Diana Morales

Institution/Organization: University of Notre Dame

Department: Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics

Academic Status: Graduate Student.

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

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for science and engineering;
Applications in science, engineering, and industry;
Computation with discrete structures and graphs;
Data assimilation, challenges in data science, math of AI and ML;
High-order methods, novel discretizations, and scalable solvers;
Inverse problems, optimization, and uncertainty quantification;
Multiscale, multiphysics, and multilevel methods


In undergrad, I spent 3 years (sophomore through senior) working on my senior capstone thesis. This thesis started with an initial interest with the Kermack-McKendrick Model, a classic SIR compartmental model in epidemiology. This prolonged time studying ordinary differential equations (ODEs) would further develop into an interest with partial differential equations (PDEs).

To be more exact, my current research interest are in numerical PDEs in mathematical sciences. I have been focusing on the modeling of ion channels. I have developed a PDE model for the movement of ions in an ion channel and have been researching Runge-Kutta and Local Discontinuous Galerin (two types of numerical methods) to solve the model equations.

Some of my other interests that I have yet to incorporate into my research is finite element (for multiphysics, biology, and materials science) and GPU programming.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests: 

My senior year of high school, I volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club every day after school. I tutored kids from second to tenth grade in a wide range of subjects, with kids routinely coming to tutoring sessions for help in math and Spanish. This experience was an excellent way to give back to my local community. Throughout undergrad, I tutored students as part of UCA’s math club. I then decided to take a gap year before graduate school and committed to City Year, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping grade school students succeed in academics and graduate high school. For one school year, I worked in a Chicago Public High School tutoring and mentoring freshmen in algebra and physics, while also aiding in any subject students approached me for help. The school consisted of a 70% latinx student population, a big majority of which were English as a Second Language (ESL) students like myself. Being bilingual, able to “code-switch,” and a first-generation immigrant let me connect to these students on a level that further showed me that representation matters. During this year, I was the Academic Coordinator for the school. I heavily focused on planning student activities and parent gathers that had a central math theme, as a way to show them math could be fun. These activities often times included parent/teacher conference games, lunch exam review sessions with prizes, and after school homework help. I would also routinely make calls to local businesses to receive donated goods, such as food and raffle prizes, to use as incentives when the students would surpass goals we would set together. Throughout graduate school, I’ve routinely been going back to this school and community and volunteering my time. Outside of work, some of my interests are going to live shows (concerts, comedy, open mic nights, etc.) and putting together puzzles.