitive Computations" (a leading research group on Large Language Models). Holds a PhD in Systems Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo, MBA in Quantitative Finance and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from FGV. His passions are his little child Augusto, Machine Learning, Fourier/Hadamard Transforms, Linear Algebra, Stochastic Calculus and LLMs.

Flávio Abdenur

Flávio Abdenur


Flávio Abdenur is an economist from PUC-Rio and holds a doctorate in mathematics from IMPA, having completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord. He worked for about 10 years as an academic mathematician, first at UFRJ, then at IMPA, and finally at PUC-Rio. He then moved to the private sector, where he was, in chronological order, a risk analyst for a macro fund, co-founder of a data science consulting firm, and a partner at XP Investimentos, acting as an analyst-manager of a quant HFT group. Today, he is the head of a buy-side quant team in the treasury of BTG Pactual.

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Gabriel Pedrosa

High school senior at Colégio Etapa

During my journey as an Etapa student, I have enjoyed studying both Physics (specially Electromagnetism at an Olympic level) and Robotics (including Programming and AI). These experiences have allowed me to develop a familiarity with Math concepts like calculus and linear algebra. Finally, I really, really love cats.

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Gabriel R. Schleder

Research Scientist, LNNano/CNPEM

Gabriel Schleder has a bachelor's degree in Materials Engineering from the Universidade Federal do ABC, where he also received a master's degree in 2017 and a PhD in 2021 in Nanosciences and Advanced Materials. He was recognized with the Best Brazilian Thesis Award 2022 in the interdisciplinary area from CAPES and with the José Leite Lopes Best Thesis Award from the Brazilian Physics Society in 2023. During his doctorate he worked as a collaborator at the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano) in Campinas, and between 2020/21 was a visiting researcher at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where later he was Postdoctoral Fellow in Applied Physics between 2021 and 2023 in the area of artificial intelligence and computer simulations of quantum materials. In March 2023, he returned to Brazil as a Researcher to work on the creation of the Theory and Data Science group at LNNano, part of CNPEM..

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Gabriela Frajtag

Undergraduate student, ILUM

Gabriela is currently an undergraduate student at Ilum School of Science, studying Science and Technology. During high school, she studied and developed mycelium-based leather as part of her technical course on Biotechnology. Additionally, Gabriela actively participated in various academic Olympiads, ranging from sciences and linguistics to mathematics and robotics. Outside of her academic pursuits, she loves animals, enjoys hiking trails and watching movies. Her current interests revolve around the intersection of different fields, with a specific emphasis on biophysics and molecular biology.

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Guilherme Tegoni Goedert

Professor at the School for Applied Mathematics, Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV)

Guilherme is an applied mathematician, physicist and computer scientist, currently working as a Professor at the School for Applied Mathematics. He completed his doctorates at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", the RWTH Aachen University and the Cyprus Institute, for which he was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship. Before that, he also obtained a Masters in Computational Mathematics and Modeling at IMPA, and a Bachelors in Physics and the University of Brasília. He works in modeling and simulation of complex systems, focusing in Epidemiology, Public Health and Evolution, as well as in Fluid Turbulence. He also works in High Performance Computing, aiming at bridging the gap between advanced computing systems and methods and scientific or social applications.

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Helmut H. Strey

Associate Professor, Stony Brook University

Director of the Laboratory for Micro and Nanotechnologies and Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Stony Brook University.

Helmut Strey is a Biophysicist who is interested in developing micro- and nanotechnologies for applications in basic and applied research. Specifically, his lab is working on 1) micropatterning techniques for single-cell studies, 2) study of gene circuit dynamics using probabilistic modeling, 3) developing software to simulate the human brain (Neuroblox.org). Helmut received the Dillon medal for research in Polymer Physics from the American Physical Society in 2003. He recently converted to Bayesianism and is passionate about making things, Soccer, Chess and Table Tennis.

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Henrique Passoni

High school senior at Colégio Etapa

Hello! My name is Henrique Passoni, and I've been a student at Etapa since 2013. After all these years, in 2023, I find myself in the third year of high school. My academic journey has been quite eclectic, initially focusing on robotics and engineering. However, along the way, I discovered a passion for the field of economic sciences, prompting a significant shift in my high school trajectory. This change has led me to apply for undergraduate programs in economics in both Canada and France. I look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead and hope to see you in January.

