Professor Kate Poirier | D046 | Fall 2023

OpenLab Assignment: Hispanic Heritage Month Mathematician Profile

Due Monday, September 25

Animated gif that says "Happy Hispanic Heritage Month"

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! For this assignment, we’ll honor Hispanic/Latinx mathematicians by learning about their lives and their work.

Pick one mathematician who identifies either as Hispanic/Latinx and who stands out you. Then write a short profile/biography of them as a comment on this post.

Where can you learn about mathematicians from these communities?

There are lots of places online to find out about these mathematicians. Here is one great resource:

  • Lathisms showcases contributions of Latinx and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences; check out the Calendars and Podcasts tabs at the top of the screen.

Once you’ve chosen the mathematician you want to profile, try to find something out about them that’s not on one of these two sites. Most mathematicians have their own websites, which you can usually find by Googling their name (these may be more up to date than the site above). Some of them are active on Twitter and other social media. Your profile should include:

  1. Their name
  2. Something about their work (try to understand something about their work don’t worry if you don’t really understand it, just tell us whatever you found out about it)
  3. Where they are from
  4. Where they live/work now
  5. Why they are interesting or inspiring to you
  6. Anything else you learned about them that you’d like to share
  7. If you can’t embed a photo in an OpenLab comment and if you want to include a photo of your mathematician, you can write your profile in a separate post and include a link to it in the comments on this post (tbh I love pictures!).

Why are we doing this?

White mathematicians of European descent tend to dominate the popular conception of who mathematicians are. For example, in Calculus, we are mostly learning about work by these two dudes, who practically look like twins, right?

Portraits of Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton

Our goal with this assignment is to broaden the popular conception of what a mathematician looks like and who can be a mathematician, as well as to honor the work of Hispanic/Latinx who are living and working today!


  1. Allison

    Name: Jamie Escalante

    He was an excellent math teacher back in Bolivia, his homeland. But in seeking a better life he moved to the United States and started teaching in a violent high school located in Los Angeles California. The students were known to have trouble in Math but Jamie Escalante changed that aspect of them. They became so good at math that Escalante was students were often accused of cheating.

    He was from Bolivia.

    He passed away in 2010

    His story is interesting and inspired me because back then I didn’t really like math in general. But there was a teacher who changed that for me based on the way he taught things to the class. I believe this is what Escalante did with his students.

    He has a movie about him called “Stand and Deliver”

    • Kate Poirier

      Nice choice Allison! If you haven’t seen Stand and Deliver, I highly recommend watching it. It’s an oldie but a goodie!

  2. Thomas Plunkett

    Mrs. Guddemi

    Mrs. Guddemi was my 10th grade algebra and geometry teacher. She was Columbian and lived on Staten Island. She helped me a lot with my math work and helped me to understand basic geometry, which helped when I learned trigonometry junior year. She is important to me because I wouldn’t be here today without her help.

  3. Toushayiah Dupree

    1. Ruth Gonzalez
    2. Her work involved developing mathematical models for wave propagation problems in underwater acoustics
    3. Houston, Texas
    4. She works at Exxon Production Research Company
    5. She is inspiring because she received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Rice, making her the first U.S.-born Hispanic woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics
  4. ali choudhary

    a. Victoria Uribe

    b. she was born in mexico but Raised in Paradise, California

    c. Her work :Victoria’s research interests include inverse problems, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning.she is interested in numerical methods for solving large-scale inverse problems.

    D. she works for Air Force Research Laboratory.

    e. she is inspiring because she shows that i can finish my degree aswell .

  5. Mohsin Ali

    • Alberto Pedro Calderón
    • He was renowned for his groundbreaking work in partial differential equations.
    • He was from Argentine.
    • He lived from (1920-1998).
    • He earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago under Antoni Zygmund and developed the influential “Calderón-Zygmund theory.”
    • The interesting / inspiring thing about him was that, Calderón received the National Medal of Science in 1991, leaving a lasting legacy in mathematical research and applications.
    • The Thing i learned about him was that, His contributions to mathematics impacted physics, engineering, and medicine. 
  6. Rebeca Philias

    DR Ingrid Daubechies . She was born on august 17,1954 , In Houthalen, Belgium , Although she is of Belgian nationality, her father is from Nicaragua making her Hispanic by Heritage. She currenlty lives and woks in the US. She is a professor of mathematics at Duke university. She is known for her groundbreaking contributions to the field of mathematics, particularly in the area of wavelet theory .

  7. IreNwo

    Isaac Newton

    He invented calculus and a better perception of optics, he is from Lincolnshire England. Something I find interesting is how he almost gave up on his education but he kept going he attended trinity college, he also had a interest in alchemy. He was a professor of mathematics at the university of Cambridge.

  8. Pavlo Havryshko

    Julio Cesar was born in May 6 1895 and died in June 18 1974. Julio was born in Brazil and he was a mathematician and also a writer. Julio Cesar before he became a teacher he worked in a library when Julio graduated he became a elementary teacher as a civil engineer at the Escola Politecnica. Julio Cesar lived in small town called Queluz in Sao Paulo Brazil. Julio Cesar inspired me because he wrote many books and he was also a mathematician.

