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St. Lawrence Fellows Visit, Present Research at Los Alamos National Labs

CANTON — Four St. Lawrence University Fellows recently traveled to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to meet their professional collaborators and present their summer research.

Faculty mentors, Ivan Ramler and Jessica Chapman, both assistant professors of statistics in the Department of Math, Computer Science and Statistics, were able create the opportunity for students, three of whom are math majors and one a computer science major, based on prior relationships with those working at the national laboratory. Ramler and Chapman in conjunction with employees of Los Alamos came up with project ideas for students.

The students are:

  • Katherine Abramski ’14 of Oswego, who researched how to improve the statistical method for classifying geomagnetic storms
  • Kathryn Christensen ’14 of Syracuse, who predicted the lifetime output of plutonium fuel cells;
  • Sarah Koallick ’14 of Stratham, N.H., who wrote a graphical user interface, or GUI code, for a complicated computer code;
  • Chelsey Legacy ’14 of Burke, who investigated using sums of rational functions to model autocorrelation structures.

Students toured the national laboratory, met their project sponsors at Los Alamos and presented their research and findings at the lab. Students also began making plans to use their summer Fellows research in their upcoming senior-year projects.

In addition to the academic work, students also had the opportunity to visit the sites in New Mexico, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve, the Bradbury Science Museum, Bandelier National Monument and Santa Fe, N.M.

Due to their collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the students will have greater opportunities for entrance into graduate school as well as internships at the national lab, according to Ramler and Chapman.