About me


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I'm an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University's Liberal Studies Program, where I have been working since Fall 2007. Before coming to SFSU, I was an Associate Professor at the Physics Department of the Federal University in Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil.

Most of my research is in foundations of physics, in particular the foundations of quantum mechanics, and the physics of biological systems. I am also interested in research in physics and math education, and in teacher preparation. A brief summary of my research can be found in the
research section of this site. The section Publications has some of my papers in pdf, as well as my PhD dissertation and MSc thesis.

I also enjoy teaching science at undergraduate and graduate levels. In the
teaching section of this site you will find descriptions of some of the courses I taught, with links that I found useful, as well as courses that I am interested in teaching in the future.

You can contact me via email at barros at sfsu dot edu. My
CV, in pdf format, is available on the link.

Academic Lineage
Contrary to ordinary genealogy, which grows exponentially when you move back in time, someone’s academic genealogy only includes his/her PhD advisor, and the advisor’s advisor, and so on. So, starting with my advisor, Francisco Antonio Doria. Doria got his PhD from CBPF in 1977, and his advisor was Leopoldo Nachbin. Nachbin got his PhD from University of Chicago under Laurent Schwartz. Schwartz got his PhD from Université Louis Pasteur - Strasbourg I, advised by Georges Valiron, who got his PhD from the Université de Paris in 1914. Valiron was Émile Borel’s PhD student at the École Normale Supérieure Paris, getting his degree in 1893. Borél’s advisor was Gaston Darboux, PhD from École Normale Supérieure Paris, 1866. Darboux advisor was Michel Chasles, PhD from École Polytechnique, 1814. Chasles was a student of none less than the Simeon Denis Poisson. Poisson got his PhD from the École Polytechnique in 1800, where he had two advisors: Joseph Louis Lagrange and Pierre-Simon Laplace. Lagrange did not have a doctoral advisor (he got a BA from Università di Torino in 1754), but Leonard Euler is considered equivalent to his PhD advisor and mentor. Laplace had as advisor Jean Le Rond d'Alembert. So, my lineage goes back to Euler and D’Alambert.

On the other hand, my mentor in many aspects is Pat Suppes, Columbia University 1950. Suppes was a student of Nagel, who also got his PhD from Columbia under Morris Raphael Cohen. Cohen was a student of William James and Hugo Münsterberg. In their intellectual past is Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz and Nicolaus Copernicus.

As a curiosity, my Erdös number is 4. I published with Pat Suppes, who published with Dana Scott. Dana Scott published with Alfred Tarski, who finally published with Paul Erdös. When I was a child, I was once in the Capitão Aza show, when my school went to visit an airbase. Capitão Aza (Wilson Vianna) was in the movie Tumulto de Paixões (1958) with Eduardo Ciannelli. Ciannelli was in Stiletto (1969) with Olympia Dukakis. Finally, Dukakis was in Picture Perfect (1997) with Kevin Bacon. Therefore, my Bacon number is 4, and my combined Erdös-Bacon number is 8 (technically I don’t have a Bacon number, as I was not in a movie, but what the heck).