Luis Torres MartinezLuis Torres Martinez, ’18 B.S. Computer Science

By Pamela Dean

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Luis Torres Martinez and his family immigrated to Oxnard when he was a baby. His parents had been agricultural workers back in Mexico and dreamed of a better life for their two children. But life was not much easier in the U.S., and his mother and father worked long hours to make ends meet. 

“My dad would already be at work when my mom woke up my sister and me. At 6 a.m. we would walk a quarter of a mile every day to our babysitter’s house so my mom could go to work,” Torres Martinez recalled.

“When my mom would pick us up, I’d see my dad for about an hour before he’d get ready to work his second job.”

His parents wanted more for their children and instilled in Torres Martinez the importance of an education.

“Since the age of six, I knew education was something my parents wanted for me. I adopted that goal because I saw how much they had to work to give me and my sister a comfortable life. I knew I didn’t want to physically exhaust myself as much as they did,” Torres Martinez said.

He would go on to become not only the first college graduate in his family, but the first to graduate from high school as well. 

Torres Martinez transferred to CSUCI after a few years at Ventura College, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Security Systems Engineering. Under Professor Jason Isaacs' tutelage, he was part of a team of CSUCI students who placed 3rd in NASA’s 2017 nationwide Swarmathon competition. The team designed an algorithm to power a swarm of sample-collecting robots on Mars. He also competed in the prestigious Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming contest that same year.

After graduating in 2018, Torres Martinez parlayed his computer science expertise into a Database Administrator position with Santa Barbara-based Yardi. The company produces and sells property management software. In this role, Torres Martinez helps organize and store internal data, as well as monitoring and troubleshooting the company’s servers to ensure optimal performance.

He aspires to move up the company ladder into management and hopes his story provides fuel to others who doubt they have what it takes to become a college graduate.

“I am a first-generation high school, community college, and university graduate and I am proud of what I’ve done. I know I didn’t do it alone,” Torres Martinez emphasized. “It’s been a journey paved with the help of my parents, family, friends, instructors, role models, and strangers along the way. I am proud of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’ll be. If I can do it, you can do it too. Sí se puede!”

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© Spring 2021 / Volume 26 / Number 1 / Biannual

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