Romeo and Juliet is all about the … math?

  Tuesday, February 12, 2019
  Announcements, Alumni

By Maria Elena Hernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – FEB. 12, 2019 – There's a lot of love in the air on Valentine's Day – but none of it is for math. And while many of us often try to avoid it, math actually has been dealing with relationships for a long time.

Dr. Josef Sifuentes, an assistant professor of mathematics at UTRGV, says equations are just a mathematical way of looking at relationships.

He teaches a differential equation that represents one of the most famous love stories of all time:  Romeo and Juliet, the doomed lovers of Shakespearean fame.

“It’s a bit silly to write a mathematical model using differential equations of Romeo and Juliet’s love affair, but the math holds,” he said. “It turns out that they were star-crossed from the beginning.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.