department of mathematics
the university of texas at austin


pedro fernando

i am originally from guatemala, a tiny country in central america, where i obtained a degree in applied mathematics and a degree in electronics engineering from universidad de san carlos de guatemala.

i moved to texas and i got my phd from baylor university in mathematical physics, specifically working with zeta functions. currently i am a lecturer at the university of texas at austin. i am deeply interested in many areas of mathematics, but specifically in spectral zeta functions and their applications into number theory, quantum field theories, and related areas.

my interest in math started while in highschool i became part of the guatemalan math national team. i discovered that math was more than calculations and numbers. it was rather a way to describe and create. i like to solve problems, to find patterns and to describe phenomena using math.

i also like technology, programming, music, innovation, and any other way to express creativity.

curriculum vitae

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my work has been directed towards the application of spectral zeta functions in calculations of the casimir effect. mainly i have studied spectral zeta functions arising from laplace type differential operators defined on different types of riemannian manifolds, their relation with heat kernel coefficients and zero point energy.

research statement


  1. Casimir energy for perturbed surfaces of revolution (2016) DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X16500445
  2. Casimir effect for smooth potentials on spherically symmetric pistons (w/ K. Kirsten) (2015) DOI: 10.1088/1751-8113/48/49/495201
  3. Grothendieck ring class of Banana and Flower graphs (2014) DOI: 10.1142/9789814460057_0011
  4. Casimir Effect in the Presence of External Fields (w/ Beauregard, M., Fucci, G., Kirsten, K.,) (2013) DOI: 10.1088/1751-8113/46/11/115401
  5. Pistons modeled by potentials (w/ Fucci, G., Kirsten, K.,) (2011) DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-19760-4_29
  6. Semitransparent Pistons (w/ Kirsten, K.) (2010) DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X10049463


mathematics has always been classified as a tough and unattractive study topic. many young students begin college with the idea that mathematics is a hard subject and that it mainly deals with numbers and equations. one of my teaching goals is to show my students that mathematics is not simply restricted to the study of numbers and equations. rather, mathematics is a language through which one can precisely describe real life phenomena.

additionally, mathematics constitutes a broad area of study in and of itself. i believe that an indispensable concept in the study of mathematics is to be able to have different points of view, as making connections between these different views is of great importance for problem solving and critical thinking

teaching statement


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