Juan Carlos Martínez Mori.
Juan Carlos Martínez Mori.


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 Summer@ICERM 2022: Computational Combinatorics, an REU program hosted by the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM). In Summer 2021, I was a Teaching Assistant for MSRI-UP 2021: Parking Functions: Choose your own adventure, an REU program hosted by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), and especially designed for students from groups underrepresented in mathematics. In Fall 2020, I "visited" the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) as a participant for the semester-long program Mathematical Challenges and Opportunities for Autonomous Vehicles, which took place online due to the pandemic. In Summer 2020, I was a Research Science Intern at Amazon, where I worked on a machine assignment problem for order fullfilment. In Summer 2017, 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 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.