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Dr. Ivan Contreras

Dr. Ivan Contreras

  • Email:
  • Website
  • Amherst College
  • Status: Faculty
  • Department: Math, Stat,
  • Will Mentor: Pre-doctoral students

Areas of Expertise

Pure Mathematics,

Research Interests

Mathematical Physics, Differential Geometry, Lie Algebras and Lie Groups


I was born and raised inBogot, Colombia. Mathematics has brought me to different places in theworld, including Utrecht, the Netherlands, where I completed a Masters Program in Calabi-Yau geometry and Zrich, Switzerland, where I earned my PhD degree in mathematical physics.

After holding postdoctoral positions at University of California at Berkeley and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I am currently a visiting assistant professor at Amherst College. Mentoring and teaching are both fundamental in my work as mathematician, and I've had the pleasure to interact and advise students from underrepresented groups, in Colombia as well as in the U.S.

My research is focused on interactions between physics, geometry and topology. In particular I study the notions of quantization and symmetries from a mathematical perspective. Such concepts appear also in applied mathematics and they have surprising connections with network theory and material science. While mentoring undergraduate research in this direction I received the Illinois Geometry Lab Award for exemplary research.