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Graduate student receives Department of Energy fellowship

Katie Cowart

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science has selected Matthew Wilson from the University of Georgia’s Center for Simulation Physics to participate in its Graduate Student Research Program. Wilson studies protein aggregation using computer simulation to test physical phenomena that defy analysis by traditional approaches. 

“These graduate student awards prepare young scientists for STEM careers critically important to the DOE mission,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “We are proud of the accomplishments these outstanding awardees have already made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come. They represent the future leadership and innovation that will allow American science and engineering to excel in the 21st century.”

Wilson is one of 70 graduate students the DOE Office of Science selected from across the nation for its 2018 Solicitation 2 cycle.

The program provides supplemental funds for graduate awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host Department of Energy laboratory in collaboration with a Department of Energy laboratory scientist within a defined award period. Wilson will work under the joint supervision of David Landau, Distinguished Research Professor of physics at UGA, and computational scientist Markus Eisenbach at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“Dr. Landau has been my advisor since undergrad,” said Wilson. “He allows me a lot of creative freedom in my studies and offers endless support.” 

Wilson’s proposed project focuses on the analysis of the replica-exchange Wang-Landau algorithm, originally developed at the Center for Simulational Physics at UGA. The Wang-Landau algorithm is a computational algorithm that relies on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results about the density of the states of matter.This methodology will be added to the software package at Wilson’s host laboratory and used on massively parallel computer architectures for materials research and design.

“This is a great opportunity for me. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an excellent facility to learn and work at,” said Wilson. “I will enjoy my fall semester there immensely.” 

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