Dr. Maria D. Vega was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. Her family moved to California when she was eleven years old. The transition from a small school in the mountains to a large public school in Southern California was very challenging. The language barrier was a huge burden and Maria found that in mathematics that burden was not there, instead she developed a love for mathematics. After finishing high school, Maria attended California State University, Fullerton and earned a BA in Mathematics. After graduation, Maria moved to Louisiana State University, where she earned a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Sage. Maria then went on to complete a three year NSF Alliance Postdoc at North Carolina State University. Maria taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point for three years before moving back to North Carolina, where she currently holds an Assistant Professor position at Saint Augustine’s University (HBCU).
Maria’s research interests are in algebra, particularly in the Representation Theory for Hopf Algebras. Maria’s dissertation focused in Twisted Frobenius-Schur Indicators for Hopf Algebras. Maria has continued this line of research extending it to more general representation theory, including number theory.
Maria’s goal is to share her knowledge and passion about mathematics to help students develop their own skills. Maria guides students to approach problems using their own intuition and by addressing real world problems when appropriate. She aims to involve all students by viewing them as individuals and to honor their different abilities and frustrations with respect. She has taught students who are potential Rhodes Scholars as well as those who struggle to read words on paper and in either situation, students can develop the motivation and knowledge to attain their goals.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to reflect and acknowledge each others’ contributions and it serves as a reminder that we are not alone, that there are more things that unite us than divide us.