Olivia Maynard is a third year Excellence in Computing Fellowship (EFC) Choose Ohio First scholar at Ohio State University, with a Computer Science and Engineering major and Astronomy/Astrophysics minor. Her interests include the interdisciplinary nature of computer science when paired with other STEM fields, primarily its intersection with astrophysics. Originally planning to double major with Astronomy/Astrophysics upon entering college, she rediscovered her love for the field after completing a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Summer 2023 at Michigan State University. This program, the ACRES (Advanced Computational Research Experience for Students) REU, focused on undergraduates using Michigan State’s supercomputer to work on original research within MSU labs. Olivia’s research centers around using high-performance computing to run orbital simulations of exoplanetary systems. The primary goal in these simulations is to test for evidence of planetary engulfment events – violent orbital scenarios where a planet is consumed by its host star due to dynamical instabilities. These simulations provide particular insight into highly lithium-enriched stars in exoplanetary systems, whose unusual elemental enrichment could be explained by the engulfment of a lithium-rich host planet.
Upon graduation, Olivia plans to complete a master’s degree in computer science and potentially obtain a PhD in computer science or astronomy/astrophysics. She is interested in doing research in academia or research and development in industry and is additionally highly interested in becoming a professor. Olivia is eternally grateful to her amazing family, mentors, professors, and friends that she has made at both The Ohio State University and Michigan State University that have aided her in this work.
Olivia will present her research experience in the CIR Chat Session on Friday, December 1, 2023 from 3:00PM - 4:00PM in Smith Lab Room 1009 (SM1009).
The Choose Ohio First scholarship has provided excellent financial support that has aided me financially throughout my entire time at college. In addition, I have been able to meet a likeminded community of fellow computer science majors that have been a great support and resource to go to. The entirety of the Ohio House of Engineering/COF staff have overall been wonderful mentors and resources to go to over the course of my degree.