Matthew Hernandez; I prefer ‘Matt’
Please tell us a bit about your history. Please include a bit about your educational background, your career path, and your family.
I was born and raised in El Paso, TX and lived there for the past 26 years. My relationship with my parents and my older brother is very close and we all had the same outlook on life and being successful. I was in a math and science oriented program in high school, and that is where I knew I had a passion for math. I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and received my bachelor’s degree; then I decided to pursue my master’s degree in systems engineering shortly after. As an AT&T employee in Network Operations, I feel very blessed knowing that I have a promising future in my career and I hope to become a strong asset to the company.
How long have you volunteered with We Teach Science Foundation?
This is my first year participating with this program.
What most appealed to you about this program?
I was a middle school and high school math tutor in El Paso, TX for 4 years and I enjoyed tutoring students in mathematics.
What are some ways you use math at your job?
I use math to run reports and metrics that require me to create graphs and calculations. Most of my measurements are done in percent.
Who was your favorite math or science teacher? Why?
My favorite math teacher was Mrs. Rayas because she would take her time to explain what it was I was learning and why it was important. She had a lot of patience and gave many examples.
Why do you like math and science? What is your favorite math or science memory as a student?
I like math and science because I find them both interesting. They have been around for so long that it is amazing how much knowledge there exists and how much we know today. I enjoy the challenge to figure out a math problem and to see how many ways there are to get the answer. As a student, my favorite math memory was pointing out an error in my teacher’s equation in class… (Hey everybody makes mistakes!)
What are some things you struggled with growing up? What was hard for you in school? What are some things that are challenging for you now?
Growing up, I struggled in reading… I would always fall asleep when I read, and I wouldn’t connect to the story. Looking back now, I think I needed to find a place where I was comfortable and had no distractions since that is how I read today. Some challenges I have today with my work involve programming. I never really studied that in college, so I’m forced to learn it. I do a lot of research and ask for help as much as I can, and that helps out a lot!
What are some of your favorite things to do? What were a few of your hobbies growing up? What are your current hobbies and interests?
Growing up, I enjoyed playing football on the weekends with my friends, and riding my ATV’s in the desert. My current hobbies consist of watching sports on T.V., listening to music, and camping.