Garrek Stemo
 

Physicist

Garrek Stemo

 

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.

 

Why physics?

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!

 

Recent Work

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

Summer 2017

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.

 
IMG_0053.JPG

Programming Skills & Tools

Scientific Equipment Skill

Languages

(Units are wishy washy in these charts)

 

Interests

Physics!
Teaching
Shoe-shining (yes, really)
Astronomy
Piano
Interior Design
Physical Books (and reading them)
Trail Running
Tech

 


Education

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

Awards

Phi Beta Kappa
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grant


Contact

Email:
garrek.stemo (at) colorado.edu


Locations:
Boulder, Colorado | Osaka, Japan