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CICS Doctoral Student Adam Lechowicz Awarded US Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

Adam Lechowicz
Adam Lechowicz

Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences doctoral student Adam Lechowicz has been awarded a Department of Energy (DOE) Computational Science Graduate Fellowship on its Mathematics and Computer Science track.  

Lechowicz’s proposal argues that while decarbonization (reducing the carbon emissions of energy-intensive infrastructure) is vital to sustainability efforts, systems must evolve to operate in a dispersed and unpredictable environment. To this end, his research examines the social and technical challenges of decarbonization.  

“The intermittent nature of renewables such as solar and wind is currently incompatible with current systems which assume energy is consistent and reliable,” explains Lechowicz. “Socially, a transition that only focuses on technical challenges may inadvertently exacerbate existing inequities if these are not explicitly considered in a system design. Considering both components is critical for developing an effective decarbonization strategy.” 

Decarbonization is particularly relevant for cloud computing, argues Lechowicz, in which demand is projected to grow exponentially. To address these challenges, Lechowicz proposes new theoretical foundations, including additional algorithms and frameworks in the areas of online optimization and learning-augmented algorithms, which incorporate both carbon output and equity as design objectives. 

“The energy efficiency of computing is quickly approaching fundamental physical limits—this turns our attention to carbon efficiency, which is the ability to work harder wherever and whenever low-carbon energy is available. This ability relies on algorithms that intelligently shift computations either temporarily or spatially to use low-carbon electricity, even if renewable generation is uncertain,” says Lechowicz.  

Supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration, the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship offers support and opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performing computing to solve complex science and engineering problems. The program provides up to four years of educational support and includes a 12-week practicum experience at one of 21 DOE national laboratories, with access to DOE supercomputers.  

Lechowicz is a first-year doctoral student under the supervision of Assistant Professor Mohammad Hajiesmaili and Associate Dean of Computing and Facilities and Distinguished Professor Prashant Shenoy. He graduated in 2022 with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and political science from UMass Amherst, where he also received a UMass Amherst 21st Century Leaders Award and a Rising Researcher Award. His research interests lie at the intersection of theory and systems, with an emphasis on problems that hold implications for energy, equity, and climate change.