Sebastián Alejandro Muñoz Thon

Research Assistant
Purdue University


Sebastián Muñoz Thon is a Ph.D. student in Mathematics at Purdue University, working under the supervision of Plamen Stefanov and Gunther Uhlmann. He was born in Valdivia, a city in the south of Chile. Amazed by the ideas of “real mathematics” while attending a summer school he decided to study mathematics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). There, he received his Licenciatura en Matemáticas (BS in Mathematics) and his Magíster en Matemáticas (MS in Mathematics), where he worked under the supervision of Mariel Sáez Trumper. In fall of 2021, he moved to Purdue University. Sebastián’s research interests include microlocal analysis and geometric applications, geometric inverse problems, and geometric flows. In particular, he is interested in boundary rigidity problems, scattering rigidity problems, and fractional harmonic maps and their heat flows. 

Sebastián also likes to share and promote the study of mathematics. As he was carrying on his studies in Chile, he was a teaching assistant for several courses for a wide variety of students, including students from the faculty of engineering, students from the faculty of education, and both undergraduate and graduate students in mathematics. He also served as a member of the Chilean Campeonato Nacional de Matemáticas between 2015 and 2016, and as teaching assistant Taller de Razonamiento Matemático (at PUC) from 2017 up to 2021, a free workshop for high school students interested in mathematics. At Purdue, he has been a grader, a teaching assistant, and a co-organizer of the Graduate Students Analysis Seminar. In addition, he was a teaching assistant for the first version of Mathematics Sin Fronteras, a bilingual (English, Spanish) math outreach lecture series with the aim of promoting cross-cultural communication by connecting students across the Americas with a passion for mathematics.

Sebastián has two pieces of advice for students: First, it is useful to fix a goal and divide it in little parts. Secondly, try to advance in your objectives day by day, but do not be discouraged if you are not able to advance as much as you want every day, recalling that there are bad and good days.

“I am honored to be part of this celebration, Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it helps to make visible Latin people working on mathematics and shows to the new generations that different paths involving mathematics are possible.”