B.A., B.S., University of Chicago; Ph.D., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Oscar E. FernandezAssociate Professor of Mathematics; Faculty Director, Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center
Research is in geometric mechanics and specifically in Nonholonomic Mechanics. Presently researching Hamiltonian-like properties of some special types of nonholonomic systems.
Professor Fernandez's current research is in Geometric Mechanics, which can perhaps most easily be described as Hamiltonian Mechanics on manifolds, and specifically in Nonholonomic Mechanics. He is presently researching the Hamiltonian-like properties of some special types of nonholonomic systems, through ideas in symplectic geometry and the theory of integrable systems.
Professor Fernandez also has a passion for teaching. He is motivated by his desire to increase the number of students---and particularly underrepresented students---studying math. Shortly after coming to Wellesley he co-created the Wellesley Emerging Scholars Initiative in which students work collaboratively on challenging calculus problems twice weekly along with Prof. Stanley Chang. The two math faculty continue to run the program every semester, and last year the program received 3-year funding from the Mathematical Association of America.
An applied mathematician by training, Professor Fernandez also strives to be a spokesperson for mathematics and its applications. He types up his lecture notes and distributes them to his students, tends to have many office hours, recently created a new course (Introduction to Fourier Analysis and Partial Differential Equations), and recently published Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Princeton University Press, 2014) which reveals the calculus concepts hidden throughout a typical day.