Statement of Purpose

Applicant: XXX (Tsinghua University)

Program: PhD/Master's in Petroleum Engineering

“Oil! Oil!” cried the excited traders on the New York Stock Exchange, watching the crude oil price steadily going beyond 100USD/per barrel, creating record highs in quick succession over the last three months. Warren Buffett even warns that 500USD/per barrel would be quite a rather fair price in the not too distant future.

“No oil ! No oil!” cried despairingly the hysterical taxi drivers, ordinary vehicle users, and tractor-driving farmers in many places across China, especially in the South, desperately searching for gas and diesel from one station to another, only to be told no oil to sell. At a limited number of stations where there is, they must queue up for 4 to 5 agonizing hours to be stingily but condescendingly given 20 liters per vehicle, about 4 gallons.

While the entire world is panicking over this “oil famine”, as a student of applied mathematics from China’s most prestigious university Tsinghua University, I am preparing to become a petroleum engineer who can help prevent or at least postpone the advent of this oil famine. While politicians of the largest oil consuming countries criticize one another’s energy policy as triggering the energy crisis, I believe that the solution to the energy challenges that face mankind essentially lies in technology, the technology of petroleum engineering.

There is no reason for me not to be concerned about petroleum industry and engineering. I come from Daqing City, which grew out of the Daqing Oil Field (DQOF), China’s first oil field discovered half a century ago. Since my childhood, I have been greatly fascinated by the restless drilling machines on both sides of the roads on my way to school. The city culture has been predominantly petroleum-oriented. My father himself is the director of the Technical Training Center of the DQOF. In this all-encompassing petroleum atmosphere, I was imperceptibly but irresistibly impacted by the petroleum engineering and my interest it has always been kept alive throughout my undergraduate program.

It was with the highest mathematics score and the top ten overall score at the university entrance examinations among several thousands of students in the entire Daqing City that I was admitted into the Department of Mathematical Sciences. In the highly competitive environment of Tsinghua, sustained diligence is essential to academic excellence. In the fifth semester, my GPA reached 87.15/100 and my performance over the past three years is well above average. The coursework of Tsinghua mathematics students is notoriously tough—in courses like Partial Differential Equations, 1/3 of students would fail. For this, math students win the highest respect in the entire Tsinghua student community for doing the toughest coursework. Studying Topology by James R. Munkres, a math professor at MIT, convinced me that nothing else could be more difficult. Nevertheless, I still managed to score 97/100 in the course. For me, the more challenging the tasks, the more motivated I become.

In applying for your graduate program in petroleum engineering, I find that most of academic backgrounds developed at Tsinghua are highly relevant. I received rigorous training in what is called Science Platform Curriculum, a broad-based program designed to strengthen students’ science background. Under this program, I studied four courses in physics, two courses in chemistry, two courses in biology, and a series of courses in computer science. I studied General Physics A (featuring mechanics and thermology) for three semesters together with physics majors and “A” indicates the highest of the four levels of course difficulty. This will allow me to analyze the physical and chemical properties of petroleum by means of programming and modeling.

Of course, my greatest strength lies in mathematics and the development of mathematical thinking. This firm foundation will give me unique advantages in learning petroleum engineering in that I will be well equipped for reservoir simulation. My mathematics training is especially rigorous as the textbooks we use are often the toughest in the world. For Probability and Mathematical Statistics, there are four courses and I studied A Course in Probability Theory by Kai Lai Chung from Stanford. For Functional Analysis, I studied Principles of Functional Analysis by Martin Schechter, which is meant for Master’s students in American graduate schools. For Calculus, I studied the Mathematical Analysis by Russian mathematician Vladimir A. Zorich. For Algebra, I studied both Linear Algebra (Advanced Algebra) and Abstract Algebra. The list can go on and on, covering all the major fields of the discipline including Operations Research and Numerical Computation. As in some major courses, I achieved some of the highest scores in the class—97 for Advanced Algebra, 91 for Differential Geometry, and 85 for Mathematical Analysis.

The development of hands-on abilities and research potential has undoubtedly constituted an important aspect of my academic endeavors. For my physics, chemistry, and biology courses, I had corresponding experiment courses in which I learned how to design experiments and present my findings. By learning mathematical statistics, I have learned to use SPSS whereas by learning numerical analysis, I have grasped Matlab and Mathematica Software. In addition, I have also done important practices in mathematical modeling. Through Tsinghua’s unique SRT (Student Research Training) program, I performed research on the influencing factors and mechanisms of commercial bonus promotions. My job in determining point of entry, modeling, analyzing the main and unnecessary variables that affect promotion, and the application of mathematical software SPSS, they have all contributed to the final report of “A Comparative Study of the Patterns of University Campus Promotion Campaigns in Telecommunication and Digital Products between China Unicom and China Mobile”.

