Silvia Jiménez Bolaños

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Colgate University


Silvia Jiménez Bolaños was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) in 2002. She worked as an instructor at UCR and as a high school teacher at the Pan-American School in Costa Rica for two years before applying to graduate school in the United States. Silvia obtained her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2010, as a student of Robert Lipton. At LSU, she received Certificates of Teaching Excellence as well as the David Oxley Memorial Graduate Student Teaching Award. After graduation, she moved to Massachusetts and became a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She moved to Hamilton, NY in 2013, where she joined the Department of Mathematics at Colgate University as a Visiting Assistant Professor. In 2015, her position changed to Assistant Professor, and she is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Colgate University. She is married and has two children.

Silvia's current research centers on the Mathematics of Material Sciences. Her areas of research include Analysis of Partial Differential Equation, Multiscale Analysis, and Nonlinear Elasticity. She works to develop mathematical tools to study models related to applications in engineering, materials science, and mechanics. Together with her collaborators, she addresses questions pertaining to elasticity, photonics, and multiscale analysis of heterogeneous media. She is very thankful for the research award she has received from the National Science Foundation to develop her research.

At Colgate, she has been a faculty liaison and mentor for science-interested students from underrepresented groups. She has participated in panels and given talks in a number of institutions on her experience as a first generation student, as a woman, and as a Latina in STEM. She has given several talks about her experience (past and current) with the Imposter Syndrome. She is currently a member of the SIAM membership committee and its Education Subcommittee.

Silvia advises students that “Hard work is really important, of course, but creating a network/community is crucial for success and for mental health.” She encourages students, “Apply to internships, present posters and try to give talks at conferences, join/start students chapter (SIAM/AWM/SACNAS) at your institution; these are examples of ways to create opportunities for yourself, advance your career, and create community.”

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration. It is a time to learn about and recognize the influence, accomplishments, and the many contributions to this country of Hispanic Americans, in particular in mathematics. I hope this celebration helps motivate and inspire future generations of Hispanic/Latinx students to pursue careers in STEM.”