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Chemistry Graduate Student Awarded James L. Carmon Scholarship

Portrait of Erica Mitchell, recipient of the James L. Carmon Scholarship

UGA Department of Chemistry graduate student Erica Mitchell has been named the 2024 recipient of the James L. Carmon Scholarship, given by the UGA Office of Research. Named for the late James L. Carmon, a UGA faculty member for 36 years who helped make the university a leader in computing research and development, the academic year scholarship was established by the Control Data Corporation and is awarded to a graduate student whose dissertation/thesis research reflects state-of-the-art utilization of computer and/or networking technology in the sciences or creative arts.

Erica Mitchell, a Ph.D. candidate in the Schaefer research group in the Department of Chemistry, investigates the properties of molecules using a combination of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The prediction of reliable molecular properties requires a trade-off between accuracy and computational cost. During her time at UGA, Mitchell has worked to implement explicitly correlated methods, which increase the accuracy of electronic structure theory, and apply density functional methods, which decrease the computational burden. Using automatic differentiation or AD, she is striving to get first- and second-order derivatives of explicitly correlated methods to obtain optimal molecular structures and vibrations at a low computational cost. This research will offer a new approach to achieve molecular properties by utilizing AD for a method with no known derivatives. By generating exact derivative properties of explicitly correlated methods, chemists will have access to highly reliable and accurate results to predict chemical properties, thereby aiding experimental observations.

Congratulations to Ms. Mitchell on this outstanding achievement!

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Head of Chemistry: Prof. Jason Locklin