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Inayê Melo

PhD, Stone Impacta

Bachelor in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Unicamp, she participated in numerous scientific competitions in mathematics, physics, history, and others. After graduation, she worked with data exploration at Stone, a Brazilian unicorn. She has always been involved in entrepreneurship projects in the social sector, and in recent years, she has been actively working on social impact through education. This involves engaging in projects related to Olympics competitions and technology training for elementary and high school students.

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Ivan Passoni

Postdoctoral researcher in Data Science, UNICAMP

Postdoctorate at university of Campinas with a Ph.D. in mathematics from IMPA. My main interests are in graph neural networks and applications. I also like to work on kaggle competitions from time to time.

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Ivvy Pessôa Quintella

Professor at Technology Center, UFAL

Ivvy is a professor at the UFAL Technology Center (CTEC). She is currently the coordinator of UFAL's Fab Lab and teaches Digital Fabrication Technologies and Technical Drawing. She has a PhD from UFRJ and recently spent a year as a visiting post-doctoral researcher at Loughborough University in the UK. Her research interests focus on digital fabrication technologies and innovation in Civil Construction, with an emphasis on additive manufacturing in concrete. She is also an art and design enthusiast, having developed projects for art installations and event scenography.

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Jaime Ide

AI Research Engineer at Lockheed Martin & Associate Research Scientist, Yale University

Jaime got his degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Sao Paulo and received his training in MR imaging at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. Broadly, he is interested in the application of Bayesian methods, computational modeling, and machine learning in cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, and decision-making, as well as in real-world predictive and reinforcement learning problems (autonomous vehicles). He is passionate about robotics, chess, and table tennis.

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João Moreira Salles

Documentary Filmmaker

João Moreira Salles is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of the magazine Piauí. He has directed, among others, "Notícias de uma guerra particular" (News from a Private War), "Santiago," "Nelson Freire," and "No intenso agora" (In the Intense Now). More recently, he published "Arrabalde," a series of seven reports about his time in the Amazon.

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João Rafael

Math olympiad teacher and student

I have dedicated the last five years of my life to science olympiads, specifically the math competitions. I finished seventh in the selection for the Brazil’s International Mathematical Olympiad team, one short of making into the team. Music is a passion for me, and in my spare time, I play guitar and sing. Also, I often listen to music with Pink Floyd being a favorite. I'm very open to meeting new people, so feel free to reach me out anywhere, anytime you want.

José Alberto Cuminato

José Alberto Cuminatol

Professor to Strathclyde University – Glasgow

He holds a degree in Mathematics from São Paulo State University (UNESP) (1977), a Masters in Mathematics from the University of São Paulo (1981), M Sc In Numerical Analysis - Oxford University Computing Laboratory (1983) and PhD In Numerical Analysis - Oxford University Computing Laboratory (1987). He was director of the ICMC-USP in 2006-2010, president of the Brazilian Society of Applied and Computational Mathematics for two terms, 2005-2007 and 2007-2009, he has been a full professor at the University of São Paulo since 2000, Visiting Professor to Strathclyde University – Glasgow from 2011- to present, a corresponding fellow of the Royal Society Edinburgh (2012) and member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2014). Treasurer of ICIAM for two terms 2010-2015 and 2015-2019. Area of work in Mathematics, with emphasis on Numerical Analysis, working mainly on the following topics: Simulation of incompressible flows and flows with free surfaces, finite difference methods, numerical methods for ordinary and partial differential equations and integral equations of Fredholm and Cauchy.

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Juliana Smetana

Professor, ILUM/CNPEM

Juliana is a dedicated researcher and educator with a strong background in Biological Sciences. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in 2004 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the same institution in 2009. Following her doctoral studies, she further enriched her expertise with a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2012. Currently serving as a professor at the Ilum School of Sciences within the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), her research focuses on Biochemistry, with a particular emphasis on Molecular Biology. Within this field, she actively explores topics such as structural biology, cellular signaling, and the study of proteins involved in the mTOR kinase pathway, as well as the regulation of phosphatase 2A. Juliana's commitment to advancing our understanding of these complex biological processes is not only reflected in her research endeavors but also extends to her role as an educator, where she imparts her knowledge to undergraduate students, shaping the next generation of scientists in the field of Structural and Molecular Biology.

