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


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.