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Michelle Kuchera


Ph.D., M.S., B.S. Florida State University


I am a computational physicist with research interests in machine learning, nuclear physics, and algorithm development for data analysis. The focus of my research is applying these methods to improve analyses of large datasets in nuclear physics experiments.

From online shopping to solving the biggest questions in physics, advanced computational methods are present in every aspect of life today. As a member of the Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP), I believe that incorporating computation into my courses provides students with a clearer understanding of the material as well as a skill set that can be taken with them as they traverse their independent career paths.


I collaborate with the Active Target - Time Projection Chamber (AT-TPC) experiment, which is housed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in East Lansing, Mich. This device is used to study and "image" nuclear reactions in three dimensions. Two weeks of AT-TPC data is approximately the size of the entire Library of Congress print collection!

Parsing through this data to search for specific types of events and extract their physics information is a complex computational task. I utilize multi-core coprocessors such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) to evaluate computations. Large scale computations are done at the new supercomputer, Laconia, which is currently in both the Top 500 and Green 500 lists of supercomputers in the world.

I am excited to work with Davidson students who are interested in computing, nuclear physics, or both.