Mathematics Sin Fronteras

Bilingual Math Outreach
Brown University
Sep 20-Nov 18, 2021

What is Mathematics Sin Fronteras?

Mathematics Sin Fronteras (MSF) is a Pan-American (virtual) bilingual (English-Spanish) extracurricular weekly math outreach lecture series spread over a 3-month period. The goal of MSF is to introduce (1st and 2nd year) undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds across South, Central and North America to mathematics and its applications in an engaging and inclusive way that complements the usual university/college math curriculum. The aim is also to promote cross-cultural communication by connecting students across the Americas with a passion for math, and provide them with the opportunity to interact with leading researchers in their fields in a bilingual environment. Underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Organizing committee:

Javiera Paulina Barrera (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile)
Alicia Dickenstein (University of Buenos Aires and CONICET – Argentina)
Alicia Prieto Langarica (Youngstown State University, Ohio, US)
Gabriela Ovando (Universidad Nacional de Rosario and CONICET, Argentina)
Kavita Ramanan (Brown University, Rhode Island, US)
Amal Taraabt (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile)

This conference is an initiative of the Math CoOp at Brown University, with support from the Division of Applied Math at Brown University, the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) "Mathematical Science Institutes Diversity Initiative" (MSIDI) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Math (SIAM). In particular, we would like to gratefully acknowledge financial support from MSIDI and SIAM.


Brown Logo

Brown University Division of Applied Mathematics


Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

NSF Logo

NSF Mathematical Science Institutes Diversity Initiative (MSIDI)

Application Form

Applications for the program are now being accepted. Applications submitted by September 5th will be given full consideration. Students who apply are expected to be able to attend all 8 lectures on Zoom (see schedule), and thus should have good internet access to be able to participate actively. Each lecture will be held on a Thursday from 15-16:30 NYC time (-4 GMT).

The lecture series is targeted towards first and second year undergraduate students in South, Central and North America, and open to all, regardless of gender identity or background. Underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
If you have any further questions, email

Speakers and Schedule

The series consists of weekly lectures from September 20--November 18, 2021. Each lecture will be held on a Thursday from 15:00-16:30 Eastern Time (ET), and will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Both lecturers are bilingual, and can ask and answer questions in both English and Spanish. Slides of the lectures and (optional) homework assignments will be available in both English and Spanish. Thus, students need be fluent in only one language, and not both.

Details of the schedule, speakers and lectures are given below, and are also available in the following pdf file.

Mini Course 1

Random graphs, social networks and the internet

Dates and Time: Sep 23, Sep 30, Oct 7, Oct 14, each Thursday 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time (19:00 - 20:30 GMT)

Mariana Olvera Cravioto

Abstract: The course will introduce students to the world of random graphs, starting from simple coin flips to the creation of both static and growing networks. We will discuss why random graphs are useful, and how they can widely differ in their main characteristics. Using very simple ideas from Monte Carlo simulation, we will see how we can easily generate various types of random graphs using a computer. We will then discuss how some of the random graph models presented in the course can be used to study properties seen in real-world networks such as the internet, the web graph, Facebook and Twitter. Finally, we will talk about random walks on graphs and Google’s PageRank algorithm.

Biography: I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at UNC Chapel Hill. I do research in Applied Probability, in particular, I work on problems involving random graphs and heavy-tailed phenomena. I hold a BA in Applied Mathematics from the “Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)”, a MS in Statistics from Stanford University, and a PhD in Management Science & Engineering, also from Stanford University. Prior to joining UNC Chapel Hill, I was a faculty member in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department at Columbia University, and also briefly a visiting faculty in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department at UC Berkeley.
Teaching Assistant (TA): José Ángel Sánchez Gómez
Biography: I am a PhD student in Statistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to UNC, I studied my undergraduate degree in mathematics at “Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas (CIMAT)” in Mexico. I am currently interested in high dimensional inference of graphical models. In my free time, I like to try cooking dishes from other countries.

Mate con coffee

Date and Time: Oct 21, 15:00 - 16:00 Eastern Time (19:00-20:00 GMT)

A relaxed coffee hour held in place of the normal MSF session. Meet your fellow students, TAs, professors, and the MSF organizing committee!

Mini curso 2

Lattice paths, linear algebra and combinatorics

Dates and Time: Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, each Thursday 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time (19:00 - 20:30 GMT for Oct 28/ Nov 4 and 18:00 - 19:30 GMT for Nov 11/ Nov 18)

Carolina Benedetti Velasquez

Abstract: In this minicourse we will see how linear algebra gives rise to certain objects known as matroids. In particular, we will focus our attention on a subfamily of matroids known as Lattice Path Matroids (LPMs). We will learn the combinatorics behind them, which will make our life easier in order to understand other concepts such as matroid quotients. We will only assume undergrad linear algebra.

Biography: I am a Colombian mathematician. I obtained my BSc and MSc degrees in Colombia and my PhD at York University in Canada. After completion in 2013, I obtained a Visiting Associate Professorship at Michigan State University, up to 2015. From 2015 to 2017 I was a postdoc at York U-Fields Institute. Since Fall 2017, I have worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. I am the founder of the Círculos Matemáticos Colombia. I enjoy making use of the math I know to help promote math education in my country. I also love swimming and dancing (both in hold for covid). As for my research, I enjoy working with combinatorial objects and exploring potential algebraic structures on them. Recently I have become also interested on polytopes associated to these type of objects.
Teaching Assistant (TA): Jerónimo Valencia
Biography: I am a Colombian Master's student in Mathematics at Universidad de los Andes. My research interests include algebraic combinatorics and polytopes. Apart from math, I enjoy playing video games and with my cat, and taking care of my plants.

Lecture Videos

Random Graphs, Social Networks and the Internet (Class 1)

Course 1: Random Graphs, Social Networks and the Internet

Course 2: Lattice Paths, Linear Algebra and Combinatorics

Lecture Materials for Each Mini-Course

Mini Course 1

Supplementary Materials

Mini Course 2

Other Materials

Past Programs

Program Endorsements

Below are endorsements from past students in the MSF program:

“It [MSF] definitely has made me more confident in my skills as a mathematician. It showed me an application of mathematics that I had never thought about. It made it more relatable, and I more curious of other ways to use mathematics in today's world.” - Spring 2021

“I would like to go as high as I can. By that I mean I would like to get PhD in Applied Mathematics. I'm currently enrolled in the teaching credential at CSUCI. After getting my teaching credential, I hope to teach 4 years in a middle or high school. Then I'm going to back to school to pursue a Master and possibly a PhD in mathematics.” - Spring 2021

“It is nice to see people that are interested in science all over the continent, it has interested me into someday collaborating with people my age from different countries having the same interests, which I hadn't think before on doing but now it seems possible to do so.” - Spring 2021

“Me inspiró [MSF] conocer a mujeres matemáticas latinas que están siendo reconocidas internacionalmente en sus respectivas áreas y que se muestran accesibles y me emociona saber que estoy teniendo la oportunidad de aprender de ellas.” - Spring 2021

Translation : "It [MSF] inspired me to meet more Latina women in mathematics who are recognized internationally in their respective fields and who demonstrate accessibility, and it excites me to have had the opportunity to learn from them. "


If you have any questions, please e-mail

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