The pursuit of a dream, Francisco Javier Sayas and the HDG methods

Bernardo Cockburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Franciso Javier Sayas, man of grit and determination, left his hometown of Zaragoza in 2007 in pursuit of a dream, to become a scholar in the USA. I hosted him in Minneapolis, where he spent three long years of an arduous transition before obtaining a permanent position at the University of Delaware. There, he enthusiastically worked on the unfolding of his dream until his life was tragically cut short by cancer, at only 50. In this paper, I try to bring to light the part of his academic life he shared with me. As we both worked on hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin methods, and he wrote a book on the subject, I will tell Javier’s life as it developed around this topic. First, I will show how the ideas of static condensation and hybridization, proposed back in the mid 60s, lead to the introduction of those methods. This background material will allow me to tell the story of the evolution of the hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin methods and describe Javier’s participation in it. Javier faced death with open eyes and poised dignity. I will end with a poem he liked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalSeMA Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by the National Science Foundation through DMS Grant 1912646.

Funding Information:
I would like to thank Salim Meddahi for suggesting to the Scientific Committee of CEDYA my name for giving a talk in the tribute to Javier he organized, and to Peter Monk, member of the Scientific Committee of CEDYA, for supporting the nomination. I would also thank Mariano Mateos, Congress Chairman, for the invitation to participate in the XXVI CEDYA/ XVI CMA, June 14?18, 2021. CEDYA stands for Congreso de Ecuaciones Diferenciales y Aplicaciones, and CMA for Congreso de Matem?tica Aplicada. Concerning the paper itself, let me thank the referees for their constructive comments, and Gabriel Gatica for completing the information I had on the top panel of the first of Javier?s triptychs. I would also like to thank Ricardo Nochetto and Tobias von Petersdorff for letting me use their figure of Javier [52 ] which I am displaying in Fig.?4. Thanks are due too to Scot Adams, Yanlai Chen, Shukai Du and Salim Meddahi for their sharp proofreading, and then again to Shukai Du for help in properly citing some of his work with Javier. Last but not least, I would like to thank Rosario Grau for her lucid editorial remarks. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Discontinuous Galerkin
  • Hybridization
  • M-decompositions
  • Postprocessing
  • Static condensation
  • Superconvergence


Dive into the research topics of 'The pursuit of a dream, Francisco Javier Sayas and the HDG methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this