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ACI Fellowship student research 2024

Inaugural class of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure student research fellows builds networks beyond classroom walls

Jul 9, 2024

A cohort of six undergraduate and graduate research fellows from across Indiana University campuses and disciplines have honed their skills on high powered computing resources, forging new career prospects in the process.

From sociological studies of reproductive health outcomes, to building quantum models of molecules, the student projects utilized Research Desktop, a software gateway built and maintained by Research Technologies, as well as data storage.

Dr. Yu Kay Law, a professor of Chemistry and chair of Natural Sciences at Indiana University East, says the fellowship’s research opportunity for his student Haden Dickerson has the potential to improve computational models of quantum physics interactions in simple biomolecular systems— all from the comfort of a student’s home. “A lot of our model building research is done virtually,” said Law. “The infrastructure of IU’s HPC network makes it possible to contribute this work without a cost burden for the department’s budget.” Under Law’s mentorship, Dickerson’s research simulates the position and movement of a molecule’s nucleus. Using force fields based on Newtonian principles, Dickerson builds models incorporating nuclear quantum effects using industry standard software. “This fellowship, along with Research Technologies’ facilitators, have been vital to what I hope will be a fulfilling career for Haden, and has enhanced our department’s research offerings for undergraduates,” said Law.

“Over the past semester, these young researchers have learned to comb through masses of data and run simulations on HPC systems like Quartz to further their research goals,” said Robert Henschel, Project Director for Research Engagement at Research Technologies, who served as an engineering mentor for the student projects. Providing fellows with weekly HPC counseling sessions where individual troubleshooting and data management questions Henschel was able to answer questions as they arose. “Like many things, computational research requires learning by doing,” said Henschel. “Providing a one on one experience for students mirrors the services that RT offers to senior researchers, and I think gives students a strong foundation in the workflows of HPC research,” he said.

As ACI fellows, Indiana University undergraduates and faculty receive technical support on their research, access to appropriate data storage, software, and HPC nodes, as well as a research stipend. Learn more about applying to the ACI fellowship through the IU Knowledge Base.

Continue to read profiles of 2024 ACI student projects.

To learn more about the ACI Fellowship, please visit the website.

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