EDUCATION: I was born in Valladolid (Spain) on the 12th of June 1953. I received my secondary education at Colegio San José, where I was very lucky in having excellent science teachers. I studied Mathematics at Universidad de Valladolid between 1970 and 1975 and obtained a PhD degree there in 1977. The thesis was in Functional Analyisis and was supervised by A. Pérez Gómez. I decided to change subjects and in 1978-1979 I took an MSc course in Numerical Analysis at the University of Dundee (Scotland). This was an excellent course taught by Ron Mitchell, Jack Lambert, Roger Fletcher, Alistair Watson, David Griffiths and other well-known numerical analysts.
APPOINTMENTS: After graduating in 1975 I had several non-tenured appointements at Universidad de Valladolid. In 1981 I obtained a permanent appointment in Bilbao at the University of the Basque Country. In 1982 I moved back to Valladolid as tenured full-professor. Since September 1st, 2014 I have been working at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where I hold a Cátedra de Excelencia. Until June 2017 I was on leave from my chair in Valladolid; I left the Valladolid chair in July 2017. In 2019 I was Rothschild Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, https://www.newton.ac.uk/about/fellowships/nm-rothschild-sons/
RESEARCH: I have worked in different subfields of Applied Mathematics. Probably my most successful reseach has been that on the numerical integration of Hamiltonian problems. It got me an invitation to speak at the 1994 International Congress of Mathematicians (Zurich) (I think this was the first time a Spaniard was ever invited) and also the Dahlquist prize of SIAM in 1995 (the first time it was awarded). This sort of research has given rise to a very active area, nowadays referred to as Geometric Integration (by the way, a term I coined). I have also received the Iberdrola research prize (awarded once a year by a committee of Nobel prize winners to the best researcher in Spain across all fields), the prize of the Spanish Academy of Sciences, etc. (see Prizes in the menu bar). I also happen to be one of the most widely cited Spanish scientist, in spite of the fact that I had to interrup my research to serve as a Rector. In recent years I have contributed to areas like probability, machine learning, Monte Carlo methods, optimization, etc.
RECTORSHIP: In 1998 I was elected by the University Senate Rector (Vicechancellor or President) of the University of Valladolid. My term in office expired in 2002. The rules for appointing rectors had by then been changed and the Government had decided that rectors were to be elected by all professors, students and other members of staff (with a system of weighted votes). I was reelected, by absolute majority of the votes, in 2002. My second term ended in June 2006. (Two consecutive terms in the maximum the University regulations allow.) While I was in office I chaired the Santander Group (an association of some fifty European universities) and I was also a member of the Permanent Committee of the Association of Rectors of Spanish Universities. With Dilip Lahiri, Ambassador of India to Madrid, and Javier Leon, Mayor of Valladolid, I created the House of India in Spain.
BACK IN MATHEMATICS: When my term in office ended, I went back to my mathematical work, that I had had to put aside completely for eight years. I found the return to math easy and enjoyable. In 2007 I was induced into the Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain), in 2008 into Academia de Medicina y Cirugía de Valladolid, in 2012 into the European Academy of Sciences and in 2018 into Academia de Ciencias de Zaragoza. I have been appointed Fellow of SIAM (2009, inaugural class), of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (2011) and of the American Mathematical Society (2012). Details may be seen in the section Miscellaneous. In 2013 I was awarded the Research Prize of the Board of the University of Valladolid. The same year I turned 60 and was very pleased that the conference SciCADE2013 had a special session on my work, the speaker were J.C. Butcher, E. Hairer and A. M. Stuart (see SIAM News vol. 47, 4). In 2015 I was invited to give one of the main talks at ICIAM, the most prestigious conference in applied maths. In 2019 I was awarded the Medal of the Royal Mathematical Society of Spain. I served as president of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain from October 2018 to September 2021, and I have been reelected for a second term in office that will finish in 2023. In June 2022 I have been awarded the research prize Jaume I (basic research).