Although mathematics may have its limits, there's no limit to Hugo Sanchez's passion for mathematics. And it's this passion that led the honors mathematics major and economics minor from Hanover, New Hampshire, to be awarded a CIC/UPS Scholarship for the 2023–24 academic year.
Every year, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) awards scholarship grants to CIC State Councils for use at every four-year private college and university within their network. These scholarships, given in the name of UPS and made possible by the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment, assist first-generation, low-income, minority, or new American students at independent colleges across the country.
“[Recieving] this scholarship provides me with the reassurance that beyond personal satisfaction, there is great reward in ambitiously pursuing academic interests,” Sanchez '24 says.
And he knew early on that Trinity was the place he wanted to pursue those interests. “My brother had friends that went to Trinity, but I hadn’t visited campus before. I’ve always had a passion for math, and I thought that it would be nice to come to a small school,” Sanchez says.
Trinity’s small class sizes provided Sanchez with the opportunity to get to know his professors. He credits Eddy Kwessi, Ph.D., and E. Cabral Balreira, Ph.D., for assisting him during his time with the mathematics department thus far. “Forming relationships [with professors] at a school this small allowed me to see them not only as professors but also as people and friends,” he says.
Sanchez also notes that Trinity’s close-knit community allowed him to get to know his faculty adviser, Julio Roberto Hasfura-Buenaga, Ph.D., before declaring his major, something he really appreciated. He soon began doing research with Hasfura-Buenaga as a complement to his undergraduate studies.
Since his sophomore year, Sanchez has conducted research on partial differential equation theory, calculus of variations, and free boundary problems. Thanks to a recommendation from Hasfura-Buenaga, Sanchez also had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge while participating in a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) that focused on the discretization of certain problems central to the theory of functional analysis. This REU opportunity allowed Sanchez to meet one of the top professors currently working in the areas of analysis he enjoys. Now, Sanchez is working with Hasfura-Buenaga on his honors thesis regarding the topic of composition operators in functional analysis.
The mathematical analysis classes Sanchez has taken at Trinity have shaped not only his thesis but also his future. After taking “Real Analysis I” and “Real Analysis II,” classes that focus on mathematical limits, continuity, and integration, the junior’s future plans began to solidify. He says, “The classes shifted my perspective on graduate school,” and he soon began looking at options to continue his education.
In addition to aiding Sanchez in deciding his academic goals, Trinity also gave him the opportunity to discover a new passion: teaching. He has peer tutored a variety of mathematics courses and says that his favorite ones are proof-based. “I get to teach students about topics that I’m passionate about,” he says. “It ensures that I know the material I’m teaching, and I enjoy seeing students that are unfamiliar with the subject have an ‘a-ha!’ moment.”
Sanchez says that it truly was his time at Trinity that made the difference. “I’m proud that I was able to conduct research as a young student and grateful for the opportunities to do that both formally and informally,” he says. “Receiving this scholarship just strengthens the vision to achieve and apply myself more. I’ve always studied and tried my best, and I’m thankful for where that has led me.”