December 1, 2005
Vol. 25 No. 6

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    Mazziotti named Packard fellow

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    David Mazziotti, Assistant Professor in Chemistry and the College, is among 16 researchers nationally to receive a 2005 Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Mazziotti’s fellowship will provide him with an unrestricted grant of $625,000 over five years.

    Mazziotti will use the grant to extend his efforts to develop the theoretical and computational tools that are needed to use a two-electron approach to address an array of many-electron phenomena, from chemical reactivity to superconductivity.

    The key to understanding whether or not a particular chemical reaction will occur depends on the solution of the Schrodinger equation for the electrons in the system.

    Until recently, scientists had found it necessary to represent the motion of all the electrons in a molecule of interest—a daunting task requiring vast quantities of computer power.

    But work in the field took a significant leap forward last year, when Mazziotti introduced a set of blueprint-like instructions which now allow the energies and properties of many-electron atoms and molecules to be computed using only a pair of electrons.

    The Packard fellowship program was established in 1988, arising out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthening university-based science and engineering programs.

    By supporting unusually creative researchers early in their careers, the foundation works to help develop scientific leaders, further the work of promising young scientists and engineers, and support efforts to attract talented graduate students into university research in the United States.