June 8, 2021
Abigail Poteshman will be among future computational science leaders, pursuing sustainable energy technologies
A Physical Sciences Division graduate student has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGP), awarded annually to US graduate students pursuing an advanced degree in applied mathematics, statistics or computer science with research interests that help use emerging high-performance systems more effectively.
The program, established in 1991, trains top leaders in computational science. With the 2021-22 class, more than 550 students will have entered the fellowship. More than 400 now work in fields that support computing's capacity to address problems important to the nation’s future.
Abigail Poteshman, a doctoral student in the Committee on Computational and Applied Mathematics (CCAM), was among 32 students selected for the program, which awards a yearly stipend, full payment of university tuition and fees, and an annual academic allowance.
Renewable for up to four years, the fellowship is guided by a comprehensive program of study that requires focused coursework in the areas of science and engineering, computer science and applied mathematics. It also includes a three-month practicum at one of 21 Department of Energy laboratories or sites across the country.
Poteshman, who is completing her first year in CCAM, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in New York City. She graduated with degrees in mathematics and physics from University of Pennsylvania before moving to Hyde Park. She has been remotely attending the first-year PhD sequence of computational and applied mathematics courses, as well as courses in physics and chemistry, from her home here. When asked about life in Hyde Park when she is not studying, she said she loves to try new restaurants in Chicago.
Poteshman’s interest in sustainability solutions inspired her CSGP computational science proposed studies. “I plan to develop mathematical and computational techniques to improve the accuracy and efficiency of computational simulations of materials from first principles. In particular, I plan to focus on the thermal properties of materials for applications in sustainable energy technologies,” Poteshman said.
“I am most excited about the prospect of a 12-week practicum experience at a DOE laboratory,” Poteshman said. “There is a lot of interdisciplinary, sustainable energy research being conducted at the national labs, and I’m excited for the opportunity to meet and work with scientists and mathematicians from other fields.”
In the immediate future Poteshman plans to work in Professor Giulia Galli’s lab over the summer. Beyond this, she hopes to pursue interdisciplinary computer science, applied math, and physics research in the space of sustainable energy technologies.