Outside my academic study in mathematics, I have been seeking knowledge in petroleum engineering. I am lucky to receive special guidance from my operations research professor Yang x x x who has published dozens of papers on oil-gas exploration. He taught me much about petroleum engineering—how to use the geological long-wave and reflection technologies and image processing to locate oil reserves. He has helped me formulate a study plan for the year: first to study finite difference method, finite element, Fortran, and use them to compute and simulate the structure of the geological strata and obtain their images; and then acquire more theoretical knowledge and participate in his research.

As early as last year, I had the initiative to contribute my modeling skills in a research paper that my father completed “Numerical Simulation of Oil Volume Concentration Field of Coalesers Based on RNG k--ε Model” (Journal of Daqing Petroleum Institute, Vol. 31, No. 4, Aug. 2007). Participating in this research taught me much about how to do research in petroleum engineering. Then, in another paper, “The Application of TOPSIS Method in the Optimum Selection of Drainage Gas Recovery Technology” (ibid, Vol. 31, No. 5, Oct. 2007), I am one of the authors and we probed into how the TOPSIS method can contribute to an optimum gas recovery technology out of a multitude of individual schemes. Furthermore, during summer vacations, I made field trips to the No. 2 Oil Recovery Plant of Daqing Oil Field, where a colleague of my father’s is the director. I visited the drilling sites and also the underground operation sites to seek how oil is actually recovered. Those experiences have intensified my enthusiasm for petroleum engineering and I know that I am going to inherit both a family and a city legacy.

Now, with all the necessary preparations toward a graduate program in petroleum engineering, I would like to enter x x x University where the Department of Energy Resources Engineering has been offering top-notch graduate program in petroleum engineering. Through your program, I wish to obtain in-depth understanding of science and engineering fundamentals in the area of petroleum engineering analysis, with special emphasis in the efficient, economic, and safe recovery of energy resources. In research, your graduate program explores such problems as “Where should wells be drilled to ensure that the most oil is contacted? How can trapped oil be mobilized by the injection of hydrocarbon gas, carbon dioxide, steam or foaming agents? How will horizontal wells improve recovery? How can we make the best use of the data we have?” The efforts to discover solutions to those problems involve an exciting combination of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, applied mathematics and geology, coupled with sound engineering principles. Both your curriculum and your research are closely matched with my background as a student of applied mathematics and my interests in oil recovery modeling.

My first choice would be a Ph.D. program in Petroleum Engineering but I am also prepared for a Master’s program if my existing qualifications do not meet your Ph.D. entry requirements. Through your program, I expect to become a well-trained petroleum engineer that my home country woefully needs. China has become the second largest oil consumer in the world and its domestic petroleum reserves are limited. For this, I am determined to make a difference in this vital field of engineering through a lifelong career in petroleum engineering. As a member of the Tsinghua University Soccer Team, I am energetic and, as a future graduate student, I am strongly self-motivated. I am convinced that I can make a difference. Now that my goal has been set, I am ready for the kickoff and to run for it.

                                        目 的 陈 述


申请人:XXX (清华大学数学系)






      在高考中,我以数学最高分和总分前十的优异成绩,从大庆市的数千名考生中脱颖而出,被清华大学的数学系录取。在清华大学极具竞争力的环境中,持续的刻苦无疑是学术优秀的重要保证。在第五学期,我的综合成绩达到了87.15/100,而我在过去三年内的表现都远远高于平均水平。清华大学数学系的课堂作业之坚难无人不知,在偏微分这类课程中,三个人中就有一个人无法通过。但也是因此,清华数学系的学生赢得了整个清华大学的最高尊重,因为他们的课程之难。我曾师从麻省理工大学的James R. Munkres教授进行拓扑学的研究,证明了没有课程能比这还艰难。但尽管五次,我仍然获得了97/100分的成绩。对我来说,挑战越大,我的动力越强。





      早在去年,我早就主动应用我的建模方面的知识,帮助我父亲完成了他的题为《基于RNG k—ε模式的煤基石油储量集中区域的数字模拟》(大庆石油学院学报,31卷,第四期,2007年8月)的论文。在参与写作这篇论文的过程中,我学到了很多,知道了如何在石油工程方面进行研究。之后,在另一篇题为《TOPSIS方法在排水采气技术优选中的应用》的(ibid,31卷,第五期,2007年10月)的论文之中,作为作者之一,我研究了许多模式,最终搞清了TOPSIS方法在使回收气体最优化方面的原因。不仅如此,在暑假期间,我在大庆油田有限责任公司第二采油厂实地考察,我父亲的一位同事就在那里工作。我参观了打井现场和地下运行现场,亲眼见证了石油是如何被发掘出来的。这些经历都极大的增加了自己对石油工程的热情,我知道我所要继承的不仅是一个家庭,还是一座城市。







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