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Federico Ardila

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Federico Ardila
Federico Ardila
Ardila at the 2020 Joint Math Meetings.
EducationB.Sc. 1998, Ph.D. 2003
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
SpouseMay-Li Khoe
Scientific career
FieldsAlgebraic combinatorics
ThesisEnumerative and Algebraic Aspects of Matroids and Hyperplane Arrangements (2003)
Doctoral advisorRichard P. Stanley

Federico Ardila (born 1977) is a Colombian mathematician and DJ who researches combinatorics and specializes in matroid theory. Ardila graduated from MIT with a B.Sc. in mathematics in 1998 and obtained a Ph.D. in 2003 under the supervision of Richard P. Stanley in the same institution.[1] Ardila is currently a professor at the San Francisco State University and additionally holds an adjunct position at the University of Los Andes in Colombia.[2]

Early life and education


Ardila was born in Bogotá, Colombia. During his childhood Ardila showed great promise in mathematics, scoring the highest amongst his age group in the fourth grade.[3] While attending the college-prep Colegio San Carlos in Bogotá, Ardila represented Colombia in the International Math Olympiad, winning a bronze medal in 1993 and a silver medal in 1994.[4]

Prior to attending MIT, Ardila was already enrolled in another local university. Ardila had never heard of MIT, but a classmate told him that they offered financial aid to everyone, so he applied without knowing how competitive the school was.[3]

In addition to mathematics, Ardila enjoys making music and is a co-founder of the Oakland DJ collective La Pelanga.[5][3]



Under his NSF CAREER grant, Ardila has worked to create a larger and more diverse community of members of underrepresented groups within mathematics.[6] Ardila follows certain principles geared towards cultivating diversity within his field of study, which he calls Axioms:[2]

  • Axiom 1. Mathematical potential 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.[7]

As part of his SFSU-Colombia combinatorics initiative, Ardila has provided over 200 hours of lecture videos on YouTube with additional resources for free.[8][9] He is also well known for his appearances in the popular mathematics YouTube video series Numberphile.[10]



Ardila has received many awards, among which are:

Selected writings



  1. ^ "Mathematics Genealogy Project".
  2. ^ a b "federico ardila". math.sfsu.edu. Archived from the original on 2020-02-24. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  3. ^ a b c "Mathematician Federico Ardila Dances to the Joys and Sorrows of Discovery". Quanta Magazine. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Federico Ardila Mantilla". International Mathematical Olympiads. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  5. ^ "About". La Pelanga. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  6. ^ "federico ardila . sfsu-colombia combinatorics initiative". math.sfsu.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  7. ^ Ardila, Federico (November 2016). "Todos Cuentan: Cultivating Diversity in Combinatorics" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 63 (10): 1164–1170. doi:10.1090/noti1434. PMC 5466815. PMID 28607525. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Federico Ardila". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  9. ^ Bruntz, Michael (Fall 2010). "A World-Class Education" (PDF). SF State Magazine. pp. 16–17. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Numberphile". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  11. ^ "Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Simons Foundation Announces 2019 Fellows". Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  13. ^ Padilla, Sara. "¿Quiénes son los ganadores de los Premios de Matemáticas 2019?". Sociedad Colombiana de Matemáticas (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  14. ^ Monahan, Patrick (21 November 2017). "Professor named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society". San Francisco State University. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  15. ^ "CAREER: Matroids, polytopes, and their valuations in algebra and geometry". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 4 May 2020.