    ” alt=”Júlio César de Mello e Souza (1895 – 1974) A mathematician and educator …”>

  9. Emmanuel

    Name: Melania Alvarez

    She grew up in Mexico City.

    She contributed to mathematics education in Canada receiving a pouliot award. She went from 1983 to receiving her phd in 2016. Then, an incident occurred where her son was placed in a lower-level mathematics track due to his race, so she started to teach minorities because of it. She moved to Vancouver after the incident and continued work shops. This helped him and the groups of people she worked with to improve. This is interesting to me because she was able to continue to teach despite what happened to her son.

  10. Tais Martinez

    Name: Fany Salazar

    She helps parents understand mathematics. Her other work involves being a teacher of mathematics and robotics programs, she also was the secretary for the Association of Women in Mathematics. Salazar is from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She is currently a PhD candidate and in her PhD program teaches minority parents math. Something I found interesting about her biography is that she teaches parents math, because when I try to show my mom what I’m doing, she doesn’t comprehend. I find this amazing because parents are now able to help their children and guide them through problems.

  11. Jose Batista

    1. Fernando coda marques
    2. He developed a full morse theory (enables one to analyze topology of a manifold )along side 3 partners
    3. from Brazil
    4. lives in United States /work at Princeton university
    5. I found interesting that he returned to Brazil for a short while as a researcher
    6. Something I learned about Fernando is that he started his college journey as an engineer
  12. Jose Batista

    1. Fernando coda marques
    2. He developed a full morse theory (enables one to analyze topology of a manifold )along side 3 partners
    3. from Brazil
    4. lives in United States /work at Princeton university
    5. I found interesting that he returned to Brazil for a short while as a researcher
    6. Something I learned about Fernando is that he started his college journey as an engineer
  13. Jose Batista

    1. Fernando coda marques
    2. He developed a full morse theory (enables one to analyze topology of a manifold )along side 3 partners
    3. from Brazil
    4. lives in United States /work at Princeton university
    5. I found interesting that he returned to Brazil for a short while as a researcher
    6. Something I learned about Fernando is that he started his college journey as an engineer
  14. lily padilla

    Name: Jesús Oliver

    Dr. Oliver’s research focuses on 2 things, wave equations arising in general relativity and math education. His research for wave equations is relevant for developing better models for describing how fluids and waves propagate in the universe. Dr. Oliver is originally from Venezuela and currently works at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Oliver is interesting to me because he had many hardships along his path to getting a PHD. He was a high school dropout, had to learn a new language and had very little income but he still managed to graduate Riverside Community College with a 4.0 GPA and got a full ride scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles. He never gave up and I find that very influencing.

  15. Ashley

    Christine Mondragon. Christine was a math teacher. both of Christine’s parents were teachers, so that played a huge part in her interest in teaching. she studied engineering at the university of Illinois because she enjoyed her math and science classes at school. when she finished with school she received a BS degree in engineering and soon after that worked as an environmental engineer before becoming a teacher. Christine has been teaching math at Oak Park and River Forest High School for 23 years and enjoys it. Christine is also a math team coach for 20 years, her and her team have won top tittles and have qualified for state regularly. i couldn’t really find more information on her background like where she grew up but from the looks of it, it seems like she’s living and still teaching in Illinois. Christine caught my attention because of what she said about Hispanic heritage month. I find it relatable how she speaks about how some of her relatives didn’t even finish high school and I feel like most Hispanics have family members who didn’t really get a good education, one that everyone deserves. including my relatives who also came here and gave it their all to getting a job and to be able to provide us and their families a better future. Image

  16. Amanda Padilla

    Dr. Pamela E. Harris is a Mexican-American mathematician who holds the position of Associate Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Wisconsin. Her academic journey includes earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University, as well as Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has also earned recognition as an outstanding mathematical educator, securing several notable awards. In 2020, she received the MAA Northeast Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, and in 2019, she was honored with the MAA Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member and the Council on Undergraduate Research Mathematics and Computer Sciences Division Early Career Faculty Mentor Award.

  17. Brandon Hernandez

    Allow me to introduce you to Jesús Oliver, a dedicated academic with a passion for exploring two fascinating realms: unraveling the mysteries of wave equations in general relativity and enhancing the teaching of mathematics. Dr. Oliver’s research in wave equations aims to refine our models for understanding how fluids and waves move and interact across the vast reaches of the universe. Hailing from Venezuela and currently based at California State University, East Bay, his journey to earning a PhD is a tale of determination and resilience. Despite grappling with challenges such as dropping out of high school, grappling with a new language, and facing financial constraints, he pressed forward. He not only graduated from Riverside Community College with a stellar 4.0 GPA but also secured a full scholarship to the esteemed University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Oliver’s narrative is an inspiring testament to human perseverance, showcasing the incredible heights one can achieve with unwavering resolve and a steadfast belief in their aspirations.

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