AMRPU@FIU 23 Student Showcase

We have a great group of students this year from all over the country. Each student brings their personality and specialty to the team. We hope that all student will use their background to the best of their ability to help the research teams produce interesting findings. We want to share with you some of the brilliant minds that help make up the team.
  • Jason Carranza

    Florida International University

    I am a senior and my interest in math lies in stochastic differential equations and how they can be used to model systems. Statistics and analysis interest me to further understand stochastic differential equations. I love proof writing and making sure what I know is true, and not assumed to be. Another area of interest I have is in computer science as it is another form of problem solving with different tools. At this REU I hope to find out more about when systems of differential equations converge when coupled, even if there are SDE added to them.

  • Diego Castro

    Florida International University

    I’m currently an undergraduate student majoring in computer science and mathematics at FIU. My research interests center on machine learning, geometry and optimization. In particular I’m interested in using geometric tools to provide guarantees on the preservation of desirable properties of machine learning models after common transformations. During the REU I’ll be working with Dr. Cem Sayar on studying the properties of Riemannian Submersions of smooth manifolds. In the future, I expect to continue my studies at a PhD program and I hope that my experience at AMRPU will give me the necessary tools to succeed then.

  • Rene Esusy

    Florida International University

    My passion emanates from the intersection of Mathematics & Education. I believe that our goal in life is to expand our knowledge/awareness of ourselves as well as the world we inhabit. Thus, as a Mathematics student, I aim to proliferate my knowledge in Analysis (particularly Fractals as well as PDEs & their connection to Quantum Mechanics) as well as Number Theory (particularly Cryptography & Goldbach's Conjecture). My research this summer will revolve around PDEs and the use of Strichartz estimates on PDEs. Ultimately, I hope to become a professor so that I may continue to refine my knowledge through research while also inspiring others to pursue Truth.

  • Jacob Garrett

    Auburn University at Montgomery

    In addition to the research I am doing at FIU, I have completed and will expand upon my own Math Biology research involving animal dispersal and patches. I also have a strong interest in machine learning, leading me to create a neural network with a convolution layer from scratch. Further, I created other programs outside of the academic environment just to see if I could. In school, my freshman year grade point average was poor; however, I have made the Dean's List (4.0 gpa) six semesters running. I am currently the vice-president of Math Club and will take over as president in December.

  • Jacob Glidewell

    University of Alabama

    Howdy, I am a rising senior at the University of Alabama concurrently pursuing a double major in mathematics and physics and a master’s in mathematics. My main interests lie in analysis and geometry. In the past, I have participated in research with the Jacobian conjecture and my master’s thesis on the Darboux-Stieltjes integral. At this REU, I am working on the stability of bases and frames in finite and infinite dimensional vector spaces, involving a variety of tools from linear algebra and functional analysis. In general, I love working on problems. Namely, I enjoy competing in the Putnam competition every year and coaching Alabama’s ARML team with a group of wonderful high school students from around my state. In graduate school, I plan to continue my studies in analysis with interests in geometric analysis and analytic number theory.

  • Chandler Haight

    Drake University

    My name is Chandler Haight (she/hers), and I am obtaining a B.S. in Mathematics and Chemistry at Drake University. My undergraduate research involved studying a system of PDEs with numerical analysis. At last summer’s REU, I was able to collaborate on research studying breather and soliton solutions to the Korteweg-De Vries equation and their stabilities. This summer, I look forward to continuing my advancements in PDE research and growing my skills as a research mathematician. I wish to continue into an Applied Mathematics in order to pursue academia to teach and conduct research as a professor for mathematics.

  • Michael Ilyin

    Florida International University

    My name is Michael Ilyin, I’m a rising senior majoring in mathematical sciences at Florida International University. My interests lie in pure mathematics, with a focus on areas such as analytic number theory, discrete geometry, and the geometry of numbers. Last summer, under the supervision of Professor Yanqiu Guo, I studied the bounds on large gaps between numbers that are representable as a sum of two squares. During this summer’s REU program, I plan to obtain results about the sparse distribution of lattice points in the regions between concentric shapes by using tools from analytic number theory. In addition to my coursework and undergraduate research, I serve as a learning assistant for math courses at FIU. Upon completion of my undergraduate studies, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in pure mathematics, with the goal of working as a mathematics research professor. When I’m not doing math, I enjoy walking along the beach, playing chess, and spending time with my family.

  • Katherine Jordan

    Florida International University

    Most people are familiar with Dr. Seuss’ ‘Sam-I-Am’ and I agree with Sam; you cannot truly know if you don’t like something until you try it. And, because of this, I have opened the door to several interesting experiences, like partaking in various college clubs, including fencing, music, criminology, and math, as well as participating in small theatrical productions for Talent’s Unleashed. But every new experience comes with its own challenges, and these have helped shape my determination for mathematics. Because even though I really enjoy courses like combinatorics and number theory I struggled, but this just fuels my determination to fully understand these topics on my own! So due to my opportunistic and determined personality, I now find myself participating in this REU Program where I am researching Graph Theory Domination. Through this opportunity, I am learning and growing as a person, and a Mathematician, and I am going to keep applying the skills and knowledge I learn at FIU to further my education, obtaining a Ph.D., in order to educate and inspire the next generation of mathematicians!

