What I do
Hello! I'm a researcher in computational biophysics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I write analysis software and run simulations of active nematic liquid crystals on the Summit super computing cluster. Here's my group's website for fun details. I will be graduating this year with a bachelor's degree (my second!) in Physics.
In addition to living in Boulder, I also live in Osaka, Japan, where my wife works full time. I go back a couple of times year for a few months and she visits me, too. Since starting my physics degree, I made some connections back in Japan and that led to an internship at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST).
Before going to CU I had lived and worked full time in Japan for about four years. I had studied Japanese language for a long time before then and Asian studies was a big part of my previous undergraduate degree; my thesis was on minorities in Japan.
I'm a big fan of throwing oneself into unfamiliar circumstances and learning how to thrive. That is what was appealing about moving to Japan; I wanted to see how quickly I could learn the language and jive with the culture. (My wife can be the judge of my success. Also check out the Japanese version of this site that I made!) Since forever ago, I had always loved reading about physics in popular magazines and books, but never thought I could handle the heavy math required to master to subject. I figured that since I had learned how to live in a foreign country, I could learn physics. I took online math and physics courses while working and then applied and got accepted to CU. Now I'm working on an honor's thesis in computational biophysics and taking a graduate-level General Relativity course. I also picked up some programming skills along the way in my biophysics research group. Needless to say, my middle school self would be stoked to know that I didn't quit on doing physics!
Biophysics Research Group, Boulder, Research Assistant
December 2015 - Present
I test parameter spaces of bulk microtubule-motor protein simulations and submit jobs using slurm to the Summit supercomputer. I write analysis code in Python and use Git for version control. The simulation software is written in C and C++, which I use to understand the underlying physics of the non-equilibrium nematic liquid crystals that we simulate. Here's an abstract for the APS March Meeting poster presentation I did recently.
True 2 Materials at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Summer Research Assistant
I was a summer intern for the graphene and molecular powder company True 2 Materials, with labs based at NAIST. There I analyzed samples using Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope, scanning tunneling electron microscope, and transmission electron microscope. I was trained on all of this equipment then and communicated with other researchers in my second language: Japanese.
I also built a parallel computing cluster using four Parallella computers and a Raspberry Pi as part of a side project.
Programming Skills & Tools
Scientific Equipment Skill
(Units are wishy washy in these charts)
Shoe-shining (yes, really)
Physical Books (and reading them)
University of Colorado at Boulder
B.A. Physics, Phi Beta Kappa
Expected Graduation May 2018
Michigan State University
B.A. Global & Area Studies
Graduated December 2010
Phi Beta Kappa
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grant
garrek.stemo (at) colorado.edu
Boulder, Colorado | Osaka, Japan
Examples of Work
APS March Meeting 2018