Volumes of academic literature give life to computational chemistry thesis

Jun 6, 2016

As a voracious consumer of research publications for her master’s thesis, it is Kara Geremia’s dream that her own published research will become part of OhioLINK’s Central Catalog, listed among the hundreds of academic literature pieces that she referenced in her thesis work.

Geremia and daughter
Kara Geremia with her daughter

Geremia recently completed her master’s degree in computational chemistry from Wright State University. Geremia describes computational chemistry as using computers to solve chemical problems that cannot be computed by hand and then shaping a hypothesis based on the solutions.

“I fell in love with the idea that complex problems could be theorized in a practical and efficient way,” Geremia said.

Geremia’s research (check it out in the OhioLINK ETD Center) relied heavily on published literature as a means to create quantitative data models. She needed to gather reliable publications to confirm her theoretical findings, and she ideally needed it all in one place. She sought help at Wright State’s Paul Laurence Dunbar Library where Mary Lou Baker Jones, Wright State’s science and math librarian, pointed her in the right direction. Baker Jones is an invaluable assistant to researchers at Wright State, Geremia said. While Wright State had many useful publications, they did not have it all – to reach above and beyond, Geremia accessed OhioLINK to supplement her data repertoire.

Thanks to the academic papers she accessed through OhioLINK at Wright State’s library, Geremia cited over 200 articles in her thesis, using research from as far away as Russia, France and Brazil.

“If it were not for OhioLINK, I would not be able to model my theoretical data,” Geremia said. “In other words, I would not have been able to publish my thesis.”

Her thesis “Computational Estimation of the pKa’s of Purines and Related Compounds” is in the process of being converted to publications. Geremia expects it will soon be submitted to journals and, as such, come full circle, becoming a part of OhioLINK’s extensive research resources.

Geremia now teaches in an adjunct position at the Community College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. She will begin a Ph.D. program in chemistry in the fall at the University of Nevada Las Vegas under dual advisors – one for computational chemistry and one for organic chemistry.

Her goal is to develop a theoretical method and, in turn, experimentally prove that theory.