Dr. Aranda was born in Nicaragua, but grew up in South Florida in close proximity to Space Shuttles, Cold War politics and a diverse community of people from all over Latin America. As a child, he became curious about the historical accidents, circumstances and decisions that prompted his family to immigrate to the United States, which in turn led to his study of history.
Dr. Aranda completed his dissertation on Jesuit scientific networks and practices in the Spanish Empire at Stanford University. While at Stanford he was also involved in the Mapping the Republic of Letters digital history project and is interested in merging new digital methods with traditional historical pedagogy. In addition to his academic research on Jesuit science, Dr. Aranda has also written about historical world-building in video games.