Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Alireza Fazeli, PhD candidate in Mathematics

“The department is the home to many great professors and supportive staff whom you would enjoy working with.”

Describe your research.
I conduct computational modeling and large-scale computer simulations to study the hydrodynamics of magnetically driven small-scale swimmers for applications in targeted drug delivery. These micro swimmers would be loaded with drugs and targeted to specific parts of the body where there is solely diseased tissue, thereby avoiding interaction with healthy tissue, and combating the downfalls of conventional drug delivery such as toxic effect.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive?
I think having a supportive supervisor who respects students' dignity and freedom is of the utmost importance. Cross-disciplinary working is what characterizes cutting-edge science today. I see graduate studies as a venture and an opportunity to take a sip of other sciences beyond one’s field of specialty. That is how one could escape the tunnel view, and make more informed decisions with respect to career goals.

What is your “dream” career?
To become a university professor who is successful in delivering products, solutions, or services derived from, or backed by, a pragmatic field of research. Being a university professor who does research solely for the sake of research would not excite me the most.

Have you worked as a teaching assistant?
I have worked as a TA for several courses in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physics. They benefitted my academic career in three ways. First, they were the only source of income from the University. So, without them, I would not be able to pursue graduate studies at Western. Secondly, they helped with my review of fundamental math that helped with my preparation for the PhD comprehensive exam in applied mathematics. Thirdly, they helped me build confidence in the classroom, and now that I am a university lecturer, I appreciate it even more than before.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
There are two pieces of advice that I would give: (1) If you are an international student, and a family man/woman, make sure to secure some extra funding beyond what the department can offer in the forms of TA/RA. You would need that to support your living expenses. (2) Choose a research project that entails a fair amount of computer programing and digital literacy. This will allow you to sharpen your the high demand skillset along the way. If down the road you choose not to stay in academia, you won't be stranded either.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Adriana Dimova (
Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Mathematics

Western University
Middlesex College Rm 125 London, Ontario N6A 5B7

t. 519-661-2098
f. 519-661-3610

The Mathematical and Computational Sciences at Western are represented by four separate departments: Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistical & Actuarial Sciences. The Department of Mathematics has established research groups in several areas of contemporary mathematics including algebra, analysis and analytic geometry, homotopy theory, and noncommutative geometry.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Admission Requirements

  • Approved Master's degree (or equivalent) in Pure Mathematics

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline

  • February 1 - Fall Term
  • February 1 - Spring Term
  • October 1 - Winter Term

Please note that we look at applications all year round. The bulk of the applications are considered around the above deadlines; however, if a deadline has not been met and there are still spaces available, we will still consider the application, provided there is reasonable time for approved applicants to make travel plans and obtain student visas, etc.

Acceptance notifications can take place at any time but the bulk of the admissions are normally for the Fall term and most notifications will be sent out between mid-February and the end of March.

Fields of Research

  • Applied Mathematics