Columbia Postdoc Is 2023 Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science

Ames, Iowa

Dipti Jasrasaria, a Columbia University postdoctoral research scientist and a 2018-2022 Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) recipient, has been selected as the 2023 Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science.

Recent DOE CSGF alumni are eligible for the award, named for a computational science advocate who managed the DOE Applied Mathematical Sciences Program until his death in 1999 at 51. The prize recognizes research accomplishments and outstanding leadership, integrity and character. Krell Institute manages the fellowship and oversees the award.

In selecting Jasrasaria, a judging panel cited “both her outstanding research achievements and demonstrated leadership and character,” noting that as a University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. student, she helped develop a five-day boot camp for incoming graduate students to revisit math concepts they’d previously studied or to learn about ones they hadn’t. The program is now a chemistry department staple.

She also joined an initiative to involve graduate students in hiring professors. A student committee joined interviews to understand candidates’ approaches to mentoring, teaching, diversity and equity. She eventually coordinated the program, ensuring committees considered graduate student input.

Jasrasaria’s research harnesses the power of supercomputers to look at previously discounted interactions influencing the properties of such rising technologies as quantum dots or semiconducting nanocrystals, structures so tiny that quantum physics govern their behavior. Recently, she’s been studying phonons, quantum carriers of vibrational energy — heat and sound — from atoms’ constant oscillations.

“Dipti’s scientific excellence and leadership,” the judges concluded, “embodies the qualities Fred Howes encouraged in all young scientists and make her a deserving recipient of the Howes Award.”

Image Credit: Dipti Jasrasaria.