- I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. My father was a Mexican immigrant, and though my mom's side of the family has been in El Paso for a couple of generations, their family roots are also Mexican. My father was a USPS postal worker and my mother is a public school teacher. I am the second oldest of 4 brothers (unfortunately, one short of a full basketball team). I am a product of El Paso public schools, and am a proud graduate of Vilas Elementary, Wiggs Middle, and El Paso High School. Go Cowboys/Wolverines/Tigers!
- I am broadly interested in the issue of equity. In my role as a mathematician, this mostly translates to me being active in various outreach and mentoring actives. Here is a photo of my second and fourth M-STEM classes; for more info on M-STEM and my other outreach/mentoring work, please see my teaching page.
- I'm a late entrant to the world of math, and didn't even know that it was possible to be a "professional mathematician" until I got to college. In fact, I struggled with the distributive property and factorization in middle school, and didn't have the most positive view of math at the time. However, after two years in the College of Engineering at Boston University, I took a linear algebra course that I really enjoyed, and changed my major afterwards. I was also lucky enough to have mentors in the math department at BU (namely, David Fried and Jeehoon Park). Though I don't think that my struggles with math will ever end, I don't regret my decision.
- I love watching and playing sports. I was a captain on my wrestling team in high school, and also goal-tended on an IM soccer league at Michigan. I'm proud to be a founding member of the Michigan Math Basketball All-Stars, an IM team at Michigan that also played weekly pickup games at the CCRB. I continued to play basketball at least twice a week in Minneapolis (with Dave and the rest of the lunchtime pickup crew), and would love to play more in Salt Lake. If you know of any regular pickup games at Utah (either on campus, or elsewhere in the city), please let me know! When I can find the time, I also enjoy running; in addition to some 5Ks, I ran the Detroit Half-Marathon (my first) in October of 2010, and the Dexter-Ann Arbor half marathon in June 2012.
- I'm broadly concerned with environmental issues, and am actively interested in recycling and conserving resources. I don't own a car, and get around everywhere via bicycle or public transit. Though this is partly motivated by environmental concerns, I also really enjoy riding my bike around town, and am happy to avoid the hassles and costs associated with car ownership. In spite of this, Car Talk remains one of my favorite programs!