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Juliano Genari

Master's student, University of São Paulo

Juliano is a physicist and computer scientist, airplane pilot, hacker/maker, and youtuber on the free time, currently a Master's student on the Graduate Program in Computer Science and Computational Mathematics at the ICMC-USP. Before that, he also obtained a Bachelor's degree in Computational Physics from the University of Brasília. He works with modeling, simulation, and machine learning, with a focus on epidemiology and public health. He also teaches programming at NES, a program to teach Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science to high school students. In the gap between his graduation and the start of his masters, he also worked as a flight instructor and is the creator of the youtube channel nanoTech focused on technology, electronics and haker/maker content.

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Kejvi Peti

Bachelor’s degree, University of Tirana

Hey there! I am Kejvi Peti, an iOS Engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from University of Tirana. Currently I am also pursuing a professional degree at University of Toronto in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. My responsibilities include overseeing project architecture, code analysis and feature implementations. In my down time I teach myself how to play the guitar or blow some steam at the gym.

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Krerley Oliveira

Full professor, UFAL

Krerley Oliveira holds a BA, Master's and PhD in Mathematics specializing in Dynamical Systems and Ergodic Theory. He was elected an afiliated member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, founded the graduate program on Mathematics at the Federal University of Alagoas and mentored numerous students. He also played a pivotal role in the Mathematics Olympiad Program in Alagoas, nurturing young mathematical talents since 2003. With a background from math competitions, including leading the Brazilian Team at the IMO 2017, Krerley's expertise is widely recognized. Currently, they are spearheading research projects in Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision applied to justice, public purchases, analysis of medical records and the fight against corruption. These projects are sponsored by the Justice Court of Alagoas, TCE-SP and WHO. Outside the realm of mathematics and research, Krerley possesses a passion for triathlon. He has participated in 12 Ironman races and secured three drafts for the Brazilian national age group team at triathlon world championships.

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Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi

Professor, Stony Brook University, Department of Mathematics

Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi is the Director of the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics, Baszucki Endowed Chair of Metabolic Neuroscience, and Professor in Stony Brook University's Department of Biomedical Engineering. She also holds academic appointments in the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, Program in Neuroscience, and Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Physics. In addition, she is a Research Staff Scientist and Lecturer in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging). Dr. Mujica-Parodi has received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University, respectively, studying mathematical logic and foundations of physics. After her PhD, she completed an NIH Training Fellowship in Clinical Neuroscience at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor there, where she performed research until being recruited by Stony Brook University. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Career Award, the White House’s Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, and the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr. Mujica-Parodi’s research interests focus on the extension of control theory to allostatic regulation of neural circuits and their interactions with other physiological systems, in health and disease.

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Lucas Cavalcante Silva

Etapa Student

Hello, everyone! My name is Lucas Cavalcante Silva. The idea of manipulating objects at the molecular level has always amused me. Hence, as I joined the chemistry olympiads and delved into ever more intriguing concepts, I discovered my passion for chemistry, especially organic. Aside from chemistry, I have enjoyed studying for both physics and biology olympiads, which drastically contributed to my understanding of phenomena and has drawn me to the alluring multidisciplinarity of chemical engineering. Other than studying, in my leisure time, I like to pursue my passion for origami and also observe my two pet tortoises.

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Luiz Felipe Viegas

High school senior at Colégio Etapa

Hi, hi, everyone! My name is Luiz, and I am a senior at Etapa after 10 long years. Although it may seem—mostly due to my incessant will to talk about movies—I am someone who has always been in touch with science, mainly my beloved chemistry. A lot of this passion came from my time focusing on science olympiads, in which I attended high-level classes, participated in both national and international relevant competitions, and integrated some social projects to spread chemical knowledge at the olympiad level. I am really drawn, though, to other fields, such as UN models and artistic expressions through writing. I look forward to seeing everyone in January!

