Federico Ardila received his PhD in Mathematics at MIT in 2003, advised by Richard Stanley. After holding the MSRI-Microsoft Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and the Microsoft Theory Group in Redmond, he joined the mathematics department at San Francisco State University. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and the Premio Nacional de Ciencias de Colombia.
Federico studies objects in algebra, geometry, phylogenetics, optimization, and robotics by understanding their underlying combinatorial structure — often with the help of polytopes, matroids, cubical complexes, and root systems. He has advised 45 thesis students in 6 US and Colombian universities. Of his US students, more than half are women and more than half come from under-represented minority groups.