The Exact and Earth Sciences area brings together two academic units:
the Institute of Earth Sciences (IGC) and the Institute of Exact Sciences
(ICEx). With a tradition in scientific production, today the two units
carry out together more than 100 research projects.
At the Department of Geology, there are research projects in
the areas of Economic and Rural Geology, in addition to important studies
on Mineral Deposits, Geological Mapping, Petrology, and Geochemistry.
The Eschwege Geology Center, at Diamantina, in the Serra do
Espinhaço region, is considered the main Brazilian institute
for geological studies. Created in 1969 via an agreement of technical
cooperation between Brazil and Germany, it has an annual average of
400 apprentices and researchers, with activities funded by the Brazilian
government agency CNPq and by the German GTZ.
At the ICEx, most teachers (95%) in the five departments work
full-time and are doing research.
The unit’s academic staff is composed of 271 teachers, more than
50% of whom holding doctoral degrees and about 35%, master’s degrees.
At the Department of Computer Science, the major current projects
are on Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Graphic Design
and Image Processing, and Computer Architecture. Mostly related to new
technology, they attract, in addition to traditional funding sources,
resources from computer, telecommunication, and steel companies.
At the Department of Statistics, the most important research
work, in terms of publication, is done on Optimization of Statistical
Processes, Bio-Statistics, and Economic Statistics. The Department of
Mathematics gives priority to Dynamic Systems, Algebraic Geometry, and
Commutative Algebra. At the Department of Chemistry, the research that
takes up the largest number of teachers and students is on Fine Ceramics,
Dynamics of Molecular Collision and Electronic Structure of Molecules,
Analysis and Synthesis of Natural Products, Wood Chemistry, and Chemistry
of Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Goods, done together
with the School of Fine Arts.
At the Department of Physics, among the main research topics
are Light Mirroring, Semiconductors, Theories of Condensed Matter, Crystal
Growth, and Astrophysics. In their teaching and research on Astrophysics
and Astronomy, students and teachers use the University Observatory
on the Serra da Piedade, at Caeté.
The Department of Mathematics works in three fronts: teacher
qualification for primary, secondary, and higher education; training
professionals that use Mathematics as a tool (such as physics, engineering,
chemistry, biology, economic, computing, statistics, business administration,
veterinary medicine, geology, geography, accounting); and generation
and diffusion of mathematical knowledge. For that purpose, it has 54
teachers, all with graduate degrees in Mathematics or Physics/Mathematics.
The department also has four teachers working with primary education
(Primary School) and secondary education (Vocational School). The department
facilities are very good, with an excellent library and a PC and workstation
network connected to mainframe computers.
The Department of Chemistry’s laboratories, workshops,
library, and offices are accommodated in 8,400 sq. m. of building area.
Its 83 teachers work with 15 associate researchers, among visitors,
newly graduated students, and UFMG’s retired teachers, in addition
to a staff of 50 persons. The department offers mandatory courses for
11 UFMG programs, besides the Baccalaureate, Teaching Licensure, and
Graduate Programs under its responsibility. It carries out pure and
applied research on Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic
Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and multi-disciplinary areas that generate
a sizeable number of publications.