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Luiz Gustavo Dubois

Assistant Professor on Human Anatomy at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ

Luiz Gustavo holds a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences with a specialization in Neurosciences. His academic journey includes earning a Ph.D. in Brain, Cognition, and Behavior from Sorbonne Université (Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI) and in Morphological Sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). With a rich background, Luiz Gustavo has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Pathology at New York University (NYU) working on new CRISPR methods to develop animal models of brain cancer. Moreover, he also contributed as a Research Fellow at the Brain's Biomedicine Laboratory at the Brains Institute of Rio (IECPN). Currently, he holds the position of Assistant Professor in Human Anatomy and serves as the Head of the Basic and Clinical Neurosciences Program at the Biomedical Sciences Institute (Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas) at UFRJ (ICB/UFRJ). Luiz's research focuses on understanding how cancer cells alter their metabolism to meet the molecular requirements of transformed cells, a phenomenon widely observed in highly proliferative cells with significant implications for cancer development. Specifically, he explores how metabolic adaptations can modify and build cellular heterogeneity in brain cancer. Beyond his academic pursuits, Luiz is a dog lover and an amateur percussionist.

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Maria Luisa Parada

Undergraduate student on Math and Cognitive Science, Princeton University

Hi! I'm Maria Luisa Parada, a sophomore majoring in Physics and pursuing minors in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Cognitive Science at Princeton University. My interests range from Theoretical Particle Physics to Complex Fluid Dynamics, which I researched this past summer. I am the president of the Brazil Society here at Princeton, an Opinion Columnist for The Daily Princetonian, and one of the Princeton University Science Olympiad organizers. During my free time, you can catch me biking around campus or making new friends at a language table!

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Maria Rita Donalisio

Professor at Medicine Schoool of UNICAMP

Medical epidemiologist professor of undergraduate and postgraduate epidemiology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. She works with Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, mainly on the following topics: zoonosis, respiratory infections, HIV and arboviruses.

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Mario Neto

Student at ETAPA

Hi everyone! I am Mario, a senior student who is currently in the process of applying to many universities from the USA and Germany. Fueled by a deep passion for astronomy, astrophysics, physics, and calculus, I actively participated in various scientific olympiads and tutoring groups throughout high school. On the other hand, I have several hobbies, such as literature, hardware, music and astrophotography. Notably, one of my moon photos even made a brief appearance on television.

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Mark Lukin

Researcher at Stony Brook University and VA Hospital

Mark Lukin's scientific interests are focused on nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), which are the molecules responsible for the storage and transfer of hereditary information in living organisms: how does DNA get copied? What happens when DNA molecules break? To answer these, as well as many other questions, Mark needs to prepare artificial (modified) nucleic acids and their building blocks, the crazy compounds that normally do not exist in nature. The only way to obtain them is by doing a chemical synthesis, which is what Mark likes the most. Besides that, Mark loves music, History, Greek Philosophy, and Science Fiction. When he was young, he loved doing simple but spectacular chemical experiments, which he has realized he still loves doing.

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Mateus Bezrutchka

Graduated from MIT with a bachelor's in Mathematics and Computer Engineering

I graduated from MIT with a bachelor's in Mathematics and Computer Engineering, with a main focus on Algorithms and Theory. After college, I worked in Silicon Valley as a Software Engineer for the unicorn startup Scale AI. An enthusiast of Competitive Programming, I am also an IOI medalist and currently help organize the Brazilian Olympiad in Informatics.

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Matheus Saraiva

PhD student in Medical Sciences, the University of Toronto

Hi! My name is Matheus and I'm a PhD student in medical sciences at the University of Toronto. My specialty is cardiothoracic surgery, and I'm currently studying the use of In Vivo Lung Perfusion to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (e.g., severe COVID-19). My role is to develop new surgical techniques and conduct clinical trials for novel drugs. In my free time, I like to go on road trips and try new restaurants.

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Melissa Guidry

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

Her scientific research is on Quantum Photonics. Melissa engineers optical circuits to study the quantum mechanics of light. One device that she often engineers is a “microring”, a micron-scale ring-shaped optical cavity: once light enters the ring, it can travel around thousands of times before it exits, going around in tight circles within a circumference close to that of a human hair. This intense optical confinement enables interesting physics: for example, we can convert one color of light to many other colors, often entangling the new colors of light in the process. Some researchers are trying to use this phenomenon to build chip-scale quantum computers. Outside of the lab, I like to read. My favorite books I’ve read recently were The Red and the Black, by Stendhal, and The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

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Oksana Ivashkevych

Control Engineer, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, NY

Oksana is a physicist by training, graduate of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with a Master of Science in Engineering Optics and Laser Physics. She currently lives in Setauket, Long Island, NY and works as a Controls Engineer in Brookhaven National Laboratory. Oksana builds beamlines for new NSLS2 synchrotron, an exciting scientific instrument with half a mile in circumference. This instrument is used to peek into atomic structures of new materials and biological samples using the rainbow of X-rays.

