Throughout his life, Arturo Ortiz-Tapia has found that doing mathematics is not only about developing the subject itself, but also about communicating it to people who are not necessarily mathematics colleagues. There are several periods in his life where he worked as a science popularizer in general, and as mathematical expositor in particular.

Arturo first read about Martin Gardner’s magical mathematics when he was only eight years old. Ever since, he’s been convinced that explaining how you arrive at a brilliant mathematical conclusion is as important as the conclusion itself. The cognitive scaffolding matters. He has been inspired by many science popularizers: Carl Sagan, Hannah Fry, Stephen Hawking, Marcus du Sautoy, and Julieta Fierro, to name just a few. The inspiration he got from them led to his commitment to becoming a better expositor in education (especially now, as a high school teacher). At this point in his life, Arturo is embracing his desire to become a full-time teacher.

Most of Arturo’s working life has dealt with the development of systematic modeling, in particular mathematical modeling of deterministic and/or stochastic systems. As a scientific researcher at the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) for over 16 years, he applied systematic modeling to several problems concerning flow and transport in porous media, that is, multi-physics problems. Thus, even though the research conceptually started with physical phenomena, most of his time was spent applying mathematics in one way or another. He often manipulated data for further analysis, including the computational implementation of the numerical models. Although primarily concerned with research, the results were aimed at given projects, and thus he could do data and modeling analysis targeted to a given purpose.

Arturo teaches, tutors, and mentors mostly, but not exclusively, in mathematics. His first assistant professor position was at the Technological Institute of Celaya teaching linear algebra. He is occasionally invited by local high schools to give a conference on a requested subject. Arturo has directed two engineering dissertations and advised more than 20 student projects. He believes teaching is more than just knowing the subject; it is also knowing the cognitive processes that students undergo, in order to pinpoint any difficulties they might have.

In 2001, Arturo received his PhD in physics from Czech Technical University in Prague. He has been a reviewer for Computing Reviews since 2007, with more than 50 reviews.

Predictive models for decision support in the COVID-19 crisis Marques J., Gois F., Xavier-Neto J., Fong S., Springer International Publishing, New York, NY, 2021. 208 pp. Type: Book (978-3-030619-12-1) The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first pandemic to have occurred in the history of humanity, but it is the first one where it is possible to use a vast array of mathematical tools to describe, analyze, and even attempt to forecast possible outcome...

Jul 26 2022

Mixture models and applications Bouguila N., Fan W., Springer International Publishing, New York, NY, 2019. 355 pp. Type: Book (978-3-030238-75-9) Mixture models refer to the fact that many datasets have an internal structure that can be better analyzed with more than one probability distribution as models for the data. These two (or more) models may be more or less mixed in terms of data di...

IBM: the rise and fall and reinvention of a global icon Cortada J., The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2019. 752 pp. Type: Book (978-0-262039-44-4) This work explains that IBM’s success is due to its culture of “THINK,” more specifically to “think,” “learn,” and “take action,” based on data and practical thoughtfulness. Applying these R...

Sep 26 2019

Back to the future Cerf V. Communications of the ACM 62(6): 7-7, 2019. Type: Article The name of this short article comes from the fact that the dawn of the Internet with the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) reintroduced the store-and-forward method used for telegraphs, but instead of human nodes that made infor...

Aug 15 2019

Exploring ODEs Trefethen L., Birkisson A., Driscoll T., SIAM-Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, PA, 2017. 343 pp. Type: Book (978-1-611975-15-4) Right from the introduction it is clear that Exploring ODEs has a strong pedagogical and practical aim. The authors have created an easy-to-remember word, FLASHI. Depending on which letters are capitalized (for example, FlaSHi, flAShI, and ...

Jan 10 2019

Sleep behavior assessment via smartwatch and stigmergic receptive fields Alfeo A., Barsocchi P., Cimino M., La Rosa D., Palumbo F., Vaglini G. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 22(2): 227-243, 2018. Type: Article A stigmergic receptive field (SRF) is suggested as an improved variant of machine learning (ML). The authors successfully prove their proposed variant. They analyze heartbeat rate and accelerometer data coming from a smart watch to determine, via ...

Attention recognition in EEG-based affective learning research using CFS+KNN algorithm Hu B., Li X., Sun S., Ratcliffe M. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 15(1): 38-45, 2018. Type: Article Probably the core of this paper is the usage of “correlation-based feature selection (CFS) plus a k-nearest neighbors (KNN) data mining algorithm.” The authors compare it with some other machine learning algorithms f...

Jun 21 2018

A finite element method for high-contrast interface problems with error estimates independent of contrast Guzmán J., Sánchez M., Sarkis M. Journal of Scientific Computing 73(1): 330-365, 2017. Type: Article Guzmán et al. explain their method with a polygonal, convex, tubular domain, and an immersed interface definable with a function with the first derivative, which does not change in time. The jumps across a discontinuity are defined as expressions ...