Americo Barbosa da Cunha Junior

Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics

Director of NUMERICO
Rio de Janeiro State University - UERJ

About me

I am an Associate Professor at Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), where I direct the Nucleus of Modeling and Experimentation with Computers (NUMERICO). I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Vibration Engineering & Technologies (JVET), a member of the Deliberative Council of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering (ABCM), and a member of MIDAS Network. During the academic year of 2022-2023, I am on a sabbatical at Princeton University.

Since my years as an engineering student, I consider myself an interdisciplinary guy with a very broad range of scientific interests (sometimes very orthogonal to my primary area of actuation, but often I feel rewarded by my curiosity). This transversal nature of interests is reflected not only in my double degree (Applied Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering) but also in the variety of research themes that I have been working on for the last two decades (energy harvesting systems, origami engineering, epidemic modeling, structural health monitoring, drilling systems, reactive flows, uncertainty quantification, model reduction, machine learning ... ). Someone may ask, what do all of these (nearly orthogonal) topics have in common? This very natural question has an objective answer: Nonlinearities! All of them involve nonlinear dynamical systems. For this reason, I consider Nonlinear Dynamics my main area of expertise.

Our research group use and develop state-of-the-art (deterministic and probabilistic) numerical, analytical, and data-driven techniques for direct and inverse analysis of complex systems. The focus of our research is not only on the construction of models for quantitative prediction. The central objective is understanding the inherent nonlinearities, obtaining qualitative insights about the systems' dynamic behavior, and developing innovative strategies for novel design, optimization, and control of the applications. More recently, we became interested in Data Science, using statistical/machine learning techniques to extract and understand complex patterns from databases;

My mathematical lineage has some noble ancestors (two Bernoulli's, Euler, Lagrange, d'Alambert, Gauss, Hilbert, and others), as seen here. Maybe this explains my interest in theoretical mechanics! A more detailed genealogy tree is available here, and a link to my Math Genealogy page. A map with a compendium of my academic missions can be seen here.

Currently, my Erdös number is 5, and my Einstein number is 6.


Areas of interest:

  • Nonlinear Dynamics

  • Computational Science and Engineering

  • Uncertainty Quantification

  • Inverse Problems

  • Reduced-order Modeling

  • Machine Learning

  • Energy Harvesting

  • Origami Engineering

  • Mathematical Epidemiology


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