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Enrique Mercado

Institution/Organization: University of California, Merced

Department: Applied Mathematics

Academic Status: Graduate Student.

What conference theme areas are you interested in (check all that apply):

Education and interdisciplinary programs in CSE;
Emerging software infrastructure for CSE, sustainability of numerical software;
High-order methods, novel discretizations, and scalable solvers;
High-performance computing, emerging architectures and programming paradigms;
Inverse problems, optimization, and uncertainty quantification;
Model and dimensionality reduction;
Multiscale, multiphysics, and multilevel methods

Interests: 

My research interest is in the development of new computational models that will allow scientists across different fields to model phenomena in ways they could not before. During my Ph.D., I want to explore stochastic modeling. I believe stochastic modeling can describe phenomena more realistically than solely using deterministic modeling. Broadly, I am interested in stochastic processes, scientific computing, high-performance computing, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, molecular dynamics simulations, and epidemiology modeling.

I have worked on two research projects. My first project involved electrostatic stretching of a water nanodroplet by performing molecular dynamics simulations on a high-performance computing cluster. My current research is focused on developing a computational model using a spatial extended stochastic reaction-diffusion process and kinetic Monte Carlo. I am also currently using this method to model the spread of disease.

I completed my B.S. in Applied Mathematical Sciences with an emphasis in Computer Science. Throughout my undergraduate research I have acquired solid knowledge on various numerical methods as well as intensive experience in implementing these methods in Python and C++.

My academic interests also include STEM education and pedagogy. I am interested in learning the principles of scientific teaching and new approaches to pedagogy. I already have experience in pedagogy through my minor in Natural Science Education (NSED). During my coursework for this minor, I studied and applied the 5E inquiry-based instructional method and completed a research project involving supplemental mathematical vocabulary instruction. I strongly believe proficiency in mathematical vocabulary, writing, and discourse is a crucial skill for success in mathematics. As a teaching assistant and eventually a professor, I will incorporate my teaching philosophy and current pedagogical approaches to promote student success in mathematics.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests: 

My hobbies include playing video games, ultimate, table tennis, bike riding, listening to music, and going to concerts. Although I very much enjoy my work, these activities help me balance work and relaxation. I had the opportunity to support minority students in a middle school classroom at Tenaya Middle School in Merced, CA. I supported these students as a classroom assistant in which I would help students in grounds and / or individually during class. I also delivered lessons based on California state curriculum for 6th grade mathematics. In terms of diversity, I aim to be an advocate and ally of LGTBQ groups and for students with mental illness. As a person with depression, I aim to be an advocate for mental health awareness and the importance of mental health on performance and well-being.