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Dr. Juan Restrepo

Dr. Juan Restrepo

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  • Biosketch PDF
  • Oregon State University
  • Status: Faculty
  • Department: Math,
  • Will Mentor: Doctoral students, Pre-doctoral students

Areas of Expertise

Applied Mathematics,

Research Interests

Climatology (Primary) -climate variability


Juan M. Restrepo is the son of a Colombian artist and politician and an American pianist and TV producer. He grew up in Hackensack, NJ, where his Armenian grandmother and Sicilian grandfather lived as well as in Bogota, Colombia where he did most of his pre-college education. Home was wonderful foods, languages, different customs, music, and the art. School was extremely important and the Jesuits managed to imprint a solid science and math education, though he was originally interested in a career in music. He studied music since he was a small child, played in professional bands in high school. Went to New York University and obtained a B.S. in Music, while at the same time working as a musician and as a recording engineer in the New York City area. Sick of the music scene, he enrolled at Columbia University and studied electrical engineering, worked briefly at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Laboratory and met Prof. Cyril Harris with whom he studied engineering acoustics. He obtained an M.S. degree in Engineering Acoustics from Penn State, and then a Physics PhD. His brother did not stay in the Arts either: he has a PhD in Geology and lives in Asia, working as an oil exploration scientist. He's a real Indiana Jones. Prof. Restrepo was an Orise Distinguished post-doctoral fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, spent some time in the math department at UCLA and has been professor of Mathematics at The University of Arizona since 1997. He won several awards as a musician and as a scientist, including the DOE Early Career award. His research focuses on climate variability, ocean dynamics, and problems at the intersection of statistical and deterministic mathematics. His success is a result of his multi-cultural background and diverse experiences. He has been able to use this background, along with his scientific intellectual authority, to help in the efforts of several national organizations committed to increasing diversity in the Sciences. His office is frequently visited by students who seek guidance on academic and cultural issues at the university level. He advises graduate students, nationally, on issues related to work in Science, and he helps the university with diversity recruitment at the student and faculty level.