Timothy Liao, graduate student from University of Texas at Austin, is one of 44 awardees of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently announced Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program, and will conduct part of his thesis research at Ames National Laboratory. The SCGSR program is designed to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers that are critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. Through this program, selected graduate students can pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory or facility.
Liao will be working with Cai-Zhuang Wang, a scientist at Ames Lab whose expertise is in computational/theoretical condensed matter physics. Wang said that the SCGSR is good for promoting the close interaction between universities and DOE national labs, and builds the national labs’ reputations by making their research more visible to the nation.
According to Wang, Liao’s research will focus on “accelerating the discovery of novel materials using a machine learning guided adaptive feedback.” He will accomplish this goal by using machine-learning to uncover correlations among composition, structure, and physical properties of high-performance magnetic materials. Wang said that the machine learning methods will be integrated “with state-of-the-art computational tools, including those developed at Ames Laboratory (e.g., adaptive genetic algorithm).”
Having such access to the unique expertise, resources, and capabilities available at DOE laboratories and facilities one goal of the SCGSR program. Students whose proposed research is funded need to address priority research areas identified by the DOE Office of Science. Liao’s award is a recognition of the priority of his research, and provides the mutual benefit of working with Ames Lab researchers. He will spend one year working at the Lab.