PIMS-SFU Distinguished Speaker Series in Applied & Computational Mathematics Seminar: Fernando Reitich (CANCELLED)

  • Date: 04/18/2019
  • Time: 15:30
Professor Fernando Reitich

Simon Fraser University


Why learn mathematics? A personal journey


In this talk I will present the personal journey that the study of mathematics has allowed me to travel so far. It begins with a typical academic career, focused on  research in applied mathematics, and specifically the mathematics related to the mechanical, chemical and optical properties of materials. On this, I shall spend a  bit of time relating my incursion into the area of “nanoplasmonics”, which allowed me to work in a remarkable multidisciplinary environment that truly delivered on its potential and promises.


From there I will talk about my transition into an executive (and then, a Board) position at a large group of (Chilean) companies in the areas of iron ore mining,  steelmaking, steel processing, infrastructure, services, etc. I hope to explain how the very nature of my background as a mathematician allowed me to lead a company through the worst of pricing crises in the iron and steel industries (from 2013 to 2018).


Not only did the technical knowledge help me learn, understand and make informed decisions on every aspect of the operation and the business, but also the characteristics cultivated while learning mathematics (logic, creativity, patience, honesty, humbleness) proved fundamental to our success. It is my hope that an account of my journey will help convince us of the importance of learning mathematics for all, and will inspire some to pursue their own unique journey, devoid of preconceptions.

Other Information: 


Please note that this talk has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.