He got involved in research while still undergraduate
Currently, Javier Almonacid is studying postgraduate studies at SFU (Canada) after having completed a stay at that North American house of studies in 2017.
“Javier is the most prolific student of Civil Mathematical Engineering that I have had, and in fact the most prolific thesis student in the entire history of the program to this date”, the researcher from the Center for Research in Mathematical Engineering, CI²MA, Gabriel N. Gatica, says about Javier Almonacid, with whom he has published six papers in prestigious journals of the area, several of them jointly with his co-supervisor, Ricardo Oyarzua, also researcher of CI²MA. "Indeed, in addition to writing some manuscripts, several other ideas and new projects arose from his undergraduate thesis, which later on he continued working with Ricardo and myself, and even with other collaborators and a former thesis student, but as a Research Assistant hired by our basal project", Gatica details. "Furthermore, I am very proud to mention that Javier is one of the 8 students (or former students) of our career, Mathematical Civil Engineering, who have participated, from 2014 to this date, in the International Mobility Program at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canadá), which we have managed and launched together with Professor Nilima Nigam from that North American university", the researcher adds.
Javier is currently studying for a Master in Mathematics precisely at Simon Fraser University, as a previous step to pursuing later on Ph.D. studies there, but he began to carry out scientific research while he was still studying Mathematical Civil Engineering at the Universidad de Concepción. “It was a very enriching experience that allowed me to delve into topics that were of interest to me (and continue to be so), and apply my knowledge to the solution of new problems. I think that for someone who is in their undergraduate final years, and who has patience and a willingness to learn, it is completely feasible to start gradually doing research”, he explains.
For Javier, having started early with these activities has positively influenced his academic and scientific development. “On the one hand, research being an important part of my current postgraduate studies, I think that having a little more experience in this field makes me feel much more prepared. On the other hand, it is a card that I can play in my favor as a young researcher when applying to different teaching positions or sources of funding”, he explains. Regarding the contents of their papers and the main lines of research that he has followed in his incipient, but fruitful scientific career, Javier explains that “we began by working on direct extensions of previous works on augmented mixed finite element methods for the Boussinesq problem to the case of variable physical properties, and then delve into related topics, such as a posteriori analysis and mixed methods for porous media flow problems. The last of these articles that we developed at CI²MA arises from the research carried out in the previous works, where we realized that it was possible to reduce the computational cost of not only the augmented methods that we had already developed, but also of a complete class of them. As a researcher, I continue working on the numerical analysis of partial differential equations (NA of PDEs)”, he details.
At SFU, in parallel with his postgraduate studies, Javier carries out teaching assistantships, in addition to his own research work, collaborating with Dr. Nilima Nigam, and currently focusing “on spectral methods for non-local problems defined by pseudo-differential operators”. “Working as a researcher is a very good opportunity to satisfy that curiosity that one has as a mathematician, to know the why of things. Furthermore, working in a research center such as CI²MA is an ideal instance to share ideas with other researchers and, above all, for someone who is starting out in this field, to learn from them”, he highlights.