An interview with Overleaf Advisor Maria Luiza - tackling astrophysical problems with a statistical mindset

By Shelly Miller
Maria Luiza photo

"Overleaf represents freedom of creation, sharing, and novelty." – Maria Luiza Linhares Dantas

Maria recently completed her Masters degree in Astrophysics at the University of Sao Paulo, and we're delighted to welcome her as a new Overleaf Advisor!

In this short interview she explains why she applied to be an Advisor and how she's been using Overleaf in her recent work.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I just finished my MSc in Astrophysics and now I just started my PhD. I am also very interested in environmental issues and zero waste lifestyle, which led me to start my own blog (in Portuguese):

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

This is a very difficult question, because I face many challenges and different ones. Perhaps I could summarize my challenges by saying that I always need to keep learning new subjects and tools in order to do a good job. That includes creating nice documents, papers, etc., for which I am highly benefited by using Overleaf.

How did you first find out about Overleaf?

I actually learned about ShareLaTeX before I found about Overleaf. There was a given moment that I learned about Overleaf and how you could share it with more than one person without paying the pro version. Considering that I am on scholarship, it seemed like a good deal to me at that time. After I really started to use Overleaf, I learned about the pro plan and the price for students, which was a great option for me.

How would you describe your experience of using Overleaf?

Since I write my documents 100% in LaTeX and online platforms - like Overleaf - are very useful (there is no need to install any packages locally nor to worry about saving extra data externally, as backup) due to the fact that it is stored in the cloud. Plus, I can share it with whomever I want, making all kinds of collaboration possible: projects, papers, presentations,... you name it! That is definitely one of the best inventions so far.

What's next for you and your work?

I am a newborn PhD student and just came back from the Isle of Wight in the UK for a very specific event between Astrophysicists and Statisticians: the COIN (which stands for Cosmostatistics Initiative) Residence Program 2 ( We were tackling Astrophysical problems with a Statistical mindset and working around the clock in groups. The papers are being written in Overleaf (see below - Overleaf is acknowledged) and I guess it is nice that everyone can write using one unique platform and get it done much more faster than other platforms that does not allow sharing.

In summary, how would you describe Overleaf in one sentence?

Overleaf represents freedom of creation, sharing, and novelty.

Maria and her collaborators at the COIN Residence Program 2015

Maria and her collaborators at the COIN Residence Program 2015.

Overleaf is acknowledged in this recent paper for the Royal Astronomical Society

Overleaf is acknowledged in this recent paper for the Royal Astronomical Society.

Thanks Maria! Good luck with your PhD and in your collaborations with the Cosmostatistics Initiative.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Sales & Academic Outreach Manager

Passionate about education and art, and enthusiastic about supporting a creative, innovative technology that is making a positive difference in collaborative scientific research and publishing worldwide.