FGV professor stands out in FAPERJ award for Women in Science

This week, the School of Applied Mathematics of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV EMAp) was the protagonist in the award ceremony of the "Young Woman Scientist" call for proposals, from the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ). The entity held, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), in Rio de Janeiro, the meeting "Girls and Women in Science: advances and perspectives" and Maria Soledad Aronna, Associate Professor at FGV EMAp, was one of the recipients.

Maria Soledad Aronna, Professora Associada da FGV EMAp, ganhou prêmio especial da FAPERJ

Maria Soledad Aronna, Associate Professor at FGV EMAp, won a special award from FAPERJ - Photo: Personal Archive


The event is part of the celebrations of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on February 11, and was chosen to mark the delivery of the grant term for researchers of the notice. Soledad Aronna was one of the only scientists from the area of Mathematical Sciences to receive the honor out of a total of 70 scientists from Science and Technology Institutions (ICTs) throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro to be awarded.

The contemplated projects were distributed among each of the three schools established by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). Soledad Aronna's work - "New methods of Optimal Control aiming at applications in Biology and Reinforcement Learning" - falls under the school of Exact, Technological and Multidisciplinary Sciences and will receive an investment of up to R$ 700.000,00 for three years from FAPERJ. 

The financial resources may be used for the establishment and improvement of infrastructure, and for expenses foreseen in the research projects presented. In 2023, Soledad Aronna stood out for her innovative project that aligned Applied Mathematics with Mathematical Biology. One of FAPERJ's prerequisites is interdisciplinarity.


The Contribution

Her work addresses different topics in the areas of Optimal Control in order to obtain a study of optimality for control problems with uncertainty in parameters and for control systems in graphs.

Maria Soledad foi destaque em premiação na Academia Brasileira de Ciências nesta semana

Maria Soledad was featured in an award ceremony at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences this week - Photo: Personal Archive


Her article addresses different topics in the areas of Optimal Control in order to obtain a study of optimality for control problems with uncertainty in parameters and for control systems in graphs.

“In addition to theoretical development, we aim to study problems related to the control of diseases and pests, such as the optimization of vaccination strategies and the biological control of insects”, explains Soledad Aronna about the project that encompasses eight students, from undergraduate to post-doctorate at FGV EMAp.

In fact, Optimal Control has been widely used in several areas, such as Economics, Aeronautical Engineering, Space Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine and in particular, in Biology and Epidemiology.

Mathematical Biology, in particular, includes the sub-area of Epidemiological Modeling, which deals with the analysis of problems related to communicable diseases. "The need for mathematical models and tools in the study of diseases and various biological phenomena has grown rapidly over time, especially in recent decades and notably in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic", adds the researcher.

Importance of FGV for your research

Born in Rosario, Argentina, Soledad Aronna settled in Brazil after completing her doctorate in France and spending a period of academic experiences in Italy and England. In 2014, she got her Post-Doctorate at IMPA and, four years later, received the Capes/Humboldt scholarship for experienced researchers.

She joined FGV EMAp in 2015 and, four years later, she was appointed Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Applied Mathematics, a position she held until 2023. Today, she is also part of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Society of Applied and Computational Mathematics (SBMAC) as 1st Secretary. 

Winning the FAPERJ Award is an additional incentive for Soledad Aronna to continue with the goal of training professionals for the area of Mathematical Biology. "It was a great honor to receive this distinction. The funding will allow me to strengthen the Optimal Control group, which I have been putting together with a lot of effort for several years. The recognition of FAPERJ is very important for the next years of my career", she says.

Maria Soledad está na FGV EMAp desde 2015 e foi uma das únicas pesquisadoras de Ciências Matemáticas a ganhar prêmio da FAPERJ

Maria Soledad has been at FGV EMAp since 2015 and was one of the only Mathematical Sciences researchers to win a FAPERJ award - Photo: Personal Archive


FGV's structure and working method were also remembered by the researcher after receiving the FAPERJ award. For Maria Soledad, EMAp is positioning itself in the highest places of Brazilian science. 

"FGV EMAp has become an ideal environment to conduct research. Graduate professors have relatively low teaching hours, financial support for participation in scientific events and visitors, and access to excellent students. All of this paves the way for them to dedicate themselves to research almost full-time and to get involved in ambitious projects", she says. 

Finally, Maria Soledad hopes that the FAPERJ Award will continue to encourage young female mathematicians who are starting out in the academic profession. 

"Teachers are examples for students. We often represent role models. If today I, or any teacher in the house, receive a recognition, it stays in the minds of the younger ones, as a goal to be achieved. In particular, for female students, having a teacher with visibility and good academic projection makes them feel capable of achieving the same things. In such a masculine environment, such initiatives of positive reaffirmation, such as FAPERJ's Young Woman Scientist Notice, are extremely important", concludes the FGV EMAp Professor.

High contrast

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