Omayra Y. Ortega is an assistant professor of mathematics & statistics at Sonoma State University in Sonoma County, California. She earned her Ph.D. (2008) and an M.S. (2005) in applied mathematics and computational sciences from the University of Iowa, where she also was awarded her Masters of Public Health. She earned a B.A. in music and in pure mathematics from Pomona College in 2001.
Dr. Ortega has directed the Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group (MERG), an undergrauduate research group, since 2007. Her scholarly interests reflect her expertise in mathematics: mathematical and computational biology, mathematical epidemiology in developing countries, infectious disease epidemiology, and the participation of women and minorities in sciences. Regarding the latter, she has organized an annual Sonia Kovalesky High School Mathematics Day at several institutions including the University of Iowa, ASU’s West campus, Pomona College, and Sonoma State Unioversity in recognition of the day’s namesake, Sonia Kovalevsky, who was one of the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.
The Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group
(MERG) Spring 2019
(l to r) Dr. Ortega, Kelsey Centurino, Christina Lynch,
Monica Morales, Ana Tongilava, and Therese Acevedo
photo by Bruce Rhodewalt
Using tools from statistics, differential equations, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, public health, and epidemiology to mitigate emerging issues in healthcare and public health.
University of Iowa
PhD Applied Mathematics & Computational Sciences (2008)
MPH Master's Degree in Public Health with a concentraion in Biostatistics (2005)
MS Applied Mathematics & Computational Sciences (2005)
Broadening the Participation of Underrepresented Minorities in STEM
1996 - 2001
BA Pure Mathematics (2001)
BA Music Performance (2001)