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Paulo Henrique A. dos Santos

Undergraduate student, ILUM

Paulo is an undergraduate student at Ilum School of Science, an innovative college connected to CNPEM (National Center of Research in Energy and Materials), one of the most important scientific centers in Brazil. At Ilum, students aspiring to become researchers engage in interdisciplinary learning with a curriculum that integrates research and self-learning. In high school, Paulo achieved a notable feat by developing a synthetic skin, derived from Kombucha biomass, capable of healing burns. Furthermore, his passion lies in understanding the interactions of nanomaterials with biological systems, coupled with computational analysis using bioinformatics tools and machine learning.

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Paulo Orestein

Assistent Professor, IMPA

Paulo Orenstein is an assistant professor at IMPA. His research areas include statistics and machine learning, both from a theoretical and a practical point of view. His theoretical interests span robust estimators, non-convex optimization and scalable Bayesian methods. From a practical standpoint, Paulo has experience working with weather prediction, medical data and deforestation tracking, for which he received a Google Research Award in 2023. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford University. Previously, he obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from PUC-Rio, in Brazil.

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Sophie Strey

High School Student

Sophie’s been at Sigma since 2014 so that would be 10 years! With regard to academics, she’s interested in Discrete Math and Cosmology but in her free time she loves to learn about Architecture, Philosophy, and Espionage. Besides, Sophie enjoys writing Science Fiction stories, Carpentry, and Astrophotography. She has an adverse reaction to psychology and is an enthusiastically mediocre hair cutter (her family can attest to that). Sophie is excited to be coming back as a junior counselor and looks forward to meeting you all this summer!

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Thiago Nepomuceno

Neps Academy

Fundador da Neps Academy. Atualmente, trabalha em uma das maiores empresas de inteligência artificial com sede em San Francisco (EUA), em parceria com a Turing. Anteriormente trabalhou no Instituto de Pesquisa Fraunhofer na Alemanha. No passado, costumava publicar trabalhos científicos em muitas áreas diferentes, tais como Otimização, Internet das Coisas, Model Driven Engineering e Inteligência Artificial.

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Tiago Novello

Postdoctoral researcher, VISGRAF Laboratory

Tiago Novello is a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada' Vision and Graphics (VISGRAF) Laboratory. He obtained a DSc in Applied Mathematics at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, a MSc in Mathematics from the Universidade Federal de Alagoas, and a BSc in Mathematics at Universidade Estadual do Paraná. His research interests are mostly related to Computer Graphics and Machine Learning. His current research focuses on neural implicit representation, a trending topic that uses smooth neural networks to represent continuous signals in Computer Graphics.

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Xiao-Chuan Liu

Visiting professor, UFAL

Xiao-Chuan Liu holds a Ph.D. degree from IMPA, with a specialization in dynamical systems and ergodic theory. Prior to his arrival at Brazil, he had a strong foundation in combinatorics and graph theory. Presently, he actively conducts research in both these domains and maintains a keen interest in various interconnected areas of mathematics. Furthermore, Xiao-Chuan has valuable experience in teaching young minds in mathematics. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he took the initiative to assemble a group of approximately 50 students aged between 10 to 13 years old. He offered them online courses in elementary mathematics. Notably, one of these students, currently only 12 years old, is already engaged in the study of linear algebra under his guidance.

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Xu Yang

Professor of Computer Science, UFAL

Xu holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from East China Normal University, a master's degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics from IMPA, and a Ph.D. in Graph Theory from Nankai University. She has been dedicated to the study of mathematical methods in finance, with a particular interest in computational aspects of risk analysis. At the same time, she has also conducted research on extremal graph theory and graph coloring.

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PhD student in Dynamical Systems and Ergodic Theory at the University of São Paulo

As a leaf falls slowly but almost surely, numerous microscopic collisions with air particles compose their erratic movements into the macroscopic symphony of the wind. Zheng explores and proves the emergence of such macroscopic phenomena in the context of random systems and network dynamics. He is also into languages, philosophy, hiking, surfing, bouldering and eating. Before Brazil, he completed Pure Maths MSc at Imperial College in London, Math plus Hispanic Studies BA at Vassar College in the Hudson Valley, and a Chinese childhood in Chengdu

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