  • Grayson Light

    University of Cincinnati

    I am a triple major in Mathematics, Astrophysics, and Physics, and I have a minor in Spanish for fun. My research interests are primarily analysis and differential geometry. At the University of Cincinnati, I am currently involved in researching power spectra and fitting shell models to a Lyman-𝛼 transparent source, and at FIU, I am studying submersions and Riemannian manifolds with Dr. Cem Sayer. After my undergrad, I plan on pursuing a PhD in mathematics (likely focusing on analysis), and as an extroverted kind of guy, I believe my communication skills will help my future presentations be enjoyable and approachable for everyone. And, if I really need to get my audience’s attention, I can always bust out my professional yoyo skills. If you would like to reach me, here is my address:

  • Manuel Lopez Del Castillo

    Florida International University

    Yo! I am prospective graduate student currently excited about doing research in Domination Theory. One of my favorite projects from my undergraduate career was programming schemes for finding roots of functions in Python and comparing them to see how their advantages and disadvantages might compare. I am currently in the process of collecting data from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to evaluate character and kart combinations to find optimized strategies and builds online for each track in the game. I love playing fighting games, going on jogs, lifting weights, and learning languages. The experience of tutoring a wide range of people from different backgrounds has helped me develop important traits for working with other people, like patience, kindness, empathy, humility, and confidence. I am a hard-working, disciplined, focused, and organized individual who isn't afraid to fail many times before finding a solution to a problem.

  • Lily Padgett-Pflucker

    Florida International University

    While participating in this REU, I will be on the topic of math biology, more specifically modeling tumor behavior using differential equations. This is especially interesting to me because in the future I hope to explore more real-world applications of mathematics. In addition to this research, I would like to explore machine-learning further. I consider myself to be an organized person, who’s easy to work with. Throughout my college career I’ve mastered Java, become proficient with Python, MatLab, and SQL. In my spare time I enjoy reading, volunteering, and cycling.

  • Gregory Roudenko


    I have always had an interest in studying complex systems and finding the patterns that emerge throughout them. This has manifested as an interest in AI & data science. But, this has also fueled a fascination with the studies such as chemistry & biochem; but also astronomy and astrophysics. At the REU, I look forward to working on a project researching and creating a model for the Fermi Paradox, simulating the evolution of potential intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy and why we haven’t seen any signs of it yet. I find this interesting because it is a new field with an unsolved and extremely complex and open problem with large implications for technological progress and innovation.

  • Mikhail Samoshin

    University of Florida

    The intersection between mathematics and physics has always fascinated me. For one, it consistently prompted the development of revolutionary ideas—it would be splendid if I spearheaded the next major development. Hence, I’m fond of linear algebra and differential equations. That said, I’m of the opinion that the best invention ever was created millennia ago: language. I love to write for a multitude of reasons—it aids introspection, it facilitates planning, and it synthesizes questions that are existentially redefining. Nonetheless, language has its descriptive limitations, which is why I both consume and create art. Reality within itself is aesthetically limited, is it not? Nonetheless, reality does have its charms. I attribute my athletic ability with facilitating great memorable experiences—like hiking Mt. Vesuvius, the task was trivially easy and the view was spectacular.

  • Beckett Sanchez

    Florida International University

    I am a rising senior at Florida International University. I had the privilege of attending last year's REU where I participated in a research group studying partial differential equations (PDEs). During that time we obtained novel results regarding well-posedness of the nonlinear Schrodinger equation. This year I will be studying the techniques used to establish well-posedness theory which are applicable to many models. My current interests lie at the intersection of differential equations, differential geometry, and mathematical physics. I plan on attending a graduate school with active faculty in these areas of research.

  • Aron Silberwasser Vaisman

    Florida International University

    Hello there! I just finished my first year as an undergraduate, and this is my first experience in applied math research. Linear algebra, calculus, and differential equations are my favorite topics in math, and I have also grown a liking to programming. I had programmed a derivative and Integral calculator in python using matrices in my spare time to synthesize both my passions. My project combines both my interests again, as I will be predicting bitcoin prices through machine learning. Outside of that, I spend my time playing vintage video games, playing card games, immersing myself in Star Wars, and visualizing different mathematical concepts on my little whiteboard.

  • Aliah Sow

    Iowa State University

    I am a rising senior double majoring in Mathematics and French. During my time at Iowa State, I have enjoyed my courses on Analysis because of their applications in biology, economics, finance, etc. Last summer, I participated in an REU at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where I worked on a project on the Mittag-Leffler function and its computational simulations in relation to Fractional Differential Equations. This summer, I will be working on a Machine Learning project where I will be using clustering and predictions to model Bitcoin trends. In the spring of 2023, I did an exchange program at the University of Montreal, where I took Complex Variables and Partial Differential Equations courses taught entirely in French. My participation in undergraduate research is fueled by my motivation to continue mathematical research at the graduate level and obtain a Ph.D. in mathematics.

  • Kennedy S. Vallenilla

    Florida International University

    Mathematics was not always my strong suit, almost failing it in high school, but since then, I have made significant progress and will be graduating in the fall of this year with a degree in Applied Mathematics. This summer I am working on research involving domination in graphs and cartesian products of graphs. Graph Theory is a visual area of mathematics which piqued my interest and I wanted to further research it. Upon graduating from FIU, I want to attend graduate school and then potentially work for the United States government. Apart from my studies, I like to travel and learn. Earlier this year my travels took me to Zurich, Switzerland and visited ETH Zurich which is the University that Albert Einstein attended and graduated from!

  • Jamal Wagnac

    Florida International University

    Hello, I am an undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Statistics. As a high school student, I graduated from Miami Dade College with an Associate of Arts degree. While I was in high school, my major was accounting but I fell out of love with it when I took a beginning statistics course which changed my mind instantly. The area I am interested in for REU are statistics, programming/ coding, and calculus. My goals for joining the REU are to develop more team working or collaborative skills and deepen my knowledge in programming or math in general. My dream goal for my career when I am done with college, is to mix my love of sports with statistics by working as a statistician for either ESPN or Fox Sports.

Special thanks go out to Edwin Hickman and Chandler Haight for their help with the photos.