IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Todd Martinez, Stanford University, USA

BMVP Todd MartinezUnderstanding biological light harvesting using high-performance molecular dynamics

16 March - 6 April 2017

Professor Martínez is a theoretical and computational chemist, focusing on the development of modeling approaches that allow us to understand and predict chemical reactivity using only computation. He likes to think of this as “molecular computer-aided-design (CAD),” and his work is largely focused on making molecular CAD a reality. Martínez developed the first methods to describe light-induced chemical reaction dynamics entirely from first principles. He used these to unravel the details of light-induced isomerization, which is the critical first reaction in human vision. He has also pioneered the “hijacking” of videogame technology (specifically graphical processing units or GPUs) in computational chemistry. Because of economies of scale, GPUs are both inexpensive and powerful. Combined with new algorithms developed to exploit their architecture, GPU-accelerated methods have enabled new approaches to chemical reactivity. Prof. Martínez has also shown how recommendation system algorithms used by Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon can be exploited in the context of computational chemistry. This led to the “tensor hypercontraction” framework which makes many electronic structure methods applicable to many molecules and/or time scales which were previously unattainable. Martínez has also developed the framework for understanding chemical reactions under external force – a field now know as “mechanochemistry.” Martínez has collaborated with numerous experimentalists in many of his research projects and believes that such collaboration is critical in order to establish that computational methods can be used for chemical design. Martínez is currently the Ehrsam and Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and a Professor of Photon Science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow. 

During his stay in Bristol, Professor Martinez will be hosted by Dr David Glowacki (Chemistry),  if you would like to meet with Professor Martinez while he is here, then please fill a 1 or 2 hour slot on the doodle poll here: https://doodle.com/poll/nu42qbty9kndypyn

 The days that he will be here and available to meet with people are as follows:
week 1: 23/24 Mar
week 2: 30 April
week 3: 3/4/5 April
Professor Martinez will give a Public Lecture: 'On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Models in the Sciences', date and time to be confirmed shortly, and participate in a Symposium on 31 March - "Excited-State Dynamics with Travelling Gaussians".