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Boldyrev lab. Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy USU College of Science.

Above: Boldyrev lab. Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy USU College of Science.

Three Internships at LANL

As a department, we were proud that three of our graduate students: Nikita Fedik, Maksim Kulichenko, and Nikolay Tkachenko, from Dr. Alexander Boldyrev’s lab, had each been accepted to a prestigious internship over the summer at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico.

As the department helped them prepare, COVID-19 hit and we were unsure the fate of the internships. Spectacularly, LANL contacted Fedik, Kulichenko, and Tkachenko to let them know the internships were not cancelled, just the in-person piece of them.

Boldyrev lab. Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy USU College of Science.Above: Boldyrev lab. Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy USU College of Science.

The students took the news in stride and prepared to begin their internships remotely, from the Cache Valley. Kulichenko, ever positive, said, “Yes, it was disappointing news, as we all looked forward to being at the historic lab and exploring New Mexico,” Kulichenko says. “But, on the plus side, we would save on rent and travel.”

Each student is a theoretical chemists and the internships they were doing did not require work to be done in a traditional laboratory. Inn this case, this was a huge benefit.

With the benefit of the LANL supercomputers the students were able to “develop new techniques for reducing complexity of quantum chemistry calculations on quantum computers,” said Tkachenko.

Each student’s work and effort will be published in future papers. Tkachenko is a lead author of a peer-reviewed paper currently in the final stages of review. https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.04996

Writers: Erin Russell, Staff Assistant III with significant contribution from Mary-Ann Muffoletto, Public Relations Specialist, College of Science.

Read the original, published article: https://tinyurl.com/y3e7dzq7