A brief overview of the things that keep me occupied in the office.
A common deformation mechanism in hexagonal close-packed materials, twinning can be crystallographically described as a rotation/reflection of the crystal lattice on one side of a planar discontinuity with respect to the other. Our objective is to understand the circumstances under which they form and how they affect macroscopic material properties, with the ultimate goal of opening new avenues for computational design of alloys.
Density functional theory, first formulated by Kohn and Sham, is a means for understanding electronic distribution of in a material and its associated energtic effects. Shown in recent years to be amenable to large-scale computations, we make use of this and other atomistic scale techniques to help us predict macroscopic material properties in the presence of defects.
Energy minimization is a principle that transcends length scales, and it's also something used as a means of understanding precipitation in alloys. Whether using classical phase field models or coming up with new models which draw information acquired from simulations conducted at lower length scales can give us results that are much more readily comparable to experimental observations.
An only child born in Nanjing, China in 1990, I emigrated over to the United States at the age of two, growing up in the northeast (I was split in time between the outskirts of Providence, Rhode Island and New York City). I then obtained my Sc.B. with an honors thesis in mechanical engineering at Brown University in 2012 before starting my doctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology, where I am currently a Ph.D. candidate, jointly advised by Professors Kaushik Bhattacharya and Michael Ortiz. I had always imagined that I would ultimately be conducting some kind of research in mechanical engineering; I just never imagined that I would be studying the link between behavior of materials at the macro scale to their atomistic interactions.
It would be weird to not discuss photography, since a sizeable portion of this page is dedicated to it, so I'm going to do that now. I'd always been aimlessly pointing my lens and film/sensor at things, but my true adventures actually started with a compact digital camera in June 2009. It had been raining for a month straight in Rhode Island. I was on one of those summer research internships and would commute from home every day and would go on a long bike ride around my town after work every day as long as it wasn't pouring outside. It finally stopped raining during that last week of the month, and I went on a long, four-hour ride around town. Oddly enough, it was the one time I'd brought a camera with me because I figured it would be great to document the light and color after having seen nothing but shades of gray for a month. That whole experience really taught me to slow down and think about creating images instead of just pointing at a subject and hoping for some magic. Although I am still very much a student and learning to master composition and light, without a doubt, I would not have been set on this path had it not been for that rainy month of June 2009.
When not conducting research or hunting for light and color, I enjoy playing piano (Chopin for sure, but also some Liszt, Debussy, Beethoven, and others to mix things up a bit...not the greatest when it comes to variety in my repertoire), playing volleyball, and organizing events (pickup/intramural volleyball, department dinners, various field trips/outings, etc.).
One-page summary of current results in twinning in HCP materials, along with some useful references.
One-page summary of current applications of DFT, along with some useful references.
One-page summary of current applications of molcular statics/dynamics, along with some useful references.
Ae/AM/CE/ME 102abc (2015-2016)
Graduate survey of topics in the mechanics of solids and structures.
GSC ODEs Tutorial (Fall 2015)
Refresher course on ordinary differential equations.
This tutorial assumed the use of MiKTeX with TeXstudio on a Windows x64 machine.
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Gates-Thomas Building, MC 104-44