“Get involved in research as early as you can,” advises URECA Researcher of the Month Nicole Soder ’19.”Just keep looking until you find the right match.”
Soder, an Applied Mathematics and Statistics major, developed her skills in optimization, high-performance computing, modeling, and programming through her research experiences at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science.
At the same time, Nicole is completing a minor in Music Theory, and is concertmaster of the Stony Brook University Orchestra. Last spring, Nicole was honored with the Stony Brook Alumni Association’s Outstanding Future Alumni Award and also received honorable mention in the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. She is one of 14 SBU seniors who will be recognized later this month with the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at a ceremony in Albany.
“Being involved in research is definitely something I recommend to all students,” she says. “It has had a big impact on my education as I go to my classes with more confidence now.”
Nicole first began doing undergraduate research in the summer after her sophomore year as a participant in BNL’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) summer program, where she worked with Dr. David Biersach over the course of 10 weeks to develop an algorithm to factor semiprimes, numbers that secure online data transactions in the RSA encryption method.
Nicole is first author on a research paper, “Assessing the Cryptographic Strength of RSA Moduli Using Algorithmic Entropy Reduction in Bivariate Polynomials” based on this work. Since October 2017, Nicole has also been involved in research at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science where she works on optimizing the speed and accuracy of Gaussian function calculations under the direction of Prof. Robert Harrison.