During winter quarter 2016,
Seattle University Mathematics Professor Dr. John Carter taught a
course entitled Mathematical Models of Near-Shore Phenomena. The
3000-level course was cross-listed in the Mathematics, Mechanical
Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering Departments.
During the quarter we studied models of water waves, tsunamis,
wave-energy extraction devices, the associated mathematics and
engineering, and Chilean culture. After ten weeks of preparation,
both scientific and cultural, we headed to Chile to learn from Chilean
(and French) experts. We visited the Department of Hydraulic and
Environmental Engineering at the Pontific Catholic University of Chile
(PUC) in Santiago and the Department of Civil Engineering at the
Federico Santa Maria Technical University (UTFSM) in Valparaiso.
The Chile portion of the course officially began the morning of
Sunday, March 20th and ended the night of Saturday, March 26th. It
was a fantastic week packed with mathematics, engineering, and
| On Sunday (the first
day of the Chilean portion of the course) we walked through the
sculpture park next to the Rio Mapocho in Santiago and had lunch at a
restaurant named La Minga in the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood.
After lunch, we went on a four-hour, guided walking tour of Santiago.
We toured some of the important locations in Santiago while learning a
little Chilean history and local knowledge.
We spent Monday morning exploring Cerro Santa Lucia, a park in the middle of Santiago. Then, we headed to the San Joaquin campus of PUC. We toured campus and ate lunch in the mining building, a beautiful building which is appropriately located underground. After lunch we attended three lectures. The first, "Coastal hazards," was given by Dr. Rodrigo Cienfuegos. It covered the details of how waves evolve as the approach a coastline. The second, "Models in flow, sediment transport and morphodynamics was given by Dr. Cristian Escauriaza. This talked focused on choosing the simplest model in order to give a model with the desired abilities. The third talk, "Math coupling models," was given by Antoine Rousseau, a visiting French scientist conducting research at Inria Chile. That evening Rodrigo invited us to his house for an asado (BBQ). We ate meats, sausages, and choripan while sharing stories late into the evening.
Tuesday morning we took a bus to Valparaiso, a Chilean port town located about 90 minutes from Santiago. We took a "micro" from the bus station to the UTFSM campus. A pair of UTFSM students gave us a tour of campus, showcasing the incredible ocean views. After lunch, Patricio Catalan gave a lecture entitled "Tsunamis" and Karina Soto gave a lecture on modeling wake interactions in hydrokinetic turbines. We toured Valparaiso in the late afternoon and had dinner in a restaurant overlooking the city.
Wednesday morning we headed
back to UTFSM for a workshop on Geoclaw, a software package used to
model tsunami evolution. By the end of the workshop we were all able
to model, and change parameters in, the 2010 Chilean tsunami! We had
a fresh seafood lunch in the beautiful coastal city of Quintay. The
food was excellent and the portions were HUGE. We spent the afternoon
visiting Isla Negra, one of the many homes of Pablo Neruda (a Chilean
poet who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971). That
evening we took a bus back to Santiago and had dinner in the hotel.
Thursday morning we toured Inria Chile and MERIC, two scientific research labs in Santiago. After a very typical Chilean lunch in a restaurant near the Los Leones metro station, we headed to the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights). It is a space dedicated to giving 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. Thursday evening we ate street food (churrascos and chacererros!) for dinner and watched the Chile versus Argentina World Cup Qualifier in a bar in Barrio Bellavista. Sadly, Chile lost 2-1.
First thing Friday morning,
we rode a furnicular to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, a large hill
in the center of Santiago. We walked through the park and took in the
many vistas of Santiago. As it was Good Friday most everything in the
city was closed, so we explored a couple of Santiago's neighborhoods.
That night we went to a famous Peruvian restaurant for dinner. The
ceviche was incredible!
Saturday morning a shuttle van picked us up and drove us to Cascada de las Animas, a nature sanctuary in the Maipo Canyon in the Andes. We went on a three-hour guided hike through the Andes. It was sunny, clear, and the views were incredible. After the hike we had a slow, relaxing lunch before the shuttle took us back to Santiago. We said our goodbyes at the hotel and headed to the airport for our flights back to Seattle. It was an incredible week that raced by. We cannot wait to go back!
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