During the winter quarter
of 2012, Dr. John Carter taught a course entitled Mathematical Models
of Wave-Energy Extraction. The course was listed as a 300-level
course in the Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical
Engineering Departments. During the quarter we studied models of
water waves, wave-energy extraction devices, and the associated
mathematics and engineering. After ten weeks of preparation (both
scientific and cultural), we were ready to head south to Chile.
During spring break, we traveled to Santiago, Chile to learn from experts in the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Pontific Catholic University of Chile ("La Catolica"). This department was chosen because of the cutting-edge research being done there and because of its excellent reputation. The trip officially began the morning of Sunday, March 18th and ended the night of Saturday, March 24th. The week was packed with mathematics, engineering, science, and culture.
| On Sunday (the first
official day of the course) we spent some time in the sculpture park next
to the Rio Mapocho and went to lunch at a restaurant named
Liguria in the Providencia neighborhood. After lunch we went on the
"Politics and Parks" bike tour of Santiago. The sun was shining and
it was in the mid 80s. Much better than the rain, sleet, and cold we
had been experiencing in Seattle. Throughout the week, we tried to
spend as much time as possible outside.
We started our Monday by visiting La Moneda Palace (Chile's main governmental building). We had lunch downtown and visited Cerro Santa Lucia and Cerro San Cristobal, two of Santiago's largest parks. We had our first "fancy" dinner out at a Peruvian restaurant named Aji Seco II.
We spent Tuesday morning at
Museo de la Memoria y los
Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights). It is a
space dedicated to give visibility to the human rights violations
committed by the Chilean government between 1973 and 1990. It is an
incredibly powerful museum and was one of the highlights of our trip.
After lunch, we headed to the San Joaquin campus of the Pontific Catholic University of Chile (PUC) where we met our Chilean instructors/hosts: Dr. Rodrigo Cienfuegos, Maricarmen Guerra, Juan Carlos Dominquez, and Dr. Cristian Escauriaza. Rodrigo and Maricarmen gave us a tour of campus. The campus is rapidly expanding and no less than four buildings are currently under construction. Rodrigo (Associate Professor in the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at PUC) )gave a two-hour lecture covering many of the mathematical models that are used in wave-energy extraction research. We ended the day with dinner in the hotel.
Wednesday was our longest
day. We headed to campus first thing in the morning. Maricarmen
Guerra (Professional Engineering at PUC) lectured on
extracting energy from tides. We visited Museo Nacional de
Bellas Artes (National museum of visual arts) and we went out for
lunch. We all ate chorrillanas, a plate of French fries covered in a
mixture of grilled onions, scrambled eggs, and spicy beef. It is a
dish made famous in Valparaiso, Chile.
Wednesday evening, we went to Rodrigo's house for an asado (Chilean BBQ). The party started a little after 9:00. We ate chorripan (a grilled Chilean sausage on Chilean bread), salads, and a variety of grilled meats. We didn't head back to the hotel until after 1:00. This was definitely one of the highlights of the course. Our Chilean hosts were great. We cannot thank them enough.
Thursday morning Juan
Carlos (Professional Engineer at PUC) lectured on wave-energy
extraction devices. After lunch, many students hopped on a bus and
spent the afternoon in Valparaiso, a port city located about 150
kilometers from Santiago.
On Friday a bus picked us up from the hotel and we traveled to La Estacion Costera de Investigaciones Marinas. Located in Las Cruces, ECIM is a marine research and teaching laboratory associated with the Pontific Catholic University of Chile. It is located right on the water, facing west on the beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean. After a tour of the beautiful facility, Dr. Cristian Escauriaza (Assistant Professor of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at PUC) gave a presentation on advanced modeling of flow-turbine interaction. We went to a seafood restaurant for lunch and visited Isla Negra (one of Pablo Neruda's homes) on our way back to Santiago. Friday night, we went to El Meson Nerudiano for dinner. Our Chilean friends joined us and we spent the evening on the restaurant's patio eating, drinking, and talking while listening to the three-piece jazz band playing downstairs. It was another highlight of the trip.
Saturday morning another shuttle bus picked us up and we headed to Cascada de las Animas, a nature sanctuary in the Maipo Canyon the Andes. We went on a three-hour hike and had a big lunch on a deck overlooking the Maipo River. We headed back to Santiago where we took quick showers before heading to the airport for our flights back to Seattle.
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