The Delightful Dr. Delgadillo


Lucy Marek

Dr. Ricardo Delgadillo recently came to Bishop’s to be a math teacher, but he also has an interest in science and languages.

Dr. Ricardo Delgadillo recently joined the Bishop’s community as a math teacher, but if you have yet to visit him in Wheeler Bailey or the library, you might not know very much about him. For instance, it might come as a surprise that he speaks three languages and enjoys 3D modeling, or you might not know that he was a scientist before coming to Bishop’s working with mathematical equations in quantum mechanics.

What made you want to pursue a career in education?

Well, it started in academia. I always liked teaching people and I always loved math; I love teaching math. I suppose it was sort of expected that I continue on this route. 

What made you interested in math?

It’s hard to explain. As far as I could remember, when I was a kid, it’s not that I necessarily liked adding things—I just looked at the equations, and I thought they looked really cool, and I wanted to understand that. And so eventually, I just started reading on my own, and found out that it’s really cool. You can do a lot of things with it, including going into various areas like physics and computer science. And so when I was in high school I really wanted to be a famous scientist. And I still sort of do. So I need to know math.

So would you say science is your passion?

I was a scientist before coming to Bishop’s. My first job was at UC Santa Barbara, and I started working in mathematical theory related to quantum mechanics. We applied asymptotic analysis to derive really efficient algorithms to solve these equations in quantum mechanics. My next job was at Michigan State University, so that was after I graduated with a PhD. I continued working with equations in quantum mechanics, the field was called density functional theory. So in that area, what you do is a lot of molecular and atomic simulations using this theory. And it also requires a lot of computational power, so we need mathematicians to derive really efficient algorithms. After I finished my job at Michigan State, I went to National University of Singapore. There I studied machine learning, and did machine learning research, to take data and to model the equations from the data.

And what brought you to Bishop’s?

This sort of happened at an unfortunate moment where COVID happened, and it was a bit difficult finding jobs. Bishop’s sort of fell in place, and was something that I could do. And I noticed their kids here are really good, very academically inclined, and they have some very impressive resumes, so I thought this was a good place to stay.

What makes you most excited about working here?

Very interesting lesson plans, especially for the enriched kids. I love how they’re learning.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of your job?

I have a lot… this is probably why I’m not very good at math, or a famous scientist. I do like running. I like cycling. I ride my bike to Bishop’s every day, here and back home. I like learning languages as well, I’m currently learning Japanese. I like doing 3D modeling. I like a lot of things. 

What other languages do you speak? 

English, Spanish and Japanese. I studied Chinese for a little bit, because I moved to Singapore. But I found it was too hard to try to learn that many languages while having a job. But eventually I plan to learn Mandarin.

Do you have any interest in coaching cross country, since you enjoy running?

I think the kids would enjoy it if I participated in their cross country training events. So far, I haven’t done so yet, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.