Tess Smidt is the 2018 Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellow in Computing Sciences. Her current research interests include building neural networks from first-principles for rich data types (such as those found in scientific data sets) and accelerating existing techniques and creating new capabilities for computational chemistry and material science.
Tess earned her PhD in physics from UC Berkeley in 2018 working with Professor Jeffrey B. Neaton. As a graduate student, she used quantum mechanical calculations to understand and systematically design the geometry and corresponding electronic properties of atomic systems.
During her PhD, Tess spent a year as an intern on Google’s Accelerated Science Team where she developed a new type of convolutional neural network, called Tensor Field Networks, that can naturally handle 3D geometry and properties of physical systems.
As an undergraduate at MIT, Tess engineered giant neutrino detectors in Professor Janet Conrad's group and created a permanent science-art installation on MIT's campus called the Cosmic Ray Chandeliers, which illuminate upon detecting cosmic-ray muons.