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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Bheema Venkata Ashok Reddy Meruva Applicant ID: 991984

It was in my 11th or 12th standard that I started realizing the answer to a question that I had
asked myself earlier in life as to why people study science? It was very clear that there
were deeper reasons than mere material benefits. For instance, Galileo Galilee, The
Martyr of Science, risked his life in studying science and so did Giordano Bruno, who
was burnt alive. History has had numerous such cases. I realized that they were awestruck
and fascinated by Natures beauty. It is this beauty that drove them to study science and
experiment throughout their lives and made them indifferent to the risks they faced.
Science and scientific inquiries are perpetual and continue forever as resolving one
mystery or challenge leads to another one. It is for the same reason that I find physical
sciences interesting they deal with Nature. Mechanics is particularly interesting as it
appeals directly to Nature and its study is motivated directly by Nature. My exposure to
Mechanics has transfigured my ideas and attitude towards science directly and life
indirectly. I learned from experience how important a good school is, in moulding me
towards an endless pursuit of scientific knowledge, and as a major step in this direction, I
entered IIT Madras, one of the premier technological institutes in India.

As a student of Civil Engineering in IIT M, I had an opportunity to study the same


subject matter, Mechanics, which turned out to be more fascinating than ever. It all
started with the course Mechanics of Materials. I was helped by my professor who
deviated from the conventional style of teaching and introduced me to Tensor Analysis
and continuum mechanics in detail. In this field, I noticed something very interesting. It
is a subject which has the spirit of both Engineering and Basic Sciences. It reflects
engineering in the sense that the materials it deals with have a lot of engineering value
and practical significance but at the same time it has a lot of rigor in its analysis and
demands a lot of physical and mathematical insight which is the spirit of science. This, it
appeared to me, is not the case with other fields and were imbalanced in one aspect or the
other. My interest in this field only deepened with time. Simplicity and unification
emerged out at many places where ever there was a chance to use tensor analysis. For
example, the mechanics of solids and liquids could be treated on the same lines. This also
led to unified treatment of different theories like plasticity, elasticity, and viscoelasticity. I
believe that Unification and Simplicity are the two main things that man has been looking
for in the history of science. So was the case with Relativity where using differential
geometry and tensor analysis, one could, for example, write Maxwells equations in a
simplified fashion, thus becoming a great analytical tool ubiquitous in science. My
relationship with the Department of Applied Mechanics strengthened by the day. This led
to me further reading up on constitutive theory and viscoelastic theory. Simultaneously, I
was introduced to many other interesting aspects of material behavior through courses in
Quantum physics and semiconductor physics. So, I opted to work on mechanical
behavior of materials in my summer internship.

To widen my knowledge and ideas about research, I opted to do my summer internship in


the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, a highly esteemed research institute in
India. The learning environment there was highly conducive for research and exposed me
to world class research. The project I worked on was Analysis of Wave propagation in
periodic structures using the technique of Homogenization, under the guidance of Prof.
S. Gopalakrishnan. It demanded a lot of independent work with extensive use of Fourier
transformation techniques, perturbation techniques and multiscale analysis, which I took
to comfortably. My work involved replacing the governing equation for the periodic
lattice by an equivalent continuum and analyzing it. Here, I observed a technique that
deals with averaging much like statistical mechanics but is totally different in its
approach. I also observed scale effects, particularly how behavior and properties at micro
scale level affect the macroscopic behavior. The resulting equation obtained by replacing
the given discrete periodic lattice by a corresponding continuum one was analyzed using
the spectral Finite Element methods. My experience at IISC was rich and exciting and
exposed me not only to many advanced analytical techniques which were otherwise
unknown to me but also to research culture. At this juncture, I was convinced that this is
the path I should take to make my future bright and meaningful. I opted to work in this
field in the Bachelors Dissertation.

The problem which I am currently working on for my Dissertation is Steady S,tate Shear
properties of straight run and modified asphalt under the guidance of Dr. U Saravanan
and Dr. J Murali Krishnan. It involves an extensive use of the principles of continuum
mechanics and constitutive theory. Asphalt is naturally a complex material and its
mechanical behavior evolves with time which further complicates analysis. The project
consists of modeling the behavior of overshoot that is observed in its stress behavior upon
the inception of steady shear flow. An appropriate model is already picked and it is
checked for steady shear, creep and relaxation. The appropriate values of parameters in
the model are to be found. An insight into mechanical behavior of polymers is a collateral
benefit as it is required to have an understanding of polymer behavior where similar
phenomena are observed.

My main motive behind studying science is the fun and entertainment in it. So I could not
restrict my study of science only to academic subjects. Studying science always inspires
to study more science and the desire never relents. I study many scientific articles,
philosophy, a lot about history of science, cognitive neuroscience. I also study traditional
Hindu literature and Epics, particularly yoga and Vedas, with an intention to appreciate
the rigor and scientific spirit in them. With such an eye of analysis they appear to be more
beautiful than for an ordinary eye. I believe, leading a life with scientific study will help
to develop right attitude towards life, a change which at least, I could notice in me. I also
accompany my study with an active participation in sports and extracurricular activities
which help m gain a full rounded personality

The excellent academic and research atmosphere at IIT M has helped me get a broad
overview of Applied Mechanics. Flexibility in the curriculum and course structure helped
me nurture my ideas and explore the field. I feel that the next step is to pursue graduate
studies in an esteemed university. Under the guidance of my seniors, advice of professors,
careful and critical perusal of universities websites, I am highly convinced that University
of Texas is the right place for me to satiate my quest for knowledge and intellectual
growth. University of Texas, an embodiment of academic excellence, assures me a bright
future. Highly distinguished faculty, exhaustive and diversified research carried out at the
university have attracted me and influenced my decision. I am aware that it requires a lot
of commitment, perseverance and diligence on my part to successfully pursue graduate
studies which are inherent in me. (Univ of Texas where? Austin/ Arlington. Change last
line. What are your career objectives? Masters or PhD? Put some profs names that you
want to work under. You can pack the final I am looking line)

I am looking forward to have an exciting and stimulating experience at the university.

Comments:
1. Put univ name and what you are applying for at the top.
2. First para is really good - Ive just made minor grammatical changes. Do science does
not sound very good though. Study is slightly better. Better to stick to present tense
throughout though.
3. Minor grammatical changes made throughout.