my letter of recommendation
I am applying to physics graduate program with a focus on complex systems. This is the letter by my advisor.
To whom it may concern,
I am the undergraduate advisor of Wang Sheng, and I would like to lend my greatest enthusiasm to recommend such an excellent student for admission to physics doctoral program at your esteemed university. As his advisor and friend, I have watched his progress in scientific research and academic performance.
I came to know Sheng when he joined my research group in his second year at Nankai University. Sheng researched on the project ''Collective Behavior in Complex Systems''. Under my general guidance, he taught himself basic complex systems theories and the programming language Python. His progress was amazingly fast. Only after a few weeks, Sheng repeated a classic paper on the collective motion of bird flocks with simulation in Python and related analysis. Based on this work, he started to explore how to lead a group of particles into collective behavior. Sheng designed a periodic nonlinear potential field with all interacting particles. Under specific parameter settings, the particles could behavior either collectively or separately. But in most scientific research, difficulties are never absent. To find a proper index to indicate this transition, Sheng tried a lot of different methods. Finally, he defined the exchange number as a suitable index. His dedication and efforts were most impressive during this process. I was also pretty impressed by his programming skills, which I could see from his dealing with particle collisions, the motion visualization, and his use of parallel computing and version control. While supervising him doing this project, I found Sheng had great potential to become a great scientific researcher with his ability of simulation and analytical capacity.
Sheng also attended two lectures given by me. On the course of Introduction to group theory, he demonstrated his excellent analytical ability and his love for mathematics. And while discussing with him during the course of Introduction to nonlinear physics, I could truly feel his passion for complex systems. Apart from perfectly completing the regular homework, Sheng himself also explored to use cellular automata to simulate the ocean turbulence and the result fitted pretty well with the actual data., Sheng got very good grades on both two courses.
Considering his excellent research ability and academic performance, I would rank Sheng in the top 3% of the students that I have ever taught or advised. Sheng is undoubtedly an exceptional candidate for your graduate program in physics. I would strongly support him in his application. If there is any further assistance or information I could offer, please do not hesitate to contact me.
School of physics, Nankai University