Alvaro Carbonero

ML Researcher - Intern
MILA Institute


Alvaro immigrated from Peru to the US at the age of 18. Through serendipity, he discovered his passion for mathematics and changed majors to mathematics at the end of his sophomore year. Despite having a late start, Alvaro worked hard to secure a future as a mathematics researcher. For his work, he received the Goldwater Scholarship and the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship, as well as the Summa cum laude and outstanding graduate distinctions upon graduation.

With the objective of becoming a professor, Alvaro started a funded research master's program at the University of Waterloo, studying structural graph theory, a subject in pure mathematics. Nonetheless, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, and climate change convinced Alvaro to change careers to have a bigger impact in the world. This September, he will start a yearlong fellowship at the Los Alamos National Lab, working to mitigate the effect of greenhouse gasses leaked by orphaned wells.

Alvaro has worked hard to support marginalized communities in mathematics. His biggest achievement in this regard is being a co-organizer and founding member of the Online Undergraduate Resource Fair for the Advancement and Alliance of Marginalized Mathematicians (OURFA2M2), an NSF-funded student-run organization that organizes a yearly online free informational fair. With a consistent yearly growth, the last fair helped over 200 students.

Having published ten papers, Alvaro has participated in multiple research projects in graph theory. His biggest accomplishment in mathematical research is the settlement of a decades-old conjecture which, previously, was considered unapproachable by the mathematical community. Alvaro's team proved that the conjecture is false by creating a novel graph construction technique.

“When I told my parents that I would be a mathematician, their first worry was unemployment. Will I get a job? Where? Doing what? Honestly, I was not sure either. This was a consequence of very few of us being in the math community. When we join the math community, we want to merge with it, but its overlap with our community of origin is so small that sometimes we forget. We tune it down. This is why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important. It is an opportunity for us to remember and celebrate who we are.”