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Karen Rios-Soto

Karen Rios-Soto

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  • Biosketch PDF
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayag├╝ez
  • Status: Faculty
  • Department: Math,
  • Will Mentor: Pre-doctoral students

Areas of Expertise

Applied Mathematics,

Research Interests

Mathematical biology


Karen R. Rios-Soto got her bachelor degree with honors in Mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2002. She received a Sloan fellowship to attend Cornell University in 2002 and completed her Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Carlos Castillo-Chavez in 2008 from the Biological Statistics and Computational Biology Department. She enjoys research as well as affirmative actions. She is a member of several scientific associations including the Society of Mathematical Biology (SMB), the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/ Latinos and Native American in Science (SACNAS). Dr. Ros-Soto has ample experience in the development of students through educational, research and mentorship activities from the undergraduate to the doctoral level. She has supervised undergraduate research for more than 20 students, has graduated three students with master degrees at UPRM (two in statistics and one in applied mathematics) and is currently supervising two master students in applied mathematics. She has been involved with the REU-Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) at Arizona State University (ASU) for more than 13 years. She has served as an undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, and as the summer director, for the summers of 2010-2012. Under MTBI she has supervised more than 6 undergraduate summer research projects. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Science Center in ASU. She is one of the recipients of a Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) mini-grant for the academic year 2015-2016. Dr. Rios-Soto has also co-author various peer reviewed publications in modeling the dynamics of infectious diseases. Her research interests are on mathematical epidemiology, the modeling of disease dynamics, population biology and social dynamics. In particular, her research is driven by the study of the mechanisms underlying the spread of infectious diseases, their control and prevention. She also worked on theoretical approaches to study dispersal on epidemics and the impact of transient populations on disease dynamics. Her most recent interests are on studying how transient population impact disease dispersion and persistence as well as the impact of particulate matter such as PM10 in lung diseases. With her students, she is interest on studying problems of parameter estimation for diseases such as dengue and herpes simplex viruses. In the past, she has studied the role of epidemiological modeling approaches and methods on the deliberate release of biological agents (smallpox) and the role of peer pressure on various social processes such as smoking, ecstasy use and obesity.