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, Bobby Kleinberg, and Pamela Harris. 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.

In Spring 2023, I will visit the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) as a participant for the semester-long program Discrete Optimization: Mathematics, Algorithms, and Computation. In Summer 2022, I was 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.