Statement granted to exceptionally gifted students. However, I

Statement of Purpose            As a graduate student from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU), I am submitting this document in support of my application for admission into your graduate program.  I graduated with an undergraduate summa cum laude honor and gave a lecture as the valedictorian of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), the first established technical university and one of the most prestigious universities in Iran, in June 2017. I got admitted to the master’s program in transportation engineering at Iowa State University in August 2017. Following my admission, I was granted a half-time research assistant position and a graduate tuition scholarship from the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at ISU. With more than five years of strict training and diligent studies behind me, I am now proficient in an expansive range of subjects related to this discipline. By applying to the graduate program at your university, I am seeking to acquire pioneering competence and to realize my career goal.            My undergraduate education is characterized by evident excellence. I made my way to become a top student in a department consisted of the top 0.75 % students entered the university. My GPA consistently ranked me 1st among the 80 students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. I was offered a perquisite for opting a second major in my desired field and studying for free in that department.  Recognizing the importance of systematic thinking and system management, I took several courses in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems by special arrangement for gifted students.  In recognition of my achievements, my department offered to accept me for graduate studies without the normal mandatory examinations, a privilege that is only granted to exceptionally gifted students. However, I was pretty sure that if I really want to reach the cream of the crop, I have to enrich my experience by applying to a foreign prestigious university.            I am experienced in working as a Teaching Assistant, I was Dr. M. Banazadeh’s Teaching Assistant in structural analysis courses from September 2016 to June 2017 at the AUT. I also cooperated with several research groups in the fields of construction engineering and management and transportation studies, results of which have been submitted as four conference papers that are explained in my CV. I have also been working as a half-time graduate research assistant and a member of Transportation Student Association (TSA) at Institute for Transportation of ISU since August 2017.My Interested Field            Seeking to ride the tide of the times and healing the wounds of infrastructure system in my country, I chose civil engineering as my major without hesitation. As I witnessed the mayhem which engulfs the transportation system in my country, of the many fields in civil engineering, transportation engineering was constantly arousing my curiosity.               For experiencing the practical application of civil engineering, as a part of my internship and work experience, I collaborated with a prestigious company working on construction consulting and project management. I undertook the role of construction consulting assistant whereby I understood the significance of systematic approach to project planning, which is one of the prerequisites of modular thinking. Soon after I started my master’s study in transportation engineering at Iowa State University, I realized that for paving the way for my future career and providing myself with the research and professional skills to succeed in leading organizations, I have to build a strong background in data-centric science. Virtually every sector of the economy now has access to more data than would have been imaginable even a decade ago. Businesses today are accumulating new data at a rate that exceeds their capacity to extract value from it. There is significant and growing demand for data-savvy professionals in businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits. The supply of professionals who can work effectively with data at scale is limited so building an academic background as a Ph.D. student in the field would provide me with a strong competence in finding a decent job at the job market. I took Transportation Data Analysis and Transportation System Development and Management during the first semester at Iowa State University to take the advantage of them to familiarize myself with data and information analysis. Transportation Data Analysis course helped me to improve my background in Statistics. Nowadays, the data is also more heterogeneous than the highly curated data of the past,  so for becoming adept at working with digitized text, audio, and visual context, I took a course titled as Visual Sensing and Sensemaking at the Computer Science department during my second semester which is still in progress; I am also enrolled in an online course titled as Digital Image and Video Processing offered by the Electrical Engineering department at Northeastern University. Besides, I am currently enrolled in Data Science Essentials and Computational Thinking courses offered by Microsoft Incorporation and MITx respectively from the Edx. I have already built a good background in Programming for Data Science by learning Python and R programming languages. Consequently, due to my understanding of the fact that the world’s future would belong to data processing techniques, I am aiming to focus my studies more on the field of data science; pursuing this goal is my highest priority in life; so, I have decided to start my studies in data science as soon as possible and prior to the conferral of my master’s degree in transportation engineering. As my future perspective has become so vivid to me, focusing my academic endeavor on the field of data science immediately would help me to graduate and start my career sooner.Your University Is Ideal            To pursue a Ph.D. degree in data science is both reasonably invigorating and challenging, but to decide which university to attend is one of the biggest decisions in one’s life. Keeping these in mind, I consider the University of Iowa as my first choice. Its superior libraries, some of the best-equipped laboratories, an illustrious faculty, and an inspiring academic atmosphere have made it a famous university in the world.            Management Science program at Tippie College of Business plays a pioneering role in data-centric research at the university. I have visited University of Iowa and Tippie College of Business several times and talked with graduate students at the department; it is really exhilarating to find that it has scholars working actively in the areas that concern me; I found the atmosphere very inspiring and I am very ambitious to pursue my Ph.D. degree at that college.             I am interested in Big Data, Data Mining, Machine learning and Digital Signal Processing. I am trying to improve my skills in these fields through various ways. The fact that I feel very satisfied and very happy during the time that I spend on learning these subjects, convinces me that I have made the right choice. There are other factors that make me believe that data science is the right choice for me, the most important of which is the financial prospect. The global data-centric market is estimated to experience a high compound annual growth for the next 10 years, which means that people with genuine expertise in data science will have an opportunity to make a fortune. Having experienced all that I have been through and knowing all that I have learned, I find myself highly motivated and pleasantly optimistic about this path that I have chosen. Through extensive inquiry, I have come to the conclusion that if I am to become a successful researcher in data science, I must do my Ph.D. at a respectable university, one with more extensive financial resources and up-to-date equipment so as to allow for a more applicable and worthwhile research. Epilogue             I know meeting the requirements for a graduate education demands a personal sacrifice of time and immediate rewards of unstructured leisure. But the achievement is well worth the cost in terms of intellectual peace of mind and pleasure. I believe the well-structured courses, balanced program and distinguished faculty of your department will help me reach that achievement. With the confidence that I can further prove my potential capabilities through the intense graduate study, I have made the decision to apply for the Ph.D. program in Management Science at the University of Iowa and request your serious consideration.Regards;Nima Safaei


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