Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


William Duhe

Summer School

Class of 2014


I graduated as a physics major from Loyola University of New Orleans with a minor in computational science. I am currently a research assistant at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I am developing virtual environments to design and simulate atomic clusters for applications in materials science for my PhD in physics.

For my undergraduate honors thesis I devised novel reheating mechanisms of plasma-like fluids order to develop a paper I recently published—Emergent Cyclic Inflation, A Numerical Investigation—which suggests there was more than a single “Big Bang”. This research required extensive knowledge of cosmology, astrophysics, particle physics, and statistical mechanics along with the programming capacity to effectively model them. This research was eventually published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. I continue to pursue these ideas in collaboration with Dr. Tirthabir Biswas as we attempt to improve and redefine our fundamental understanding of the first moments of our universe.

In both the summers of 2012 and 2014 I fabricated, programmed, documented, and successfully flew flown devices for NASA and to NASA quality standards that were attached to high altitude balloons. One of these devices, a Gerdien condenser, takes measurements of the conductivity of a region of space and can infer the ion concentrations of different species throughout the atmosphere.

In the summer of 2013 I worked at the Nevis laboratories and lived at Columbia University for 10 weeks, participating in an REU with the VERITAS collaboration. This research involved analyzing gamma ray sources gathered from telescopes around the world in an attempt to provide constraints on dark matter cross-sectional properties.

I have presented my work in a range of conferences around the world during this time. Very importantly I am enthusiastic about what I do. Every day when I arrive to my classroom, laboratory, workplace, or presentation, I arrive with every ounce of optimism and energy that I can muster. Big smiles, hi-fives, and jokes are no strangers to my everyday routines. It is in this way that I am able to help invigorate myself and those around me to not only succeed in our daily projects but also enjoy them. After all, we are all in it for the love of science, right?

Project: Computational Molecular Engineering, Visualization, and Analysis in Mathematica

In addition to creating a database for known 3D molecular structures within Mathematica, my project revolves around creating a new package to interpret, visualize, and analyze advanced quantum chemical data that is generated from ab initio (first principle) methods.