By: Ibbe Ashruf
After the end of the first semester, Dr. Álvaro Salcedo left the United States and ventured to Spain for his sabbatical. As of May, Dr. Salcedo was in a small town on the northern coast of Spain called Suances, four hours north of Madrid. "It's been amazing, totally amazing," said Dr. Salcedo, a sixteen-year Gilman Science department veteran. After writing an in-depth proposal, Dr. Salcedo was given the opportunity to return to Spain, his homeland, from the Riepe Family Sabbatical Program, the same program that allowed Mr. Ian Brooks to travel to various baseball conferences and create his new Baseball and Statistics course that was offered this year. In the past, the Riepe Family Sabbatical has allowed teachers from any department to spend the second semester engaging in captivating areas that are not only relevant to their courses but also something that they plan to bring back to the students eventually.
Following his planned proposal, he is tackling two major constructs that he will integrate into his courses next year. First, he is strengthening his skills in computer programming by taking classes and practicing online. Dr. Salcedo hopes to incorporate many live programs and simulations in his physics classes for topics that he cannot demonstrate manually. The second, more challenging avenue is to bring together work he has done in the past with the new skills he is learning during his sabbatical. Dr. Salcedo explained, "I want to use the same software and use a mathematical tool called the Monte Carlo, a way of doing numerous calculations, and see if the work that I did with my Ph.D., which was real samples and measurements, see if I can numerically simulate those results and prove that those measurements are on par with the theory."
Besides his work in programming and mathematical analysis, Dr. Salcedo has been enjoying the greatest gift of his sabbatical: time. Dr. Salcedo now has time to spend with family, and reconnect with his former field hockey team, which he is training with for an international championship in London. Dr. Salcedo exclaims, "The gift of time, to learn and do things that interest you, is an amazing gift that this sabbatical has given me, and I’m greatly honored and grateful to Gilman and the Riepe family." Clearly, Dr. Salcedo has his hands full in Spain with his ambitions to achieve by the end of July. Dr. Salcedo will return before the start of next year, and we wish him luck in his endeavors.