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Pi Mu Epsilon Talk – Dr. William Velez, University of Arizona
September 28, 2016 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
The Accidental Mathematician William Yslas Vélez Department of Mathematics University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
As I come to the end of my career I am amazed as to how lucky I have been. I grew up along the US- Mexican border and while we lived in Tucson, Arizona I spent my summers in Sonora, Mexico. What an amazing experience to have access to these two cultures. Though I greatly appreciated living in the US, I loved the Mexican culture, its music and its food. As I have travelled through academia, I have been able to carry this culture with me. I would be lost without it.
In 1965 I made the decision to become a mathematics major and to earn a PhD in mathematics. That decision changed the direction of my life. Since then I can honestly say that I have not had to work, I have lived an adventure. The positions that I have held have been fun and exciting. These positions have provided me with opportunities for creative expression and for relevance.
In this talk I will describe my career path, how I have handled being the only Chicano in almost any position that I have held, and describe some of my mathematical and public policy work.