Math

I am a fierce advocate of the promotion, accessibility, popularization and desacralization of mathematics. As a researcher, I am interested in applications of model theory (a branch of mathematical logic) to algebra and geometry. Specifically, my work has been focused on developing extensions of classic differential Galois theory to more general algebraic contexts. In addition, I have spent time studying the connections and interactions between mathematics and narrative arts and, more recently, I have got interested in the use of mathematical tools to extract information from large collections of documents in applications to social sciences.

On teaching

Teaching mathematics is my passion. I believe education is the most effective way of contributing to the construction of a more egalitarian and open society. This document (written during Fall 2011) collects some of my current guiding principles when it comes to think about mathematics and education.

Publications

  • Iterative differential Galois theory: a model theoretic approach (pdf)
    J. Symbolic Logic, Volume 76, Issue 1 (2011), 125-142

    This paper offers a generalization of the classic differential Galois theory to positive characteristic iterative differential fields (also known as Hasse fields). It is proven, using model theoretic techniques) that there is a well behaved theory of non-lineal differential Galois extensions associated to logarithmic iterative differential equations on algebraic groups over the constants.

  • Hechos y palabras: la realidad colombiana vista a través de la prensa escrita (link)
    (Words and facts: an analysis of Colombian reality through the written news media)
    Documentos CEDE, Volume 46, Universidad de los Andes (2011)

    In collaboration with Juan Manuel Caicedo (CMU) and Alejandro Gaviria (U. de los Andes), this paper introduces a database of twenty years of Colombian news articles. It is shown how the basic analysis of n-grams can provide insight and perspective on the socio-political and economical reality of the country. It suggests that this kind of analysis could be used to provide approximate measurements of unquantifiable (or only partially quantifiable) phenomena (e.g., corruption, violence, political struggle).

  • Auge, muerte e inesperada resurrección de una teoría matemática de la narrativa (pdf)
    (Rise, death and unexpected resurrection of a mathematical theory of narrative)
    To be published in Mathematics and Contemporary Culture, ed. Fernando Zalamea, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2011)

    This short essay (English translation on the works) revolves around the notion of structure in narrative. It uses this notion to suggest similarities between the construction of stories and the practice of mathematics. It argues that the development of narrative structure is a kind of mathematical problem in disguise and therefore its solutions have (yet to be discovered and formalized) mathematical value.

Academic Bio: I did my undergrad at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Then, I went to Urbana, Illinois, to pursue graduate studies. While working on my dissertation under the supervision of Anand Pillay, I spent some time in Leeds, UK, and Barcelona, Spain. From 2008 to 2010 I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut Camille Jordan, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. From January 2011 to December 2011, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the department of pure mathematics of the University of Waterloo.

Slides and talks:

Some things I do

Javier Moreno
Blog: http://finiterank.com/notas
Twitter: @bluelephant
bluelephant@gmail.com

Random bits

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I grew up in Lorica, Colombia. I am left handed. I endured the rigours of military training. I like ninjas, robots, structure, parallelisms, brevity, mojitos and friendship. I promote open culture, independient media and free software. I believe that science, technology and mathematics should be accesible to everyone. I have lived in too many places already. I rather prefer to stay at home. I take pictures. I am married to Mónica Guzmán. She is a neuroscientist with a weakness for neurodegenerative disorders. Plinio is the name of our Spanish cat. He is an anthropologist, sociologist and diletante who was allegedly born in 1903. In London, Ontario, where we now live, we adopted Gonta, our second cat. He is a survivor. On September 9th 2010 our son, Mauricio Arturo, was born. Unfortunately, he died three days later. He was beautiful. We miss him. On July 8th 2012 Laia Estela was born. She is wonder and happiness. She also seems to have unlimited crying energy.

Escritura

Inframundo es una colección truncada de relatos paranormales que escribí en ratos libres entre 2009 y 2010. Buena parte de las historias giran en torno a la percepción de la muerte por parte de los muertos. Lo autopubliqué en formato digital para distribución libre. Está disponible acá.
Lo definitivo y lo temporal es un libro de cuentos sobre personas y cosas que se pierden. Está repleto de malabares y vicios estilísticos del autor principiante que intento aplacar desde entonces. Lo escribí entre 2006 y 2007. Fue publicado por el Fondo Editorial EAFIT en 2008.

Algunos textos

Me gusta contar historias y jugar con textos. He publicado dos libros de relatos.

También he escrito artículos sobre literatura, cine, cultura, política, ciencia, tecnología y farándula para El Espectador, Ochoymedio.info, Revista Matera, Mapache, Pie de Página, El Malpensante, The Quarterly Conversation y Arcadia.

Por otro lado, soy coeditor y diseñador de HermanoCerdo, una revista digital sobre literatura y artes marciales en español.

En verano de 2011 terminé Para poder llegar, una novela corta de ciencia ficción sobrenatural para niños que trata sobre viajes al espacio, super-poderes, ausencias y el miedo a la pérdida y la muerte. Espero encontrar durante los próximos meses un editor que la trate con el cariño que se merece.

En Rango Finito publico notas personales con regularidad.