Martin Molina- Fructuoso '20

MartinMolinaCurrent Position: Incoming Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Mathematics, Brandeis University
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Department of Mathematics, North Carolina State University

PhD Dissertation Title: Regularity of Optimal Transportation Plans for Rough Measures
PhD Advisor: Dr. Antoine Mellet and Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Jabin
Application Area (during AMSC studies): Fluid Mechanics

What is your current position? How did you come to know about this position, and what do you like about it?

I am about to start a postdoctoral position at the Department of Mathematics at Brandeis University in Fall 2022. Previously, I was a postdoctoral research scholar at the Department of Mathematics at North Carolina State University (NCSU). I learned about both positions on Mathjobs. During my time at NCSU my research focused on PDE (partial differential equations)-based variational methods for problems related to machine learning. I loved my postdoc at NCSU because it allowed me to work in an area with applications to many exciting fields of science and technology and to deepen my understanding of partial differential equations. I also feel fortunate that I was able to develop a close professional and personal relationship with my mentor, Dr. Ryan Murray.

What are your favorite memories of your graduate school experience? What about from the AMSC program specifically?

I am happy to have met people with a wide variety of scientific interests from all over the US and the world during my graduate program. I have great memories of us working together for class projects, discussing research ideas, and having fun at parties. I was also fortunate to make friends with people from very diverse areas of mathematics at scientific conferences. 

I fondly remember my interactions with faculty from the Math and Engineering departments. They helped me become quickly familiar with current research directions in my area and in topics outside my academic background. I learned a lot from them, both inside and outside the classroom, and they have been very supportive in my career.

I also had great experiences with staff members from the AMSC program and the Mathematics department. They were very pleasant and helpful during my important milestones in the program.

In what ways did the AMSC program (specifically outside of basic academics) help prepare you for your current position?

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the AMSC program offered me the opportunity to meet colleagues with educational backgrounds completely different from mine. I learned to collaborate with people with diverse academic backgrounds and personalities. I think these experiences widened my horizons and helped me spot opportunities for applying my knowledge to problems in different fields. I also learned how to collaborate effectively, an extremely useful skill in my current position. 

What advice would you give to current students?

I would advise current students to learn about other fields outside of their main research interests, as this kind of knowledge and experience is useful to establish new collaborations and research projects. They should also share their research with others (in writing, through presentations or simply in an informal chat), as one can sometimes find shared research interests, potential areas of collaboration or even employment opportunities.