This month, we highlight Dr. Fengjie Ma in W&M's Physics Department. He has been an active user of the W&M HPC facilities for years now. Ma has been a member of the Physics Department since August 2010. He received his B.S. in Applied Physics in 2004 from the University of Science and Technology of China, and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. There his research focus was magnetic ordering in iron-based superconductors. After this, he came to W&M to perform postdoctoral research with Physics professors Shiwei Zhang and Henry Krakauer.
Dr. Ma's research at W&M has focused on theoretical condensed matter physics. Specifically, Ma has been working on improving the efficiency and accuracy of the auxillary-field quantum Monte Carlo (AFQMC) method. The AFQMC method is a powerful technique for studying the ground and excited electronic states of atoms, molecules, and solids. One drawback of the AFQMC method is that although it is among the most efficient methods for highly accurate materials simulations, it can still require significantly more computational resources compared to less accurate methods.
In Ma's most recent publication he tackles this problem. In this research, he and his colleagues describe a systematic method for greatly simplifying AFQMC calculations while still maintaining the incredible accuracy associated with QMC methods.
See: Fengjie Ma, Wirawan Purwanto, Shiwei Zhang, and Henry Krakauer, Downfolding calculations in solids by auxiliary-ﬁeld quantum Monte Carlo, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 226401 (2015).