About me

I have just received a PhD in Mathematics at MIT, under the supervision of Professor Michel Goemans.

My research interest are Combinatorics, Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization.

I am also a Mathematical Engineer. I did my undergraduate studies in the Dept. of Mathematical Engineering of the University of Chile.
You can find me at:

Department of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building 2, Room 2-333

My e-mail address is: jsoto (located.at.symbol) math.mit.edu
Here is my current (as of 07/2011) Curriculum Vitae


Here is a list of things I have written.
  • José A. Soto. A simple PTAS for Weighted Matroid Matching on Strongly Base Orderable Matroids. (Extended abstract in LAGOS 2011, to appear in special issue of Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics) ARXIV - LAGOS slides .
  • José A. Soto and Claudio Telha. Jump Number of Two-Directional Orthogonal Graphs. IPCO 2011 Proceedings - IPCO slides.
  • José A. Soto. Matroid Secretary Problem in the Random Assignment Model. SODA 2011 Proceedings - ARXIV - SODA slides - SIAM OP11 Slides about this subject.
  • Michel X. Goemans and José A. Soto. Symmetric Submodular Function Minimization Under Hereditary Family Constraints. (Manuscript) ARXIV.
  • José Soto. Improved Analysis of a Max Cut Algorithm Based on Spectral Partitioning (Manuscript) ARXIV.
  • Marcos Kiwi and José Soto. On a Speculated Relation Between Chvátal-Sankoff Constants of Several Sequences. DOI - ARXIV.
    Combinatorics, Probability and Computing 18:4, pp. 517-532. 2009.
  • José Soto and Jirí Fiala. Block Transitivity and Degree Matrices. DOI.
    European Journal of Combinatorics Vol. 29:5, pp. 1160-1172. 2008.


  • José A. Soto, Contributions on Secretary Problems, Independent Sets of Rectangles and Related Problems.
    PhD Thesis. Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2011.
    You can access a local copy here. Here are also some slides from my defense.
  • José Soto, Variantes Aleatorias de la Subsecuencia Común Más Grande.
    Mathematical Engineering Thesis. Departamento de Ingeniería Matemática, Universidad de Chile. 2006.
    This is my undergraduate thesis. It was written in spanish under the supervision of Marcos Kiwi.
    You can access a local copy here.


Currently I am not teaching. But here is a list of some of the courses/classes I have taught and/or graded.

  • Spring 2010. TA in MIT for 18.03, Differential Equations taught by Haynes R Miller. I was in charge of one recitation section.
  • Fall 2008. TA in MIT for 6.854/18.415, Advanced Algorithms taught by Michel Goemans. I mostly graded and hold office hours for this course.
  • Fall 2007. TA in MIT for 6.046/18.410, Introduction to Algorithms taught by Ronitt Rubinfeld and Madhu Sudan. I was in charge of two recitations sections.
  • Spring 2007, TA in MIT for 18.433, Combinatorial Optimization taught by Michel Goemans. I mostly graded and hold office hours for this course.
  • I have also been a Teaching Assistant in University of Chile for MA11A, Introduction to Algebra and Linear Algebra; MA31A, Algebra; MA47A, Theory of Computation and MA47A, Combinatorial Optimization.
  • I have also taught an Introductory Course of Combinatorics for high school teachers in Santiago, Chile in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This course was done as part of the Campeonato Escolar de Matemáticas. CMAT, a math competition for high school students in Chile.

Random Stuff

Here are some slides of the informal SPAMS talk I gave titled "Who can write the Bigger Number?"
Here are the slides for another informal SPAMS talk I gave on Max-Min relations in Combinatorics.
Here are the slides for another SPAMS talk I gave on variations of the Secretary Problem.
These are the slides (pdf, odp) for the presentation I gave in 15.099, Special Seminar in Operations Research in Spring 2010 about the nice paper titled Matroid Matching: The Power of Local Search (DOI) by Jon Lee, Maxim Sviridenko and Jan Vondrák.