Gabriela Diaz

Institution/Organization: Texas A&M University Kingsville.

Department: Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering.

Academic Status: Undergraduate Student.

What conference theme areas are you interested in:

Statistical modeling, methods, and computation;
Data science, analytics, and visualization;
Numerical optimization: methods and applications;
Reduced order modeling.


Through my three summer research experiences I have been exposed to two distinct branches of research within my realm of interest in art conservation: non-destructive and noninvasive methods of characterization and development of tunable soft materials. Characterization, especially of paintings, still heavily depends on sampling of paint chips to derive compositional and structure. Out of my experiences in characterization methods I was most intrigued by optical coherence tomography, and this opened my eyes to other novel techniques in optics. Much progress has been made in the area of optical methods and techniques such as hyperspectral imaging are popular topics in the field. Pursuit of data visualization and reduction techniques allow the processing of enormous data sets derived from this equipment. The second area of research I am interested in is optimization of current rheoreversible hydrogels used for art conservation. This summer I worked on analyzing and tuning the rheology of aqueous salt-laponite clay suspensions interactions. I realized then that I could apply these concepts in the growing research community in hydrogels. These hydrogels offer localized and controlled removal of aged varnishes, pressure-sensitive tapes, and other challenging media affixed onto artwork. Current challenges in this field are the increasing the extent of their removal from various surfaces.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests:

I play music with the Texas A&M University-Kingsville concert band and attend meetings of a student led club on campus called the Periodic Table Table, where we have weekly member presentations on history of a chosen element. I also enjoy painting in my free time.