I debated between asking this question here and in the Academia stack exchange, but decided Computational Science was the most capable of answering the question.
I'm a new graduate student (~1 semester now) and would really like to make a push to be the best I can in my field. My undergraduate was a top 5 engineering school. However, my graduate school is top 50. So I'll need some really good research to get noticed. I have an excellent advisor who is very supportive of whatever I'm working on, so I can somewhat guide the "kind" of research I'll be doing further down the road. And I also have excellent access to any kind of computational resource I need.
Right now I'm doing molecular dynamics simulations and am spending time learning about quantum monte carlo on my own. I also collaborate with an experimental researcher, thus my work has a tie-in to experimental results.
I've been reading journals in this field, but I'm not sure whether "huh, this is an interesting article" matches up at all with what other researchers consider a top-tier contribution. Again, I'm still new at this.
My question: So, as of early 2013, what are the cutting-edge, hot topic, highly-publishable research areas in computational science? I really just need a starting point so I don't go off in a rabbit-hole of research that is interesting to me but that nobody else cares about.