Michelle Kuchera and Raghu Ramanujan – NSF RUI Award

Professors Ramanujan, Kuchera
and students of the ALPhA group.

The Office of Grants and Contracts congratulates Assistant Professor of Physics, Michelle Kuchera, and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Raghu Ramanujan, on a National Science Foundation Research in Undergraduate Institutions – RUI grant (2012865).

The three-year project titled, “Machine Learning Approaches for Accelerating Scientific Discovery in Nuclear Physics,” enables collaboration between theoretical and experimental nuclear physicists and computer scientists to aid in scientific discoveries using state-of-the-art machine learning methods at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, Argonne National Laboratory, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and the upcoming Electron Ion Collider.

Professor Kuchera with student researchers.

The grant provides Davidson students who have an interest in physics, computer science, or mathematics with the opportunity to make significant contributions to national efforts which investigate fundamental properties of matter. To accomplish this, they work closely with world-renowned scientists at large-scale research facilities, which complements the experiences students enjoy at a small liberal arts institution. The students also have the opportunity to visit these laboratories and to present their work to a national audience at professional scientific conferences.

Professor Kuchera with students at Jefferson Lab.

This NSF-funded project will be an integral part of the ALPhA group (Algorithms for Learning in Physics Applications), an ongoing research collaboration headed by Professors Kuchera and Ramanujan and driven by Davidson students. In addition to providing interdisciplinary research experiences that bridge nuclear physics, artificial intelligence, and data science, the project seeks to create an environment where students from different backgrounds – including women and students from traditionally underrepresented groups – can explore and launch their careers in scientific research.

We are very proud of this national recognition and support for the research conducted by the ALPhA group, under the leadership of Professors Kuchera and Ramanujan.

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