About me

In my free time I love the contact with nature, I enjoy hiking and mountain biking; I like dancing and cooking; but what I enjoy the most is reading literature, philosophy and poetry. My favorite authors are: Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone De Beauvoir, Milan Kundera, Kafka, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Neruda, Benedetti, Rafael Alberti, Federico Garcia Lorca, Hemingway, Karl Popper, Stephen Hawking, ... among others.

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Recently I found the joy of photography and started painting acrylic. Visit my flickr photo's gallery HERE

How I ended up here

I studied informatics at the University of Guadalajara, I never liked much my major, but I'm not the kind of person that leaves something unfinished. So, I finished my studies (being top of my class) and started looking for something else...

That way I found the opportunity of spending two months at a research center in the north of Mexico. The center was the CICESE, where I did a summer internship under the supervision of Dr. Jesus Favela. It was a revealing experience (it was my first time away from home also) and I liked it so much that I decided I wanted to be a researcher. I wanted to combine science with computers, my favorite science at that time was astronomy and Dr Favela, that was also my first mentor, pointed me in the direction of INAOE, a research center focused on the study of astrophysics among other things.

I went to INAOE in 2002 after a 'real-life working' experience. INAOE was, and I still feel it is my home. I meet my husband there and I made very good friends. During my time at INAOE I worked with Dr Olac Fuentes, a great researcher that used machine learning to predict relevant features of stars and galaxies. With ML you can do extraordinary things. I felt in love with machine learning and did my master identifying the age of stellar populations, using a hierarchical method that combines several supervised and unsupervised techniques. I received my Master's degree in Computer Science in 2004. Then I continued working at INAOE for one year but this time under the supervision of Dr Leopoldo Altamirano. During that last year Dr Fuentes joined the University of Texas at El Paso and he meet my future supervisor there: Dr Michela Taufer.

I moved to El Paso in 2006. It was the scariest experience of my life: moving alone, to a different country, with a different culture and language. I was fortunate enough to have old friends at UTEP. Dr. Thamar Solorio, and of course my former supervisor Dr Fuentes, were a major support. I was also lucky because my new supervisor, Dr Taufer, was very supportive. At UTEP I started a new professional epoch, working with proteins and distributed systems instead of galaxies and ML. It was a total challenge, but it was as difficult as exciting.

After a year at UTEP, Dr Taufer decided she wanted to move to The University of Delaware and she invited me to move there with her. I was scared, but after receiving the advise of Dr Fuentes and the support from my husband, family and friends... I was on the road again.

From August 2007 until May 2012 I was a PhD student at The University of Delaware. It was an amazing experience. For my PhD I worked on integrating application-aware self-management to global distributed computing environments with the final goal of making them accessible to a wider scientific community. During this time I worked with volunteer computing and I got amazed at the impact this paradigm and the volunteerism of many people can make in the world: from detecting malaria, modeling the climate, and understanding the universe, to designing drugs, and finding a cure against cancer.

In the summer of 2010 I did an internship at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. This experience literally changed my life, not only because of the knowledge I gained or the good friends I made, but because during that time I became pregnant with my son. He was born in February 2011, just 2 weeks after defending my dissertation proposal. 2011 was challenging, many times I had to work on my thesis while holding a sleeping/crying/hungry/giggly baby. Yes, 2011 was hard, but I wouldn't trade it for the world, because it brought me the most perfect happiness I've known.

Starting on June 2012, I became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, where I continued working on Big Data analysis for drug design as well as on emulation of cloud computing for optimizing scheduling policies. Doing research with Dr Taufer helped me to grow not only as a professional, but also as a person. I learned so much from her and from many other faculty at UD that I am totally thankful. Life at Delaware was beautiful (even in the winter).

In 2013 I became an assistant professor in computer science at UNM. This is an exciting time, now, I'm starting a different journey in life and research. For the near future I envision myself working with volunteer, cloud, and mobile computing to provide cost-effective resources to three main challenges of the developing world: scientific discovery, health, and education. I believe that a computer is only as good as the difference it can make in the world, and I strive to achieve this level of impact with my work.