Juan Carlos Martínez Mori.
Juan Carlos Martínez Mori.


12/3/20: I passed my A-exam (admission to candidacy)!

I am a PhD candidate in the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University, where I am fortunate to work with Samitha Samaranayake. My minor committee members are David Shmoys and Bobby Kleinberg. Mathematically, I'm interested in combinatorial optimization, particularly in approximation algorithms and online decision-making. In terms of applications, I'm interested in the urban environment, particularly in mobility.

This Summer, I am a Teaching Assistant for MSRI-UP 2021: Parking Functions: Choose your own adventure, an REU program hosted by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and especially designed for students from groups underrepresented in mathematics. Last Fall, I "visted" the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) as a Fellow for the semester-long program Mathematical Challenges and Opportunities for Autonomous Vehicles, which took place online due to the pandemic. Last Summer, I was a Research Science Intern at Amazon, where I worked on a machine assignment problem for order fullfilment. A few years ago, I was Bosch Energy Research Network Intern, where I worked on traffic microsimulation.

I received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Minor in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2017. While at Illinois, I was advised by Dan Work (now at Vanderbilt University). My research included traffic esimation in safety-critical environments as well as applied machine-learning for freight-rail systems.

I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In high school, I had the opportunity to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which motivated me to pursue a career in STEM. I was able to complete my undergraduate education in the United States through a very generous scholarship awarded by the Government of Ecuador.

I find the following axioms, which I discovered here, to be truly inspiring and empowering:

  • Axiom 1. Mathematical talent is distributed equally among different groups, irrespective of geographic, demographic, and economic boundaries.
  • Axiom 2. Everyone can have joyful, meaningful, and empowering mathematical experiences.
  • Axiom 3. Mathematics is a powerful, malleable tool that can be shaped and used differently by various communities to serve their needs.
  • Axiom 4. Every student deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.


  1. On the Request-Trip-Vehicle Assignment Problem. Juan C. Martinez Mori and Samitha Samaranayake. Accepted, SIAM Conference on Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms (ACDA21) , 2021.
  2. Bounded Asymmetry in Road Networks. Juan C. Martínez Mori and Samitha Samaranayake. Scientific Reports, 2019.
  3. The Batched Set Cover Problem. Juan C. Martinez Mori and Samitha Samaranayake. Unpublished manuscript, 2018.
  4. Prediction of arrival times of freight traffic on US railroads using support vector regression. William Barbour, Juan C. Martínez Mori, Shankara Kuppa, and Daniel Work. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 2018.
  5. Predicting delay ocurrence at freight rail sidings. Juan C. Martínez Mori, William Barbour, Shankara Kuppa, and Daniel Work. In Proceedings of the Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting, 2018.
  6. Estimating traffic conditions from smart work zone systems. Yanning Li, Juan C. Martínez Mori, and Daniel Work. Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2018.