Eric Vazquez

Institution/Organization: University of Saint Mary

Department: Chemistry/Math

Academic Status: Undergraduate Student

What conference theme areas are you interested in:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for science and engineering;
Applications in science, engineering, and industry;
Computation with discrete structures and graphs;
Data assimilation, challenges in data science, math of AI and ML;
Inverse problems, optimization, and uncertainty quantification


My academic interests are to learn as many different aspects of mathematics. After all, undergraduate school is meant to expose a student to the different possibilities. I have no current preference over theory or application as both interest me immensely. In the applied side of mathematics I have gained an interest in graph theory and its applications to real word problems. Currently, I am working on a research project at LBNL that uses graphs to compute protein similarity. This is done using a marginalized graph kernel that employs probabilistic models of random walk paths. Theoretical mathematics also interests me. Understanding connections between sets in the real world has always been an interest to me as a young child. I did not always realize that mathematics can represent many real world situations, but as I continue to progress in my education I learn more about the connections between real world interactions and mathematics. Calculus can be used to solve many engineering problems. Graph theory can be used to represent connections between groups. The list goes one, but I enjoy seeing the logic behind mathematics. For this reason I want to pursue a Ph.D. in Mathematics as it will give me the chance to explore mathematics possibilities.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests:

In my time as an undergraduate student I have found that committing my time to a few different hobbies makes for a healthy lifestyle. The two major activities I devote my time are more of commitments. My choice in school was partially influenced by athletics. I am a member of my schools cross country and track teams. As a member of these times I have been able to grow priceless relationships that have made me value the importance of connecting with others. In my last few seasons of competition I have received opportunities to lead my team as an upperclassmen. Some of my teammates have not had the same resources or experiences with running as me so I have always leapt at the chance to help my teammates understand the science behind running. My goal as a team leader is not to just make my fellow teammates the best athletes but also to make them great people of character. Our team takes great pride in our reputation or hard work and respect. Getting the chance to pass down these traditions is an important duty I enjoy as a teammate. Along with my commitment to running I have been apart of my university’s STEM club for the past three years. In the last two years I have served on the board and this fall I will complete my term as the president of our club. Our STEM club is focused on reaching out to the students on campus and creating positive experiences with our STEM Colloquiums. These colloquiums are fun and interactive presentations that can cover any subject from video games to physics. Another part of our STEM club is that we involved ourselves in the community. For the past few years we have been assisting in our local science Olympiad serving as test proctors and helping in any possible way. As a member of both the STEM club and Cross Country/Track team I have gotten the chance to grow as a person and to help others grow.