Phani Motamarri is an Assistant Research Scientist in the department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests lie in the broad scope of computational materials science with emphasis on computational nano-science leading to applications in the areas of mechanics of materials and energy. His research is strongly multidisciplinary, drawing ideas from applied mathematics, data science, quantum-mechanics, solid-mechanics, materials science and scientific computing.

The current research focus lies in developing systematically improvable real-space computational methodologies and associated mathematical techniques for conducting large-scale electronic-structure (ab-initio) calculations -via- density functional theory (DFT). Massively parallel and scalable numerical algorithms using finite-elements (DFT-FE) are developed as a part of this research effort, which enabled large-scale DFT calculations on tens of thousands of atoms for the first time using finite-element basis. These computational methods will aid fundamental studies on defects in materials, molecular and nanoscale systems which otherwise would have been difficult to study with the existing state of the art computational methods. Current areas of application include — (a) first-principles modelling of energetics of point defects and dislocations in Al, Mg and its alloys which are popular in light-weighting applications to provide useful inputs to meso-scale and continuum models, (b) providing all-electron DFT input to advanced electronic structure approaches like the GW method for accurate prediction of electronic properties in semiconductor-materials.

Charles L. Brooks III is the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Biophysics. He is affiliated with the department of Chemistry, Biophysics Program, program in Applied Physics, Molecular Biophysics Training Program (Director), program in Chemical Biology, Bioinformatics Graduate Program, Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and the Medicinal Chemistry Interdepartmental Graduate Program. The research in the group of Charles L. Brooks III is focused on the application of statistical mechanics, quantum chemistry and computational methods to chemically and physically oriented problems in biology. The group develops and applies computational models to studies of the dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes, including virus structure and assembly. They specifically develop novel computational methods for the inclusion of pH effects in modeling biological systems. Significant focus is in the development of a large, world-wide distributed software package for molecular simulations, CHARMM. Efforts are ongoing to explore new means of parallel and accelerated computation utilizing scalable parallel algorithms for molecular dynamics and integrated CPU/GPU computational models.

His research is in computational physics, specifically biophysics (tumor growth and cell mechanics) and materials physics (battery materials, structural alloys and semiconductor materials). In these areas Garikipati’s group focuses on developing mathematical and numerical models of phenomena that can be described by continuum analyses that translate to PDEs. Usually, these are nonlinear, and feature coupled physics, for example chemo-thermo-mechanics. Our numerical techniques are mesh-based variational methods such as the finite element method and its many variants. In some problems we make connections with fine-grained models, in which case we work with kinetic Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics or electronic structure calculations in some form. In the realm of analysis, we often examine the asymptotic limits of our mathematical models, and the consistency, stability and convergence of our numerical methods.

Sharon Glotzer is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Material Science and Engineering. The Glotzer group uses computer simulations to discover the fundamental principles by which nanoscale systems of building blocks self-assemble into higher order, complex, and often hierarchical structures. Their goal is to learn how to manipulate matter at the molecular, nanoparticle, and colloidal scales to create “designer” structures through assembly engineering. Using molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation codes developed in-house for graphics processors (GPUs) and scalable to large hybrid CPU/GPU clusters, they are the leading computational assembly group in the world, with the most powerful codes for studying assembly and packing. Among others, they are the lead developer of HOOMD-Blue, the fastest molecular dynamics code written solely for GPUs and distributed freely as open source software on codeblue.umich.edu. Based on the fundament scientific principles of assembly gleaned from their studies, they carry out high throughout simulations for materials by design, contributing to the national Materials Genome Initiative.

Professor Gull works in the general area of computational condensed matter physics with a focus on the study of correlated electronic systems in and out of equilibrium. He is an expert on Monte Carlo methods for quantum systems and one of the developers of the diagrammatic ‘continuous-time’ quantum Monte Carlo methods. His recent work includes the study of the Hubbard model using large cluster dynamical mean field methods, the development of vertex function methods for optical (Raman and optical conductivity) probes, and the development of bold line diagrammatic algorithms for quantum impurities out of equilibrium. Professor Gull is involved in the development of open source computer programs for strongly correlated systems.